The Other Woman

“My heart was blinded by you. I’ve kissed your lips and held your hand.Shared your dreams and shared your bed. I know you well, I know your smell. I’ve been addicted to you. Goodbye my lover. Goodbye my friend…” ~ Goodbye My Lover, James Blunt

Today I find myself intimidated by the blinking cursor on my screen.I know what I want to write but the memories of the events that have led to this point threaten to open the floodgates that have remained securely closed since the day I made the discovery that shook my whole existence. It would be easier to shut my computer down, switch off my side lamp, pull the duvet over my head and go to sleep, burying for another day what lies in my heart but I won’t. Doing so will only be an admission that this is the end of me which it isn’t. This is just an end of a painful chapter in my life, even as I type that a smile crosses my face because I know this is an important step.

February 2008 I met a guy who I did not pay much attention to because to me he was just another guy at work and I happened to be madly in love with my boyfriend with whom I was piecing together our relationship after it was blown apart the year before. Over the year that followed we became friends and even worked together on a client in August 2008. Still I felt nothing because well I still had a five and half year relationship I was focused on. Funny thing about the things we focus on though, they don’t stop disintegrating simply because we are focusing on them!

January 15, 2009 was the day I was dumped. I received an IM from the then love of my life telling me he was tired and our six year relationship was over. We didn’t need to discuss it in person he said. He was just tired and he wanted out there was nothing more to it. There was no other woman, he still loved me but he couldn’t do this anymore. So somewhere in the midst of all that focusing I had missed all of this completely!

 His supposed unhappiness which seemed very sudden to me was not the only thing I had missed. As I later discovered, I had missed the other woman in his life. How long had she been there? To this day I do not know and do not want to know. What I do know though is that they got engaged in a conveniently short amount of time for people who only started dating after I was out the picture.

In the months that followed I spent my time nursing my broken-heart. February is simply a haze, I do not remember how I got through it but I pulled through. People often told me that the best way to get over someone was to find someone else, so that’s exactly what I did. I went out, had fun and met a few hotties in the process. 

By the time April rolled around I was all hottie’d out and was taking a breather from the men with good genes so when my friend re-entered my life in mid-April it was a welcomed relief. He’d been on holiday for a few months and our differing client commitments ensured that we hadn’t crossed paths in close to six months. In that time he’d moved up the ladder and moved departments and had bought a new car that he was quite excited to show me so Wednesday April 29th was set as the evening he’d come visit and we would catch up. 

We had a fantastic night on the Wednesday, I cooked, we ate and watched tv and just chatted. Thursday he was back at my place again. This time we stayed up till 6am watching movies, chatting and laughing the night away. It was somewhere in between that he confessed that he had liked me since the day we had sat down to write part one of our board exam. He hadn’t said anything to me because I had a boyfriend and he was respecting our relationship though at times he did try show me he liked me and I just never noticed. I sat there laughing at him as he recounted all the little gestures that I was supposed to have realised were signs of his affection. Before he left in the morning we kissed and I was instantly hooked on him. Sunday the 3rd of May we talked about what the kiss had meant and from there decided to build a romantic relationship.

That relationship lasted close to 18 months  and as far as I knew it was still in progress when he moved cities end of September 2010, six weeks before I was to leave the country. However, I was wrong because the week after he moved he stopped answering my calls and replying to my messages and that was that. For the past seven months I have been stuck in a state of confusion, anger, frustration and most of all hurt because I just could not figure out what I had done wrong. Secretly I still loved him very much and had a glimmer of hope that we would one day reconcile, perhaps when I went back to South Africa. All of that was blown out the water when I discovered two weeks ago, on May 3rd, that he was now engaged and his fiance was pregnant.

I did not realise up until I was typing it that I learned of his infidelity on the anniversary of the day we first started going out. But then again why would it have clicked in my head? We never even celebrated that anniversary! We never went anywhere in public together, very few people even knew we were together. Quite naively I thought it was because we were preserving the sacredness of our relationship from the prying eyes of all our colleagues. Little did I know I was being taken on the worst joy ride of my life! For seventeen months all I really was to him was a dirty little secret. I was the other woman and I did not even know it.  I was the home wrecker that I had sworn to myself I would never be again. Yes, again.

In January 2007 I had met an older guy and to this day I cannot figure out what attracted me to him let alone made me risk everything for him. He is nothing like the two guys I’ve loved in life, he is short, chubby and way older while they are both tall and no more than two years older than I am. I cheated on my beloved with him and even though the affair itself was short-lived it had lasting consequences. It tore my relationship with my boyfriend apart when I confessed what I had done and my mother was less than impressed with me. I paid for what I had done, dearly and in ways I am not ready to write about. Seeing how much harm my cheating had caused, I vowed never to put another person through that again only to have it done to me. Not once but twice! When they say, “what goes around comes around, multiplied”…they are not kidding!

In “Unworthy Entanglements” I first acknowledged that I knew both relationships were bad for me. Later in “Three Versions of The Truth” I wrote about how I felt my second ex-boyfriend had been lying to me but I never thought it was to this extent. I never saw this coming, it’s as if he had lived another life altogether and I was completely oblivious of it. I have spent a considerable amount of time trying to piece together every sign that I missed, the breadcrumbs that he was leaving behind but none lead to me discovering that he proposed to someone else without my knowledge. 

 I could spend the rest of my days blaming myself for everything I should have seen but failed to see because that would be a rather futile exercise. I loved them both and that love was completely wasted on them. As much as I accepted the first as me paying for when I hurt him as well, the second betrayal makes no sense at all. I had never hurt him in any way for him to repay me with such malice and cruelty.

I am grateful though that I found out when I did because this knowledge extinguished whatever flame I had flickering in my heart. All ties are broken, I look ahead with no wish to ever look back. For months I have been upset and have been dissecting what we could have had, but now I am know we never would have had it anyway. My life with him may have ended but my life has certainly not ended.

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2 thoughts on “The Other Woman

  1. Wow. That’s all so tough. You are so strong to have made it through so much. Just think of all you have learned – hopefully you will be better prepared for all future relationships.

    • Hey Catherine, thank u for the encouragement. Yeah it is pretty tough, It’s actually still a major daily battle to work through everything I feel and to allow myself to even feel at all. We’ll see what the future holds. Think right now I just want to feel like I can trust myself again. Future relationships? You seem to have enuf hope for the both of us, lol!

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