In July, the first man I ever gave my heart to and who gave me his came back into my life. When we first met, we were 19 years old and going to Aircrew school. He was a Marine--my first and probably the reason I so loved the Marines thereafter--and I was Navy. This was a very common pairing--Marine men and Navy women. He was quiet and sweet with a Southern accent and lots of good ol' boy manners. I was quite smitten with him. In July, I thought I was ready to love again. Just as I was ready to really date, he and another Aircrew friend started chatting me up. For my other friend, he just needed a woman who understood where he came from and to have someone to tell his stories to and share his pain with. John, my first love, was looking to see if there was still something left between us. As it turned out, there was.
For 17 beautiful days, it was like no time had passed. We texted and talked on the phone. He was my first text every morning saying "Good Morning", a text sometime during the day to see if my day was going well and then my last text of the night wishing me sweet dreams and saying "Good Night!" At the time, he and his wife had been separated since April. I didn't think they'd get back together so I fell for him all over again. Then, on my final night in Florida at my aunt's house, his wife messaged me on Facebook. She told me she had sex with him. I wrote her back and told her that was great (even though I didn't really mean it) since he is still technically her husband. The following day, though, turned into a nasty exchange of texts between the two of us. I didn't hear from John again.
He and I were still friends on Facebook, though, and I saw him online one day. I sent him a chat message and asked him if he knew what had happened. He did. He said that while he loved me, he also loved her and needed to see one last time whether or not they could make it work. He told me something that cut into me like a knife. He said, "you fulfilled a need"...WTF?! Are you kidding me?! I helped you figure out that the torch you carried me for the last 18 years still burned and that I truly was "unforgettable", but.... And I understood the "but..." Fourteen years and 3 kids with someone who has been your best friend, your lover, your everything in that time is hard to just walk away from until you've done everything you can to be sure there really is nothing left.
On December 21, I was on the phone with the guy I am seeing and I heard a little tone indicating that I got a text. I thought it was my girlfriend because she always seems to be texting with me when my guy calls. After he and I hung up, I saw that it was John who had texted. He apologized for not having responded to my previous texts. I asked how he was. He said it had been a rough month. I asked if he and his wife were still together or if they'd not made it through. He said they filed for divorce a month ago. Ah...so, that's why he's contacting me again. I am still that unforgettable...but do I want to go there again. It was funny that he'd contacted me that day because the day before I had been telling my girlfriend about him and how he'd hurt me. She asked what I'd do if he came back. I told her I didn't know. I wanted to say I'd blow him off, but I know myself better than that.
So, what did I do? I talked to him and texted with him. I got a little swept up for a minute. Then, I reminded him that all we could ever have was friendship because we both have 3 kids and I live all the way up here and he lives all the way down there. Plus, his ex hates me already; that would make for some really uncomfortable meet-ups! Then, I told him I have a boyfriend...which is kind of true. I am seeing someone who by some could be considered my boyfriend even though we haven't had that discussion as of yet. I asked John tonight the question that has been beating around in my head the last day plus as I have realized that I don't want to go back with him: "Why me? Why me in July and why me now?" His answer, "Because I have deep feelings for you." Ok. I get that. Then, I had to ask the next thing because I know my ex still loves me: "But you still love 'wifey', right?!" Yes. He does.
Then, things got real. I had to explain to him that it's not fair to me or to my ex's girlfriend or anyone else out there who is being brought into a man's life when he is still in love with the woman before her. He agreed. And he conceded that he struggles with that because he knows it's not fair to me or anyone else he might pick up with. And, to be honest, he has on at least 2-3 occasions said maybe we shouldn't talk because he doesn't want to hurt me. I respect that and don't want to be hurt any more either. I again restated that our lot is to be friends to one another. We have much we can share and learn from one another. I told him that my 'boyfriend' will be home tomorrow and I won't have as much time to talk on the phone or text anymore. He understands. I used to like needy. I used to like helping someone figure things out. I used to want to solve people's problems; to fix or help them. Now, notsomuch. I am quickly getting over that. I will give to a point, but when you start sucking the life out of me with your neediness, I gotta go...
So, men, face your issues. Figure out what you want and what you need and that they may very well be two different things. Let yourself love the one you love, and when it's done grieve it and leave it behind. Don't bring that baggage with you to the next woman. We deserve more than that. We all have baggage--it may be filled with good stuff, bad stuff and ugly stuff, but it's our baggage. In time, we, like you, will empty that out and replace it with new and different stuff. Just let us and let yourselves take the time to do that. It's good for everyone involved. Trust me on this...this is an area I am all too familiar with!