Monday, July 18, 2011

Blinded by Love—by Jamie Levine

Two-and-a-half months ago, Library Guy broke up with me—and broke my heart. And for two-and-a-half months, I’ve held on: Held on to the fact that our break up was filled with more emotion and intensity than either of us had ever experienced in our lives…and held on to Library Guy’s admission that he’d let me go not because he didn’t love me, but because he needed to “figure out who he is without me.” It seemed to be an issue of timing and I knew in my heart that we weren’t “finished;” thus, I chose to believe that it was only a matter of time before Library Guy came back to me. And so I cried a lot…pined away for him every night…and waited.

Well, it wasn’t as completely pathetic as it sounds—I did keep super-busy with Jayda, and super-social with my friends. I went out to dinners, hit several happy hours, enjoyed a great vacation with Jayda, and even went on a bunch of dates. But I wasn’t really interested in being with any man who wasn’t Library Guy. I couldn’t let go. I didn’t want to let go. And when other men expressed an interest in me, I told them that I wasn’t ready for anything serious. I told them I was still hung up on my ex—and pushed them all away. I believed I needed to be alone—or with Library Guy.

Eventually, I did hear from Library Guy; at first, he had something I needed and we set up a time to get together. When that meeting ended in another emotional parting, I knew for certain that Library Guy wasn’t finished with me yet. And the next two times I saw him, it was clear that neither of us wanted the encounters to end. But aside from me texting him, “I try hard not to, but I still miss you…” and him responding “I know,” nothing changed between us. Until finally, last week, he reached out to me and said he wanted to talk…so I went to see him. And after another outpouring of emotions, following Library Guy’s profession of how much he misses me, how amazing he thinks I am, and how important I will always be to him, but how he can’t be in a relationship now (despite the fact that he’s been dating), I finally started to see Library Guy for who he really is: An incredibly selfish, cowardly, extremely confused and immature man. For the first time, his actions spoke to me much louder than his words. I won’t describe here exactly what happened that day—how much he tarnished my image of him and his reputed respect for me—but I will say that he unintentionally hurt and angered me more than any man ever has. And by doing so, he showed me how much better off I am without him. I finally realized that even if I’ll miss Library Guy, he doesn’t deserve me; he can’t have his cake and eat it, too. And I walked out on him this time, without looking back.

I have a good friend who’s been married for over a decade to an abusive alcoholic, yet keeps hanging on to her marriage; I also have a relative with an emotionally detached husband who’s been grasping on to her loveless relationship for years. It’s always been easy for me, an outsider, to point out both of these husbands’ flaws and wonder why these beautiful, smart, amazing women choose to stay with their less-than-worthy spouses. But now, as someone who’s been on the inside, and has overlooked many of Library Guy’s selfish actions and unreliability time and time again, I finally understand. We love who we love—and we can’t help that. And our passion, adoration for, and sometimes just simple comfort with our partner, often makes us overlook, or not actually see, the mistakes they make, or the ways in which they wrong us when we deserve so much better. And that’s a shame.

For the first time, I’m not making excuses for Library Guy, and instead, I’m calling him out on his thoughtlessness and inexcusable behavior; I’m finally seeing everything clearly. I’ve stopped holding on to a relationship—and a man—who is unworthy of my devotion because I’m no longer blinded by love. I’m disappointed…in a bit of pain…and still feeling confused about how something so good could have turned so bad. But I’m looking ahead now, instead of behind me—and best of all, I’m finally letting go. Now I’ll be able to see Mr. Wonderful when he steps into my life—because I’m no longer waiting around for Mr. Wrong.


Blogger Cara Meyers said...

Jamie, I truly commend you. It was terribly difficult to face the truth with someone I've been with for 22 YEARS!! But my eventual ex-husband is everything you pointed out about Library Guy. And I don't want that either. I really, truly don't care if I never enter into another romantic relationship again, I've been burned so badly. But I would rather be alone, and have my son by my side, than be with someone like Library Guy. It takes strength to walk away. I don't know where I am getting this strength from, I don't have much in me to begin with, but it is there. You caught it early. Be thankful for that...

5:29 AM  
Blogger Robin Gorman Newman said...

More power to you deserve to find your Mr. Right Mensch...and you'll know it when you do.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Jamie L said...

Thanks, ladies. And Cara, I'm sorry for your pain. I can't compare my 7 months to your 22 years, but I will say that I've realized that it's damn hard to have the strength to pull yourself out of something when you're in love (no matter how toxic the guy ultimately is). Kudos to you for moving have to. You're stronger than you realize...

11:45 AM  
Blogger Von said...

Toxic relationships, however long are damaging and dangerous, it's why they're hard to get out of.

6:53 PM  

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