Romantically Traumatized

I have been romantically traumatized. I’ll probably miss out on the next great love of my life because I won’t believe him.

I’ve written before about how my marriage wasn’t where or what I wanted it to be. I started this blog when we were separated. Now, that my husband is dead I feel like I am not allowed to say anything negative about him or the state of our marriage. It makes me feel like it looks as though I don’t care he is gone. This can’t be further from the truth. Sure, our marriage had its share of issues, but I still love him. I will always love him. I miss him everyday because even with all the craziness in our marriage, he was still my best friend. Absolutely, no one else knew me like he did and no one else knew him the way I did.

We had an open marriage for several months in 2017. We separated for several months in 2018. There was mutual cheating in the years leading up to our open marriage and separation period. BUT… we never let each other go. I’m not sure if it was a mutual co-dependency or genuine love. I think it may have been a bit of both. I was 100% completely myself with him. During our “open phase” when referring to a guy I was seeing (aka “Douche Canoe”), I told him, “He is like a nice vacation, but you are home.” Douche canoe was fun and all (pre-douche canoeness) but my husband was where I could relax and really be myself.

I can admit I had feelings (not love, but more than like) for two other men during our marriage. One of them (the aforementioned douche canoe) emotionally manipulated me; the feelings were not real. I loved how he made me feel; not him. He was very good at the emotional manipulation. He had me all kinds of fucked-up. Luckily, those feelings completely went away as soon as he “dumped” me the second time.

The other guy (henceforth will be known as FWB)… makes me feel like shit, so I can only conclude whatever stupid fucking feelings I have for him are genuine. We had an ‘entanglement’ for about a year back in 2016-2017 (mostly 2016, but there was one more time in the ‘open phase’ of 2017). After that last time we kept it on a friendly level; probably because I was distracted by Douche Canoe and other dudes (ahem… penises) throughout the open and separated phases of my marriage. We did hangout as friends one more time in 2018, but I knew my husband was moving back in and didn’t want to complicate things, so it was a strictly friendly encounter. I still wanted to be FWB’s friend. We always have a good time when we hang out. I felt like we could keep it at the platonic level. We did; for years. We kept in contact, but it was only via text or social media. Admittedly, he sent me some questionable texts that were more than friendly, but I deflected/ignored them. I may have sent some, too, but I can’t remember. One message he sent said, “You are the coolest woman I’ve ever been with.” He is correct. I am awesome, and I let him know I agreed with this assessment.

About two months after my husband died, I went out. I needed to socialize. I went to Push Comedy Theater; it’s where I spend the majority of my socialable free-time. When I arrived home at around 2-3 am, I felt the need to text someone. I sent a text to FWB. He used to send me ‘fuckboy’ style texts back in the day; I felt it was only fair to return the favor. He messaged me back right away. I didn’t expect that. In any event, eventually we decided to meet for lunch (his idea). I had a moment of, ‘I can’t have lunch with him; it’s wrong,’ but then I realized my husband was gone and never coming back so I agreed. Funny thing is, I thought all those stupid fucking feelings were gone, so at lunch I went on and on about how I was going to be celibate forever. It took one night of two or three shots before I was sending a, “we should have sex,” text. I take full responsibility for putting the idea out there.

Well… lo and behold, we did. Multiple times. BUT… suddenly (is it suddenly if I expect it?) he got “weird” (his previous description of how he treated me; not mine). I didn’t want to come off as a ‘clingy girl’ or ‘high maintenance’ friend so I made sure to keep a respectable distance. It didn’t matter… FWB still got ‘weird.’ Previous experience taught me if he gets standoffish, back the fuck off. So, I did. Other than the drunken occasions in which I said more than I should have. Sometimes, I get in my feelings when I drink.

We haven’t seen each other or communicated in anyway in over two months.. We haven’t ‘hooked-up’ since January 1st (the last time I had sex of any kind with anyone). Unfortunately, the last time we had sex SUCKED. This is not a dig against him. It just happened to not be good, for either of us. Anyway, he is involved with someone else (an ex of his). He didn’t even tell me at first, there was a whole passive-aggressive Instagram story thing. He didn’t tell me until I invited him on a walk a couple of weeks later. I didn’t expect him to accept the invitation because I knew he was seeing someone. He accepted. We walked. He told me. That’s the last time we saw each other.

It is what it is. I can accept that he is not interested in me. I cannot accept his shitty as fuck treatment of me as a friend and human being. I’m going through a lot right now and if he truly ‘cares for me’ as a friend he wouldn’t treat me like I don’t exist.

Ultimately, the trauma from this situation comes from the loss of a friend. Yes, I may have had unresolved/repressed feelings for him, but I am an adult and have accepted he doesn’t feel that way about me. What I have a hard time accepting is his disrespect in regards to our friendship. I feel used. My feelings are hurt. I feel like a toy that’s been discarded and forgotten about once it’s done being played with.

In any event, with all the past relationship traumas from Douche Canoe, FWB, and Husband (there is a lot to unpack there and deserves its own post), plus a few others, I have a hard time trusting anything a man says to me. I’m not even sure I’ll be able to trust actions at this point.

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