The last time, was the last time. I swear.
I promised that I would never again be with a man that made me question his loyalty. And when I say "made me" I mean being with someone who deliberately pushes the trust boundaries, creates or partakes in situations that cloud the reality of right and wrong. I believe if you feel like you have to look into anything they are doing, texting, saying, it's already too late. At that point, the trust is already weakened, and there is rarely any coming back from that. Once the seed of doubt is planted it never fully goes away, instead, it usually blossoms again and again. Like weeds that just never die!
So after my abusive relationship, I was single for a long time. I promised I would never stay in a situation where I was taken for granted, disrespected, hurt, or cheated on. I endured years and years of suffering at the hands of someone who said they loved me. So my promise to myself was to always love myself more, and first. To never ever again accept less than I deserved, or lessen or omit parts of myself to please another.
Well, I made myself a liar.
About four and a half, 5 months into the very first relationship that I had considered to have potential in a VERY long time, I started noticing comments on social media (aka the devil in the wrong person's hands) made by my boyfriend. The kind of comments that made that gut twinge of anxiety head into hyper drive. You know the ones, where every alarm is going off, "but I really like him, I don't want to think these things are really happening" so you try to quiet them.
Spoiler: they are never ever wrong.
So I let them go at first. And then one Sunday morning, we got up and were super excited about the special day I had planned. We were doing something he loved to do, and I was able to provide for us. He went to hop in the shower, tossed his phone next to me on the bed and left the room. The urge to look was greater than I could resist, and so I did. With no lock, I dove right in, and there it all was. Messages with other women, pictures, etc. all of it inappropriate on every level, especially between "just friends". It was awful. I was embarrassed and sad.
The me I should have been said: "get up, get your shit and get the hell out of his house NOW!"
But my old habits of accepting less, and believing I was somehow wrong and deserving of this crept in. All of the work I had done to get myself out of that place, washed away in a flood of panic and memory. So, I put the phone down, I got up and got ready and buried my feelings under the excuses I made for him. I went through the day unable to tell who I was more angry with. Him for being a total dirt bag, or myself for staying. Yet, I stayed.
Writing this now I just shake my head because I knew better, I had taught myself better, and yet I fell right back into that place like I had no will at all. The heartbreak and disappointment were all too familiar, having really never waned. Exposing the old wounds left me devastated. Again.
Fast forward to now, and I look back grateful in a weird way. Not to him, Lord no, but because it showed me a weakness in myself that I needed to work on. He was just a tool I needed to help me get better (pun intended). I am out of that relationship (no big shocker) and of course, all of the things I uncovered were true, and then it got worse with even more disgusting news. But this isn't about him, he doesn't deserve more than the amount of time writing a sentence or two, wasted on him. What this is about is my accountability to myself.
And now for everyone to see. I will never ever again accept being treated poorly, I will never lessen myself for someone else. I will swear to always have my own back, and never settle.
I think a lot of people end up in these situations, it is not okay.
We all deserve something extraordinary.
Cheers to the weekend!