11 Jun 2013 § 8 Comments
I started this blog to signify the beginning of a new relationship. The title was, after all, three words that had featured significantly in my life during that time.
Unfortunately, after exactly 2 years and 8 months (to the dot, as a matter of fact), the relationship had finally run its course.
Close friends would know that it wasn’t exactly the perfect relationship that I envisioned it to be. The first year or so was particularly trying, and they’ve all patiently lent a listening ear, sometimes, even a shoulder to cry on and once, even sent me flowers and took me out for dinner on my birthday when they found out that he had not planned any sort of celebration. They’ve always been there to pick me up during those times when I found out that he’d lied to me yet again, or that he’d hidden something from me. Even till now, I could never understand why, despite telling him that I’m perfectly fine that he’s friends with his ex, just don’t hide things from me…he still found the need to hide, delete messages, lie. The first two years we were together were literally spotted with a trail of broken promises that left me crying after each incident. How ironic it is, in retrospect, that the one thing he did most naturally was the one thing I despised the most.
I don’t know why I was so surprised then, when I found a chat window on his phone with one Joey Tan Phaik Yu from Traders Hotel that he’d forgotten to delete on the first night of our holiday at Pulau Gaya (another ironic point…the first time he ever lied to me was when he was at one YTL resort, and this happened at yet another YTL resort…I somehow find that sadly comical…).
But I was, very much so. The same familiar feeling crept back – the tightness around the chest, the weight of your world just collapsing upon you.
In it, he called her ‘dear’, and ended the chat with a ‘mwah’. I couldn’t see the earlier messages, but what I could read had enough emotional intimacy to suggest that this wasn’t a one-off thing.
I spent the rest of the holiday giving him the cold shoulder, torn between calling home and asking the maid to pack up his clothes or giving it another go.
I’d decided on the latter, but when we got home and when I told him that I wanted to talk about it, the proverbial book of 101 excuses was thrown back at me…
…he doesn’t like spending time with my daughter anymore.
…his feelings for me are not there anymore.
…he thinks we’re not on the same page on a lot of things.
…he doesn’t like the person he has become.
…he said that I liked to talk whenever we have problems, but he didn’t…that the only time we should talk is when the house is burning down or the car is stolen.
…he likes everything about a relationship except being in one.
…he still enjoys the chase.
…he still enjoys meeting women.
…other girls are more fun to hang out with.
…he’s not ready to settle down.
…this was not the first time, and there were many more. Simultaneously.
And yet I still asked him to try again, after all that we’ve gone through, but he was resolute that it would never work out. And with that, he packed his clothes and left.
What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was that in the weeks to come, when the dust had settled, details started trickling back to me over how much had been going on behind my back and what had actually conspired, about how this thing had started, even further back than I’d originally guessed. I was told how he’d spent every night while we were at Gaya sms-ing her, even after I’d found out…and worst of all, how he messaged her the very night we broke up, right after he’d packed up and left. Whatever reasons or excuses he gave me no longer mattered in the face of this knowledge.
I felt absolutely sick to the stomach, especially over the fact that while he was starting up something new with someone else he could still come back to my home night after night and sleep in my bed, and that he could still keep up the pretense of being a loving boyfriend, with messages that still contained endearments, asking for hugs and kisses and sex. That he had the presence of mind to order flowers to be sent to my workplace the following week. And that he could still bring himself to ask me to buy him things for his new office and for himself when he was fully aware of what he was doing behind my back.
The duplicity is beyond nauseating.
And I’m baffled, to say the least.
How could I have fallen in love with someone with so little integrity? Why did I make excuses after excuses for someone who had so little regard for a person he claimed to love? How could I have stayed on so long with someone who does not understand the meaning of the word ‘commitment’ and ‘try’, who thought that a good relationship is one where neither party has to even try or compromise (how I wish it were that easy!). Having a flirtation outside within the same month of agreeing to ‘try‘ in a relationship is a crystal clear indication of how sincere, or rather, insincere, you are in trying to make things work.
Who is this person whom I’ve been dating and living with for 2.5 years and more importantly, did I ever know him at all?
These were the thoughts that had consumed my nights – not whether if it was something I did or said that derailed this relationship, but over what was real and what was not.
It feels as if the relationship I thought I had never actually existed. For the first time in my life, I really regret the time and the effort I’d invested in something that I no longer can tell was real or fake…and the feelings I had for someone whom, it seems, turned out to be truly fake. I look at the photos that we’d taken together – photos of us smiling and laughing – and I really don’t recognize the person that was standing beside me anymore. This is not the person I loved.
I grieve now not for the loss of the relationship that I once held dear, but for the amount of hurt that he’d caused me with his uncaring ways and for how stupid I’d been to think that people do indeed change.
And I’m appalled by the fact that he’d not once apologized for cheating…it was as if it was acceptable the moment he decided that he didn’t want this relationship any longer.
On hindsight, it was a relationship that was doomed to fail from the beginning…when you’re told bluntly early on in the relationship by your partner that he’d come into this with the expectations that he didn’t have to put in any single bit of effort at all, I guess there really isn’t anywhere to go but downhill from there. It’s such a pity that those rose-tinted glasses we wear at the beginning of a newly minted relationship does not bless us with 20/20 vision.
At the very least, unsuccessful as I was, I know I gave it my all in the past 2+ years without once taking the easy way out by having a safety net and a back-up plan. I did try, even during all those times when I felt it was easier to just walk away, and I have no regrets there.
It’s a bitter lesson learnt, but one that I’ve finally accepted is necessary, after many days of introspection.
And so, this is truly, the end.
If there were anything left to be said from me to you as I exit your life, strangely enough, it would be thank you. For finally giving me more than enough reason not to look back any longer.