I like to think that I am an honest person.
If a cashier gives me back too many bills – and I notice – I will tell them and make it right.
I don’t stiff wait staff with tips.
And if you ask me a question, I’ll answer honestly.
Because that’s what I want for myself. If I ask if this dress looks good on me, I want an honest answer, even if the answer is ‘umm… no. Not at all.”
Now that things are progressing with Mr. J2, the ethical question for me is how much information about my past do I share with him?
He knows I was married and that the marriage ended about four years ago. He also knows that my divorce only became final in early October.
But what he doesn’t know is that…. was not my first marriage.
Or my first divorce.
Truth be told… it was my….
And I am profoundly ashamed of that.
But if he wants to truly get to know me – and I really think he does – then I need to be truthful with him about this.
The first time I got married, at 22, it was for companionship… and out of habit. We had been together for three years, since I was 19… and it was time. I did love him. We were great friends, had a lot of fun together with other friends… it was a good time in my life.
But after three years we realized that’s what we were… friends. And so we split up.
He married again two years later and just celebrated their 15th anniversary. We are still friends on Facebook.
Then, in 1999 I met my soul mate.
I never, ever believed in such a thing before. But I loved him with every fiber of my being. We connected so deeply. We loved all the same things – travel, music, theatre, Broadway musicals, movies…
We were the sickening couple.
A year after meeting we were married in a theater-themed ceremony.
On our fourth anniversary I asked him what we were celebrating, as we hadn’t had sex in three years.
He moved into the spare bedroom, and then six weeks later I came home from a camping trip with a girlfriend and discover a used condom in the trash.
I was devastated. Crushed. Destroyed.
But I picked myself up. I moved out. Got my own place. (Ironically, the same apartment that I moved to after marriage #1 broke up was available again… so I moved to the same unit.)
And six months later met husband #3.
And he was all wrong for me.
He was brash, he was brutish. He was angry. He was controlling.
There were moments when he was sweet and funny and caring. But they were few and far between.
We were not suited. And yet I pushed to get married.
Why? Because I needed to prove to myself that I was worthy. That I was worth someone’s love.
So we got married.
I sold my soul for a wedding ring (which I paid for myself).
He almost destroyed every part of me during our marriage. My soul, my heart.
He destroyed me emotionally. I closed off that happy part of me and was always unhappy. He took every joyous thing that happened to me and turned it so that I instead felt guilty about whatever happiness I had.
He destroyed me financially. I bought a house. We lived in it together, sharing bills. Then he was laid off and decided he didn’t want to work, and then started his own business. He racked up my cards with no thought for how we would pay it back. I sold the house just before I got into arrears with the mortgage.
At one point I had to call in sick to work on a Thursday because I had no gas in my car and no money in my account to pay for gas until I was paid at midnight.
Talk about rock bottom.
And after all that…after I lay in bed night after night crying because I was so unhappy… because I didn’t want the stigma of being divorced three times….
He cheated on me with a woman 13 years his junior. With whom he worked.
He can claim to his dying breath that he didn’t actually cheat, but I will never believe him.
Am I sad the marriage is over? No.
Of everything in my life, my only regret is that I actually married him.
But that’s on me. I did it for the wrong reasons. He was wrong for me. I was wrong for him. It was a bad situation all around. While I wish it had ended on a different note, even on my darkest days of depression, even if I will be single and miserable for the rest of my life… I still thank God that I am not with him anymore.
That, in a nutshell, is my adult relationship history. I’ve dated off and on for the past four years – which Mr. J2 knows about – and did have a two-year relationship during that time as well, that I recently ended in February. Then again been dating off and on since July – and my loyal readers have been with me for all those ups and downs.
So then the question remains… how much of my sordid past do I reveal to Mr. J2?
Does it matter? Or am I making too much of a big deal about it?
To not tell him feels like I’m being dishonest. Yet if I tell him, I run the risk of him thinking that I am flighty and loose with my feelings, and not worthy of his attention.
I haven’t said I love to you anyone since my third husband.
I haven’t been in love with anyone since my second husband.
(Yes, I know what that means.)
For the first time since my second husband, I have met someone who I could very easily fall in love with. I already see that connection. Yes, it sounds fast – I am not saying I am there yet, only that I can see it happening with Mr. J2.
But what if I can’t? What if my fear of the unknown and fear of being hurt prevents me from truly opening myself up to someone in the way that I haven’t in over 15 years?
Too many thoughts for a Tuesday. Maybe I’ll just concentrate on the fact that I am seeing him tonight after work for 15 minutes. He’s got his kids this week so we’re meeting for a hot chocolate before he heads home after work to be Dad.
Right now I am happy to see him, hug him and kiss him.
A good way to spend a Tuesday.