In the last four months I have run across images or information concerning three of the major men that used to be in my life. The first, *Scott was my boss back in the late nineties and early 2000s. He and I became lovers and were having an affair. He was married to a woman that he had met out of the country and had brought here so she could obtain citizenship. She also had health issues (at least so he told me and it very well may have been true) that prevented them from having a sex life. Again, according to him, she knew about me and was okay with our relationship. I fell in love with this man like I had never with anyone else. We kept our involvement a secret, although it wasn’t a well kept one. He eventually moved to the east coast. The heartbreak I felt after his departure was unbearable and drove me into the arms of someone that, at the time, believed he was gay. It turned out he was bisexual. I truly believe Scott was one of my soul mates and although I no longer think of him as often as I used to, I still wonder what could have been had things been different in our lives. I do question whether he was using naive 19 and 20 year old me, but I will probably never know. During one of the times that thoughts of him invaded my mind, which I believe was due to a dream I had about it, I decided to see if I could find anything about him online. I found a wedding announcement and images of him with his new wife. Thankfully this didn’t really bother me very much, but I felt that old twinge of what might have been.
A month or so later I happened to run across a posting from my most recent ex-boyfriend *James. We’d split up in April 2009, had gotten back together in early 2010, and I walked in on him cheating on me when I came home early from work in September of that same year. I broke off everything with him immediately and moved into my mother’s house a day later. I never removed him from my social networking list of friends and had forgotten that fact. He’d moved to the middle of nowhere for a chef’s job so he didn’t post often. The post I happened to see was the announcement that he’d gotten engaged. This particular bit of news didn’t bother me at all. The end of our relationship hurt me immensely. I have never experienced something like walking into my home to find my partner naked with a stranger.
Last week I reconnected with a friend from the job I had where Scott was my boss. He’d left a comment on a mutual friend’s post (I didn’t know this was a mutual friend) and we started talking about the old days. A day later he posted something and one of the comments left on it was by my ex-husband (married in 2004, divorced in 2007) *Evan. My ex-husband along with every other person, male or female, that I’ve dated has been made aware from date one that a) I do not want children and b) I am not religious nor will I ever be. Although my Evan was well aware of those things, he married me. He stated that he had no interest in either of those. It turns out that he harbored a wish that I would change once we were married and become a housewife that wanted children and would start to go to church (even though he didn’t at the time). Eventually the incompatible desires lead to us separating and divorcing. It turns out my ex-husband is now remarried and has a daughter. He looks happy in his photos. I’m glad for him, but I must say that it did hurt to see that. I loved him dearly, but was very hurt by his desire to make me change.
I’m not sure why Evan’s images bothered me more than Scott’s or James’. I loved Scott with more passion and depth, but he was never really mine. I suppose that James’ behavior and what I walked in on have cured me of any feeling I had towards him. But why, many years after Evan and I have been divorced, did his images bother me the most? Was it that it made very evident that he never really wanted what I did and that he simply desired me? Was it that he was the one I chose to marry, even though at the time I knew it was a mistake? I don’t miss Evan and I don’t think about him very often at all. I’m happy with *Graham and our goals are much more aligned. But when I saw those images I definitely felt something like sadness.
I’ve also wondered why in such a short period of time I’ve run across this influx of information about the most important and long term men from my past. Is it to emphasize the wonderful relationship I have now? I feel much more loved, appreciated, and cared for than I ever have with anyone else. I’m not sure why, but it’s been a bit overwhelming. Maybe it’s that I do a good job of cutting off contact with people that have hurt me deeply and that I never really wanted to know. Scott I investigated on my own, but time has made it easier to look back on my time with him more objectively. I also felt he was the closest to my heart and he never made promises he didn’t keep. But the others did hurt me and I want no involvement with them. Maybe that’s why learning what I have was such a shock.
* Names have been changed to protect my privacy and the privacy of others.