I am going to be open and shame the devil. I have been working on this post for a while now. Jotting notes down. Crying. Getting my caloric intake via sangria and dry white wines. More notes & writing. More sangria. Typing and erasing. Saving. More crying. Then re-reading. Then the tears dried up. Pausing. Enter anger. Wondering. Worried. Worried about me, what happens after betrayal. Worried about how people will view this, me. What kind of things could be said. What people will think of me. In fact, some days, I think I think about these things too much – what others will say, what people will think of me if I share the things that have really happened, are happening….
It took me a long time to hit the publish button and the fact you’re reading this…well…
I decided I didn’t really care about what would be said. It needed to be written for many reasons. Mostly because, everything that just happened to me is a teachable moment for both me and maybe for whomever visits this blog. And that’s what me writing is about. Sharing. Teaching, Being open. Not that I haven’t before, but …do you feel where I’m going with this? The fabulous Rian on the Truth and Cake blog talked about vulnerability, sharing and truth in social media here. And anywhere I start in this story, I will feel like you’re being jumped in. But that’s life. That not knowing how to say it all has also kept me from telling the story. How do I tell it? Who is this really going to help? Then some people the other night told me not to tell it, not to tweet about it – that’s when I knew I needed to tell it. I think that’s the very reason it needs to be told.
I got Marvin Gayed.
That’s the term I coined because well, the man I loved has the same spirit of Marvin Gaye. A level of outer beauty and magnetism. The same ability to snake charm women (me and obvious others). A flair that makes a woman overlook all of the bullshit that’s really happening around her or to really see what’s going on. This
fool man glamored me, reeled me in and then pulled a gaslight.
Marvin Gayed \mahr-vin geid\, verb:
- To be lured in willingly, swooned over and then dismissed.
- The opposite of being in love.
- To fall for someone, knowing damn well you don’t have any business with the person.
- When desire for someone outweighs your discernment and reason.
Then again, that’s where the problem really comes in: I saw it all coming. Or at least glimpses of it. I should have walked much much earlier and left him exactly where I found him. In my time, I’ve said & sang “Good Morning Heartbreak” many times. Too many. This last one, I am going to talk about today.
What did I see? Lies, deceit and dishonesty. In September, in October, in December. Then in March, April and June. So I guess there were a few months of peace? Thought: a few months of peace is not enough to make [it] a good relationship. But there were some good times, good moments, beautiful spaces within the mayhem. It was THOSE moments I was chasing. The ones that left me feeling I had made the right decision to allow someone back into my life, to try things again, to start anew. The times I could look over at him and be happy knowing we were in the same space. When I would cook for him and watch his face light up at a new dish I had made. The laughter. The photos I took – he was a great subject to take pictures of. The hugs. The walks. The trips to the museums. In fact, mostly whenever I gave it made me happy. Then it has a funny way of sucking the life from you if you’re not being given to…It was all about a level of intimacy displayed in the beginning. For instance, the first time he came over my house, it was this look of awe and astonishment at the artwork and the books. The photos. The way it was put together. The questions he asked. He was genuinely IN TO ME. I couldn’t see, rather didn’t want to see it was only for a moment and then the attention would turn elsewhere.
I liken it to people who chase a high. Those first highs are so powerful, they keep chasing that inaugural high in hopes to get the same feeling back. [Hence why there are so many of us who are in love with love, serial monogamists, etc - chasing that high 'new' love brings us]. When things weren’t going right I was just trying to get through to that next moment. That’s how a healthy relationship CAN work – getting through the rough patches. Here’s the thing – those patches weren’t just rough – they were like minefields. Think of that moment in a movie when the character realizes where they are. Where their feet are planted. How far they are from a possible landmine. Shiiiiiidddddd. The problem is you’re already in the middle of it by the time you realize you can’t turn back. Turning back blows will certainly blow it all up – moving forward – well if it’s in the right direction with careful guidance, there’s a possibility you’ll get through it in one piece with all of your parts in tact. Again, this is what I mean when I’m talking about desire and how it overrides our sensibility.
There is much too much to go into detail about every warning sign, red flag. I am making a conscious choice to protect the guilty here. Not to mention, I have to save the full story for my book right? Right.
Brass tax: He didn’t respect me, my boundaries, my(our) home or our relationship. Talking to and pursuing other women while living with someone in a committed relationship doesn’t equate to respect. Attempting to date & ‘smash’ other chicks doesn’t equate to respect. Not wanting to share in the duties of the household doesn’t equate to respect. Having another woman in the home we share?
I will give you a minute to catch up. Or seven minutes and a drink and some choice “sentence enhancers” aka curse words.
________________________________________________ <<< That flat line represents me laid out in the floor, needing air and almost flat-lining when I found out.
Needless to say, my life imploded.
But here’s the piece, if I think back to last year, based upon his actions while we were getting to know each other, it was clear I didn’t have any business dealing with him. He was showing his true colors. And truth be known, after having a difficult year I shouldn’t have dealt with anyone. My judgment was already thrown off. I should have had a seat and took the time to heal. I am healing and recovering from it all.
Since my blog really is about me and my life, I might as well just lay it bare for you and let you see my process. So now the questions are, how did I let him get past all of my gates? Why would I trust him? What did he do to earn my trust? Why would I give him a second chance? What was so attractive about him? Why did I choose to ignore and dismiss all the red flags? Why was it so important to make it work?
So where I could say it’s all about him – it’s more about me and the whys, the answers to these questions.
I am working on the answers.
And I had room for improvement in the relationship too – I guess we all do in any relationship. But this…?? Was never what crossed my mind. This level or style of betrayal. I even had to ask him what he was thinking. Truthfully, all he could do was shrug his shoulders. There wasn’t much he could say. I guess what do you say?
On the other side of things, I would have never betrayed & lied to him or anyone else in that way. My policy is that if I have to cheat, I have to confess and leave. Or if it’s even coming to that then it’s time to have a serious discussion.
Note to self: It’s important for me to figure this out so I don’t repeat the same mistake twice.
I can’t afford to make the same mistake over and over.
So today, I want to discuss the issue of trust.
There’s a book called The Secret Things of God by Dr. Henry Cloud. There is a chapter about misplaced trust. I highly recommend you get this book. It’s fabulous!
In the chapter “Misplaced Trust Opens the Door to Misery” he lays out a crucial foundation:
You know people who have been hurt by trusting the wrong kind of person. Maybe you are one of those people. The signs were there, and they were ignored.
But the wish for something more, better, or different was stronger than the screaming reality. I have seen people believe the unbelievable and go forward with a relationship or business deal when the signs or the track record was just so clearly speaking to them and telling them to stop!
So ask yourself a question: what do you trust?
Do you trust what people tell you? Do you trust their charm? Do you trust their personalities? Do you trust how much you are attracted to them? Do you trust their credentials? Their power or status? What is it that makes you open yourself up to them …?
How you answer that question is one of the most revealing things about you.
…. Here is a secret that the Bible and any good psychologist would tell you about trust: trust a person’s character, as evidenced by their behavior.
I have both the book and the audiobook. I was driving on a long distance trip and when he asked the question, I had to replay it about five times. Then I had to turn it off while I drove in silence to think about it. Thing is, once the answers started bubbling up – well, some weren’t as pretty and feel-good as I would have liked. So in an effort to salvage my sanity at the time, I think I must have put the answers away. Then today, I picked up this book again. Flipped open to this chapter. I read the question again.
Then the answers began to roll in. The whole chapter was yelling at me – in a good way. It’s about paying attention to HOW people are able to gain your trust. At the time this man came into my life, the 90 days earlier and the 90 days post meeting were and would be some of the most challenging I had seen. Sometimes, it’s nice to have someone who you ‘think’ sees you in a way and acknowledges you in a way that makes you feel the way you always wanted to feel. The words, his availability, his ability to maintain his dates with me, the fact he seemed to genuinely appreciate me as is. Of course I have friends that do all of this, but it’s different in the confines of a romantic connection isn’t it? And he was different from the men I would normally date. He looked different, lead the proverbial ‘carefree’ artists lifestyle and it didn’t hurt that over the last two years he had asked me out a few times and each time I turned him down. So there was persistence right? Hmm, beautiful, says all of the right things, shows up, seems to appreciate me and is persistent…maybe I should give him a second look. Maybe there’s more there than I saw before.
That’s what I was thinking. And you know, it’s who I am. I tend to see the best in people. I see their potential. Even when their teeth are baring and they’re looking at me like a piece of hot fried chicken on a Sunday after church. I still tend to want to see them at their best even if they’re on some bullsh**.
Let me offer a thought here, a revelation: Woody Allen once said that “80% of success is just showing up.” Figure it out. If someone is always showing up, on time, with the right words – things can seem in order can’t they? It doesn’t mean they’ve come with the right intention towards us or even for us. Maybe it’s because we keep feeding them? We’re giving them that soft place to land? Who wouldn’t show up for that? Take away all of that and see what happens. Them showing up should not be the only indicator they’re about you. Stray cats show up all the time when you feed them. So it’s also a lesson in “taking the sign down” so to speak. Stop feeding the strays.
Stop providing for and funding mayhem and foolishness. <<< Note to self.
Here’s the reality. I was in a vulnerable place. I wanted to see the best and for a while I did. I ignored the signs. I chose to be vulnerable with the wrong person. My trust was misplaced. And now, guess what the best part about it is?
You can only teach what you know. And I know.
I can say I am vigilant of my discernment and what God’s trying to tell me. I can say I am thankful my former love decided to pull this stunt in the relative beginning of the relationship. I am thankful that with great betrayal comes a sense of freedom and out if flows many blessings – if you allow for it.
I will say this is a key lesson when someone has cheated on you, betrayed you – that was a decision they made. You can be a raging bitch or you can be Mary Poppins. You can hold a person down! You be the best you that you can be. You can give them everything on their ‘list’ but there comes a time when they have to make the decision of what they want, if they want to do right and honor their commitment. <<< You are not in control of any of that. Only yourself.
I have become fearless in a good way. In another way, it was a clear wake up call that I need to get back on my vigilance – on the games being played and ran. I mean, in this case, when it comes down to romantic relationships, it’s freeing. It’s reaffirming that I can, in fact SHOULD trust the still small voice before it has to scream at me to get me to see what’s going on.
I am clear on my boundaries.
I often wonder what he’s REALLY told people. About what happened. About how the other women see him. They probably see the same things of wonderment I saw when I first met him. But, it’s really none of my business what others think of me is it?
It’s a great lesson on the perils of flattery, on tone, on intention – both mine and his. That it’s important when someone approaches, to gain an understanding of what they want. Only fools rush in. Take the time to get to know the animal you’re dealing with because you may find you have more on your hands than you can or are willing to put up with.
The thing is, this imploded my life. It could have been avoided.
I’ll answer the questions everyone has asked me as they come to knowledge about this :
- How are you? Healing.
- Do I still love him? Yes. Love doesn’t stop. Like is another matter. Being IN LOVE is another matter.
- Do I miss him? I miss who I thought he was and those relative good times. But I’ve been grieving those for a while so it’s become easier.
- What now? Stay tuned – that’s another blog post.
However, I cannot allow people like that in my life. (Psalm 101: 3-7) so in the meantime, I will forgive myself and then I will work towards forgiving him.
Glean what you can from it. Gleaning = wisdom.
Godspeed my loves. It’s a cold world out here. Stay woke.
(drops mic, walks off stage)
Wishing you love,