Almost 10 years ago, I found pictures of you in a plastic tote.
It was clear that you were attracted to him from the way you had your arms around him, that you wanted to be more than friends. Like a lionness spotting a competitor for the prey, I eyed you warily.
Sorting and merging lives seemed exciting when we were first married. As a newly minted adult out of college, I was looking for a job but wanted to stay busy while he was out working. It’s every bride’s dream, right? (Maybe just me with my organizing fetish.)
That oft-coveted honeymoon stage ended quickly amidst the mess…
The mess of old notes from other girls, their numbers, even directions, he just never got around to throwing away but dropped in a box and forgot. Seeing your smiling face was just one more way I knew he wasn’t mine.
I set the pictures aside (OK, I did go back to look at them only 30 times an hour). My mind swirled trying to sort out the details. I knew you two were coworkers and friends but then suddenly he didn’t mention you. All the red flags that flew up a few years before (when my now-husband was my boyfriend) came waving… his heart moved for you because of a tough marriage and the separation… the shared lunches… the exotic dinners you cooked and happened to stop by with… that stupid heart-shaped post-it note and tea bag in his mailbox.
I knew looking at the pictures again that you wanted him…the one who was supposed to be mine.
I showed my husband the pictures that afternoon. When he looked back to me, I’m sure he saw hope and fear intertangling in my eyes, begging him to tell me that the earlier days of our relationship didn’t have this lie. I remember my heart breaking.
then I broke my husband’s heart…
I rejected his truth, his apology, his promises and walked out on my husband. I drove away in tears. How many times had I driven away, before we were married, crying because I didn’t want to leave? Oh, ye fickle heart.
Only a couple blocks away, I knew that if I left and spent the night somewhere else–regardless of if I choose to stay in the long run–we both would be subject to a lifetime of pain and heartache. I blamed you… him… myself… and even God. I probably would have blamed the kitchen sink full of dirty dishes if I had thought of it.
you didn’t break my heart because it was already broken
You see, I’ve come to realize that, you didn’t break my heart because it was already broken. We were all broken.
Read the conclusion.