“I’m in a loving relationship“, he said it so casually I wasn’t sure if I believed him at first. How could I?
Yes, I’m talking about M – the man who I thought I was falling for; despite my head telling my heart not to, it went there … and for what?
I keep reading those words over and over again in WhatsApp because if anything, I am the Queen of Self-Sabotage. They make me want to hurl my body underneath the bed covers and not move for days as my body seems consumed by that gut-wrenching feeling. It’s the kind of raw pain that not even the biggest bag of peanut M&Ms can solve.
I suppose it all unravelled itself in the most underwhelming way possible. Let me rewind a few steps…
A couple of weeks ago, I sent M a message out of the blue on a feeling I’d had for a while: “I have a feeling there’s something you’re not telling me. Gut instinct is rarely wrong in these situations“. I said it because I needed to get that element of doubt off my chest, and I wanted him to reassure me: there wasn’t anyone else, and I was being silly.
But he wasn’t pleased with my accusations, and as soon as he made that clear I cursed myself for ever bringing it up. Why did I have to sabotage things when they were going well? I felt awful – it was my fault, I wasn’t being understanding, and it was my problem.
I tried to let things sort themselves out but when they didn’t, I apologised. I had to, it was my fault wasn’t it? But I could tell he was still mad. He was on the defensive, “What don’t you believe? That I’m single?” and he started being quite mean to me, saying he thought I had some kind of God complex. I read up on it, and I was horrified I’d given off that impression … was I really that bad?
And you guys, you know that feeling when you like someone so much you want everything to be okay between the two of you? I wanted that so badly, so I brushed his comments aside and I promised myself I wouldn’t be so much of the fool to accuse people out of the blue again. I’m no saint but I really was trying my best. So, I was really happy when things sorted themselves out. I knew things were going to be a little odd between us at first. My accusations hadn’t helped that, but I couldn’t complain too much since I was the one who was in the wrong.
We continued talking as normal, and almost out of the blue, he asked what I’d actually do if he was married. (Back in July, I accidentally sent him a text meant for my sister about her wedding, and ever since then we had a bit of a private joke about ‘the wife’). And would I help him cheat?, he asked. The thing with M is that he has a high sex drive, and I put it down to another one of his sexual fantasies. He knew how I felt about cheating so I left it at that.
Later that evening, he called me out of the blue. We hadn’t spoken on the phone for over a week, and I can’t even tell you how happy seeing his name on my phone made me feel. We chatted and I thought things were good, even if he did rip into my dream. I thought we would be just fine. I was happy.
Then, the next day he dropped it in the middle of our text conversation whilst I was at work (yes, that’s right he was too much of a coward to tell me on the phone), just like that: “I’m in a loving relationship“. Who knew that the wife was actually his girlfriend?
I told him it wasn’t a very loving relationship if he was doing this, talking to me. He blamed it on his addiction which I mentioned in His Big Revelation. So that’s what I was there for? Ironically, I never wanted a friends with benefits situation, and here he was in a relationship.
I’m a crier. You know that kind of big, ugly crying we all do every now and again? I’m really good at that, I’m a pro at that. But I held it together at work, I held myself in the best way possible so colleagues were oblivious to what was going on.(I’ll admit, it helped that there were work dramas to keep me distracted). I was proud, if I must say so myself.
Later that evening he sent me a message: “I take it anything physical is off the table? I must admit, either way I enjoy your company, and I do hope we can continue to chat“.
It’s then that it hit home to me. He had a girlfriend. I’m sorry, what? One minute he was getting me to call him at his Christmas party, telling me I was like a gift from the sky (his words), and now this? We’d spoken the previous evening on the phone, and he couldn’t even tell me that there and then. Why did he have to be so cowardly to do it via text? Not to forget he’d let me feel bad for wrongly accusing him, throwing words around that I had a God complex, when I was right all along. There was something he wasn’t tell me. He had a girlfriend for god’s sake.
The next afternoon I called him whilst we were both on our lunch break. I had things to get off my chest and I knew for my sake, I needed to get those words out. I needed to clarify what he wanted from me. “So, you want to have your cake and eat it?” I asked. “Yes“, he replied. He said it was complicated, but that he couldn’t tell me right there and then. He told me he still wanted to read my book, and I told him the first point I wanted to talk about. He’d completely shat on my dream, as he ripped apart word by word of the tiny excerpt of my novel I gave him. Now I appreciate constructive feedback, but he was criticising things like the name of the character I’d used because he didn’t like it (I wasn’t asking him to name his child that was I?) I told him my second main point: I couldn’t believe he’d let me feel bad for accusing him of things, saying he was unimpressed with me, and that he thought I had a God complex, when my gut instinct had been right.
I said, “Let’s play a game. Let’s pretend the roles are reversed, and I treated you the way you’ve treated me. Would you still be talking to me?” “I would” he replied. I knew that was bullshit. If I’d cancelled on our plans early on when we first met without so much a warning or an apology, he wouldn’t have continued talking to me. To that he said, “but I did apologise, didn’t I?” Like hell he did … and I bloody told him that.
I had a message from him when I got back to the office. “I’m not sure what you say to you about number two. Under what circumstance would you let me have my cake and eat it?” he asked. I knew I didn’t want to continue the conversation over text where our words would get misconstrued … again. So I told him I’d call him that evening.
What was I going to decide to do? What was I going to say to him? Why was his relationship so complicated? Things were not looking pretty.
To be continued.