My fairy tales real life ending, true love is not all you need
There are two hard lessons which I have learned during a 3 year love story. They are blunt but crucial ones. Just because you find a partner who loves you truly, and you love that person truly, Does Not Mean that you are meant to be together. If someone had explained that to me a few years ago, it could have changed a lot for me. Another crucial lesson to learn, which I would shout from the rooftops if I could, is "He is Not going to Magically Change for you".
We all grow up watching disney movies and then romantic comedies where there is a search for someone to fall in love with. Once the fantasy is achieved, and the romance blossoms and the true love is found, the couple lives happily ever after.
I found the fantasy when I was 21, now I am 25. I experienced love at first sight. The night I met him, I had a truly deep, profound connection to this person. It felt like I had already known him for years, there was a type of familiarity which I did not know could exist. We were able to sit in perfect silence, on a dock by the ocean, with a light rain sprinkling around us, and his arms around me, and it was utterly and incredibly comfortable. There was no discussion about it, we were in love. We shared a beautiful first few months together. I felt like I was in a movie, he did everything Prince Charming did, bringing me flowers, going on wonderful dates watching the sunset, staring deeply into each others eyes and talking about our future. We were truly in love.
Then, red flags started popping up, little warning signs of his immaturity, stories of his past relationships where things did not seem to make sense. But I was in love and I ignored them because of course I believed that this person had changed and was different for me because look how much he loved me. And he did.
And then after 4 wonderful months of bliss, he broke my heart into a million tiny pieces. I had been away for a few weeks on a trip, we had been in touch and counting down the days til I came home. Then one day he called and said "I have no feelings for you, we're done, goodbye". It fragmented parts of my soul, to have opened my heart so much to this man, to this love, to The One and have him pump poison into it in an instant. I clung to the promise and the deep intuitive knowledge that what we had shared was True Love. For 6 months I suffered heartache, that empty panging feeling in the center of your chest. I woke up with it and went to sleep with it, I felt it in my dreams. I meditated and prayed and spoke with him in my soul because I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that what we had shared was real love. Despite the facts all pointing to the contrary, I even questioned my own sanity at times, I held on because of my conviction that it was love and that therefore something had to give, that the out of the blue cold break up just could not be real. I trusted my gut, the lower level of knowing that everyone but especially women have and just could not let it go.
And I was right.
I went one night to a meditation class, and I was feeling much better than I had in awhile. I got myself some ice cream, went to the roof of my building, and felt him on the breeze. I felt suddenly so close to him that I had a conversation with him, I smiled, imagining how it would go. "Well, thats it, I've lost my mind" I said to myself and turned in early to sleep. When I woke up, he had called me. He left me a message saying everything I had ever fantasized he would. That he had messed up, that he didn't know why he had done it, that all he knew in the world was that he loved me and couldn't stop thinking about me the whole time and would do anything to be back together. Well, of course part of me felt deliriously happy, and rightously proud that my hunch had been right and that I was not in fact, crazy. I was eager to stop the pain that had incessantly haunted my being for 6 months.
But I also still had the self respect to know that I was not going to just take him back with open arms. I was angry and hurt, I was resentful and wary. I wanted him back more than anything in the world but I was also so terrified of going through the pain of losing him all over again. We spent a few months talking everything out. I needed to share with him the pain that he had put me through, I needed him to understand just what it had done to me. I told him, "I am a brick wall right now, if you are just coming back to me because you think its going to be easy, you are wrong, you are going to have to take down each and every brick to even get a chance to be with me again". He read my entire journal from the time we were broken up. He listened to every angry outburst, he wiped away every sad tear, he apologized, he heard me. He professed his many dedications to our love and our future, he admitted his wrong doing without excuse. And he passed every test with flying colors. After a few months of this battle, I accepted him back.
I traveled to India because I knew that if we were going to start over, I needed to fully forgive him and let go of the negativity that had been created between us. I spent 10 days in an ashram, meditating and talking to the river about my feelings for him, my fears of him leaving me again, my pride that was hurt, and my deep, profound love for him. I tried my best to purge the anger, hate and fear out of my body and into the river.
I came home, and we were back in love, one year later, just as beautiful and storybook as it had started. I felt like a princess again, like the luckiest girl in the whole world.
We argued some, I still didn't trust him, I was still scared, but we talked it out, listened to each other, spent time together, and rebuilt. We said "I love you" again a year after the initial break up. The relationship went well, it became reliable, real, integrated into my life. A few months later, we had to make a serious life decision. He was moving across the country for his job, and he wanted me to come with him. I had just graduated so I had the freedom to do it. I was scared, anxious, nervous, unsure, but we talked it out for months and he was patient, kind, understanding. He did not pressure me or manipulate me. I decided that because of our deep connection, our profound love, and the fact that I felt that I could see myself marrying him, having a family with him, that the move was worth it. After all, people do these types of things for love. People move to different continents, change religions, reject their families, all types of grand and serious gestures for the sake of love. And despite our differences, our daily spats, we really loved each other. I still felt so lucky to have found him, people thought our photos together were engagement photos, and I resolved to make this move to be with him.
We packed up the truck, bid adieu to life as we knew it, and drove across the country. We didn't argue once even during 12 hours of driving through empty fields for 5 days. We held hands, kissed, laughed and listened to music. We arrived on the other coast and began to set up our lives. We didn't live together because I couldn't get a job in the small town where he was stationed, and he would be out at sea for 2 months at a time. So while he was away I set myself up with an apartment and a job and tried to settle into the new city. He started his new job which he had studied for, and things began to fall apart. I grew increasingly unhappy, I was far from my friends and family, I grew to despise my job, I was isolated and fell into a depression. He was struggling at work, he was sent away for more training and was gone an unexpected 5 weeks, he hated his job and was constantly stressed out and in trouble. We began to have less fun together, talk less, bicker more, I felt resentful that I had come out to be with him but saw him so little. He felt guilty for bringing me out there and increasingly devalued at his job.
But we still truly loved each other. We still held hands every moment we could, did sweet things for one another, shared fun times and many nights in, fully content with each others company. I tried to support him with his job, he tried to support me with my struggles. Things were tough but we always had that deep connection of love. He was always sweet and kind, respectful and helpful, understanding and available. But we were both unhappy with our life situations, not together very often due to schedules, and it was a clouded time.
Then, over a blackened week of disbelief, I began to discover the truth. For the entire time I had been out there, he had developed a virtual relationship with a girl he had met one time who lived far away. When I confronted him with it, after a few feeble excuses, he collapsed. He admitted every flaw and fault and gave no excuses other than he had been wrong. I knew it had to be over. But we still loved each other with every fiber of our beings. We cried together about it all, lost in a sea of depression and panic, drowning in the tinged water of mistrust and lies, of anger and guilt, all of it overwhelmed with sadness. We stopped talking until he came home from sea.
We talked and tried, we saw a therapist and alternative healers, everyone could see that we had a profound and deep connection of love for one another. We did everything we could to try to get him help and save our relationship why? because we still loved each other. I remembered the pain it felt to be apart from him. I remembered the 6 months of heartache agony and was beyond scared to go through that again. We love each other, it is real love, I could feel it still every day that we spent together. We cooked and cleaned together, we spent more time together and went on dates and had fun. But the powerful demon of broken trust haunted us and caused ugly outbursts between us both. After a few weeks, I knew I had to leave. He knew it too. He made no pretense or excuse, he acknowledged his wrong doing and loved me enough to help me go. One of the greatest feats of love he ever did was to help me pack up my apartment, drive me to the airport, and put me on a plane to go do what I most needed to heal; to travel. We half heartedly hoped that the time apart to work on ourselves would allow us to grow enough to be able to come back together.
Once I began healing, I could see with a better perspective. Once he began healing, he could see how far he had to go. We stayed in touch for awhile, sometimes as friends, sometimes as lovers, always acknowledging and cradling the love between us, even while a relationship was not in place. He fell into a desperate plea to reunite, promising upon promises that he would never hurt me again, that he would do anything necessary to get better, declaring that the only thing he knew in life was that he loved me and it would never change. I loved him too, truly, deeply, with every cell of my body and molecule of my soul. But I knew the damage was done, the pattern was in place, that for my own sake I could not take the chance again. "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me". Eventually a day came where I was strong enough to stand up and say, it is not going to work.
I was finally able to accept that while yes, we did love each other, while yes, we did both profoundly Want it to work, and deeply enjoy each others company and know one another at a spiritual level, that it could not.
The day we said goodbye we cried. We held each other and hugged each other and both apologized and lamented that it had to be this way. We did a ceremony to cut the cords, we wrote each other letters not to be read for a year, we exchanged our last words of "I love you" and we went our separate ways.
It still hurts. I still love him and he still loves me. We do not talk anymore, and it took me a long time to accept that we probably won't ever. He had to replace me, to jump headfirst into a fantasized creation with a new partner and thus push down his feelings and try to ignore me. I fought it hard, it hurt so harshly that this man who I had shared so much with, and had such a deep connection to, would just not acknowledge me again. That he would cut me off brutally and coldly and insert a new person in my place. I know that is how he has to do it, with his emotional limitations, with his pattern of heartbreaks and replacements. But I know that he still loves me. I know in that visceral part of my being that he misses me. I feel him sometimes, when an overwhelming sense of sadness envelops me. I know he is still there in that place of love and connection in our soul space. Sometimes he visits me in dreams, and I wake up crying while I embrace him in my dream. It seems so real, it is so real.
But he is not the one for me. He is not meant for me in this lifetime. He and I will never be together again, maybe I will not even ever see him again. It breaks my heart to even write that, but I know I must face it. I do not want to be with him in a relationship. I know that there is too much damage done, too much broken trust to ever repair. I have lost respect for him. Perhaps in my desperate attempts to connect with him after the replacement, he has lost respect for me.
But nothing will ever change that deep connection of love between us. It has been in our souls for lifetimes and will continue to be for lifetimes to come. But just because you love each other, does not mean you are meant to be together. and just because he wants to change, truly deeply desires to change for the better because of his love, his own inner weaknesses and wounds will not allow him to until he is brave enough to face the pain and the demons which haunt him, and he may never be able to do that. And he will continue his pattern, and he will not change, even if he loves you. And I will carry him in part of me forever, and it is something I must accept. I know the pain will subside, and it will not always feel so raw. I know I will fall in love again, he knows it too and said it when we said goodbye. But I know that his name will always send a rush of energy through me. I know that his face will affect me and that our memories will always be part of my being. I know that we will always love each other, but that we are not going to be together.