Years ago before I was married I had a boyfriend. Shocking, I know! Here’s where I become a cold-hearted bitch. There were times I kind of wished that boyfriend would die. I would hear about someone his age who had died in a car crash, or a collision with a train, or anything really and I would think about how nice it would be if he just died. It would make things so much easier. For me. Not anyone else. I know; it’s selfish. You might be asking, “Why didn’t you just break up with him?” Good question. The answer: He was emotionally abusive and I wasn’t completely sure how to go about breaking up with him without him losing his shit so I stayed, silently wishing I would have the good luck of him dying. I remember thinking that and telling myself, “Sam, you know a relationship is not good when you’re kinda wishing he dies. That’s, like, a totally bad sign!” I did finally leave him and I vowed to never be with another person I was hoping would die. I know. I have incredibly high standards for a relationship. Don’t wish him dead. It’s right up there with, “Must be breathing and walk erect.”
Guess what? The last few years (save for the approximately 18 months after his first affair) I was kinda hoping Cousinfucker would die. I’m not proud of it. I knew I probably should get out. And please understand I wasn’t looking to do the deed myself. I didn’t even wish him dead. I just sometimes thought, “Life would be so much easier. Our marriage would be over and I wouldn’t look like a quitter.” Divorce is difficult.
People feel sorry for you when your spouse dies. You don’t have to contend with settlement offers. You don’t lose out on time with your kids. In my case, I wouldn’t have to worry about what I’m going to do if he had died on me, instead of cheating on me. Then the biggie, of course, if he died he wouldn’t have *chosen* to leave me. He *chose* to leave me when he cheated. I had told him clearly that if he ever did it again I was done. So he knew what would happen. Yet he looked me in the eye and lied and lied and lied as long as was necessary to keep duping me.
I feel bad when people talk about how much they loved their cheating spouse, or how he/she was the love of her/his life. Not sad as in, “That’s pathetic; poor thing,” but as in, “I wish I cared more and was more devastated by this.” My relationship with Cousinfucker always felt comfortable. It wasn’t the butterflies in the stomach and the Great Romance of the Century, but I thought that the real thing wasn’t supposed to be like that. I thought it was supposed to be comfortable, like we’d been together forever. Perhaps I’m too pragmatic. He used to get upset when he realized I didn’t subscribe to that whole “soul mates” thing. He firmly believed it was destiny that we met. I believed I had placed an ad in the personals and he responded. I believed I was looking for love and he showed up. If it hadn’t been him it would have been someone else. 20,000 people out there, supposedly, who are right for you. Honestly, I’m hoping it’s even higher than that! 20,000 isn’t even the population of a single state, and if there are only 20,000 people out there that you could find love with, well, he might not be living in my state. The professor who made this claim didn’t specify if this was all over the world, only North America, or even just in the United States. If it’s 20,000 people throughout the world then I’m screwed!
I had a person who gave me butterflies. Someone that would leave a smile on my face from just thinking about him. When people talk about the love of their life I think about him. It was a very short romance. His parents didn’t want him dating me because of our age difference. The funny part is I wasn’t even that much older than him. I was seventeen days shy of being a full year older; however, I was two years ahead of him in school. They thought I was going to go off to college and break his heart. I wish I had had the chance. Instead, a few months later he fell asleep at the wheel, drove off the road, crashed his car and was killed. If the measure of how much you love someone is how much you cry over them then I loved him a lot. Joke’s on his parents because this cold-hearted bitch that would have broken his heart cried for a good three or four years over him. Like body wracking sobs crying. Screaming out, “Why? Why did you leave me?” Crying until you’re exhausted. That kind of crying. Even today, 29 years after he died, I still think of him and remember our short time together. 29 years later and I still get sad and a bit weepy when I hear “The Glory of Love.” I still cry when I listen to “I’ll Be There” (so I don’t listen to it often).
You know what’s even more heartbreaking? It’s the thought that this short romance when I was not even eighteen was IT, the love of my life, my great love story. Because if it was? Let me tell you something. That sucks! Why do I only get a few months? And then shit from there on out? No, nope, no way. I’m not buying it. I refuse to believe you only get one shot at a great love story. I may not have had it with Cousinfucker but I want to believe I can indeed have it again.
They, whoever they are, always want the duped spouse to examine their own part in the affair. Thanks to Chump Lady I don’t play those games. I do, however, realize I played a part. I didn’t speak up. I didn’t stand up for myself and tell him to knock his crap off. I babied him. I won’t say I walked on eggshells around him but I did refrain from any bursts of anger, or even giving him bad news because he “couldn’t handle” it. I never made demands, not even after his emotional affair. I lost myself and put up with many things I shouldn’t have. That’s the part I played. I gave in. Hell, in the last year or so before his first affair I totally gave up. I figured this was what a long term marriage looked like and hoped that when our kids were a little older that maybe we could do more things as a couple.
And it’s not like this happened all at once. In the beginning I was opinionated and vivacious. I liken it to a frog being put in a pot of water and then slowly turning up the flame. Before you know it you’re being boiled alive. That was me. Gradually I learned to shut up, to never complain, to shoulder all the responsibility. I think part of that came from a conversation I had with his mom before we were married. I think I wrote about it once. She told me he had said if he had a wife who would just have dinner ready for him when he came home from work he would give her anything she ever wanted. I wanted to be that perfect wife, the one who would have dinner on the table, take care of everything, never give him any reason to complain. We saw how well that worked out.
Now I guess I have three requirements for a relationship. 1. Must be breathing and walk erect. 2. I must not want him to die to save me the trouble of ending the relationship. 3. Speak up and don’t ever lose myself again.