Sunday, March 6, 2011
Amongst The Ashes
The cheater signed onto the online dating site yesterday at the same time I was logged in and I saw that he closed his account. For some reason, that messed me up as much as when I first discovered he may have a girlfriend. I guess it just set off a chain of thoughts wondering what had happened after I'd given the girlfriend the heads up. I started to ponder whether I'd gone about things the right way...whether I should have confronted him myself as well instead of letting the girlfriend have the satisfaction (for lack of a better word) all to herself (although that's a toss up because blindsiding him had it's perks as well), whether I should have offered proof (which I have) other than my word, whether I should have asked her to call me instead of giving snippets of information online, whether she actually left him or decided to stay, what his thoughts had been once he realized what I'd done...and on and on. It was a vicious, fruitless, cycle but I couldn't help it. It just made me relive my own experience in her shoes and mull over my own course of action at that time and how I learned the hard way that it wasn't the way to go. Having my ex show me his accounts and close/delete them (the dating profile plus numerous email addresses) in front of me proved nothing. Nor did him giving me the password to his one remaining account. Because, as I realized once the anger and hurt and disgust subsided enough to allow rational thought, he could go ahead and set up a bunch of other ones at any time and I would never know. So it was a pointless, futile exercise and did nothing to restore my trust and faith in him. It took years to piece some of that trust and faith back together, and it was never quite whole again...the littlest things triggered doubts and suspicions sometimes, which was followed by the ceaseless internal battle: was I being paranoid out of my fear of being burned again or were my instincts trying to tell me something still wasn't right? I should have stuck to my initial reaction - I already had his bags packed by the time he got home, after all.
I have to keep telling myself that I did the right thing and that whatever happened afterwards has nothing to do with me and has no bearing on my life. You can only lead a horse to water...you can't make it drink. I wonder what she'd think if she knew he told me he's never been in love...or whether he was able to talk himself out of the fact that he told me he'd had sex with an ex recently and had been seeing someone this past summer...? The bottom line is I gave her enough information to bury him. What she decides to do with it is out of my hands. I admit, I was really hoping the S.O.B would end up miserable and alone out of it, but again, what would it matter? Firstly, someone who could be the way he was with me while having a long term girlfriend the whole time obviously has no conscience and probably no heart, either. Secondly, as a friend of mine pointed out, being in a relationship and cheating on the person he's with kinda makes him as alone as you can get already. And as I realized myself, he is such a smooth operator that any alone time most likely wouldn't last long anyways. He'd be back on the horse and making new victims in no time. I wanted to believe him up to the very end because I liked him so much and didn't want to shatter the illusion of who I thought he was and the potential of what we could possibly have, so I can only imagine how much worse that must be for her, having been with him for a longer period of time and invested so much into the relationship already. I'm thankful that I found out before I got too emotionally involved myself. It's always better to find out someone is not to be trusted sooner rather than later. The sad things is, despite everything, part of me will miss him...well, miss who I thought he was anyway...the witty, intelligent, funny guy I conversed and bantered with daily and who I happened to share some mad physical attraction and chemistry with as well. Of course, all I have to do is remind myself that he is a lying, cheating, manipulating jerk who played me as well as his girlfriend and that dissipates quite a bit. I'm sure I'll get over this pretty quickly. If nothing else, he doesn't deserve my thoughts and energy.
On another note, I was overtired last night and said something I shouldn't have to the (so far, apparently) super nice new guy...I hope it doesn't have too big of an impact. It would suck if he is legitimately a good guy and being messed up over a jerk caused me to scare him off...
...and because it does such a good job of expressing the thoughts and emotions experienced by the parties navigating these types of situations, I leave you with: