Before you continue and get lost in a pile of nonsensical words, let me fill you in on my previous relationship.
I was in a very committed relationship for 5 years to be exact. I met (let’s call him “Jimmy” for the sake of this blog post), 3 months before my younger brother passed away in 2012. Apart from my family, he was my cornerstone throughout this tragic time in my life. As much as you may think it sounds dumb, I felt comforted by the fact that my brother knew him and actually liked him to an extent, and I didn’t want to let that go.
As with all relationships, there were peaks and valleys, but the lack of connection on one or more important life issues became very overwhelming, particularly after he proposed to me at the end of 2016. We had tons of differences, including varying morals, values, ideologies and beliefs (religion included) but I chose to overlook it all for our relationship to survive and I have no doubt that he did to.
My final realisation happened when he booked a trip to Thailand with his two best friends, a month after we got engaged without saying a word. He eventually told me, 4 months after the trip was booked and 10 days before his flight.
I questioned him, thoroughly, I won’t lie. “Why would you book a trip without me knowing?” “Why didn’t you run it by me? “We’re engaged now- shouldn’t you want to build these kinds of memories with me?” “What is actually going on inside that head of yours?”, and the response I got was rather haunting.
“Whether we’re dating, engaged or married doesn’t mean I can’t go on trips Taryn. I’m going to do what I want whether I’m with you or not”, is what he said.
And then it hit me. I wasn’t there to stop him. He would always do as he pleased. But I wanted a partner who respected me enough to include me in his decisions and in his life, particularly if we were just about to start a “life” together.
Whether this gets to him or not is so irrelevant. Putting my thoughts and feelings on paper is what soothes my soul. I also think that this will make for a super juicy read. So here it is, an open letter to my ex.
Dear who I thought was my forever,
When we first met, I made you my world and you reciprocated this. You’d make an effort to see me every day after work, even if it meant waiting in your car because I’d work late some days. You’d put us first and made me feel as though I meant everything to you. You particularly showed this when you’d go to the Mac Donald’s drive-thru in mid-winter just to get a take-away for me. It was always the little gestures that made you the person I wanted to be with.
Three months after we met, my baby brother sadly passed away and you were there EVERY SINGLE DAY, come rain or shine. You’d fall asleep between me and my sister on the two single beds we’d squish together into one. You wouldn’t leave my side.
It’s so alien writing this. Just thinking about it brings back such vivid memories that are almost like a faded dream now. To think you were the person I loved and cherished.
You were so kind and caring. You weren’t worried about what people said about us. You weren’t worried about status. You worked hard, but making money wasn’t your main concern. You were perfectly you- the man who was there for me when I needed you most.
How did it all go so wrong?
Sure, change is good. Change is inevitable. Change means evolution and growth. But eventually you changed so much that I couldn’t keep up. You changed so much, that I didn’t know who you were anymore.
Gradually, as the years went by I watched this change. Little by little I watched you become influenced by everyone around you; namely your family and friends. A few times your parents ridiculed me and my family. But I was foolish. I listened and watched as you allowed it. I was so hurt when certain family members of yours didn’t accept us because of racial differences. I’d go home and cry when I learned that your family would judge me and mine because I came from a recently broken home. Sure, I’d let it slide, but I always wondered how you allowed it. Even more, I wonder how you let it change your perception about us.
Three years into our relationship you started questioning what I plan on doing with my life. As an honours student, I was so happy and content with my work and studies, but all of a sudden the “me” you had met years ago wasn’t good enough. In an effort to feel worthy, welcome and just plain good enough for you and your family, I decided to take up law. Not for me, not because I felt I needed another degree. I just knew if I didn’t I wouldn’t hear the end of it.
Swiftly, everything that was once important to you and to us was influenced by everyone else around you, except you.
If you love someone should you have to beg them to go with you to church for your brothers memorial or birthday? If you love someone should you have to plead for them to go with you to family events? All of a sudden, at a rapid speed and in more ways than one it became all about you. And that my friend, is not love. Some might call it selfishness or ego, but whatever it is, or was, I cannot blame you. I can only blame myself for being subjected to it.
We undoubtedly had great times, but as I write this, it’s very difficult to pin point the good. You hardly smiled and perhaps over the year’s things changed for the worst. Change can bring growth, but this change brought pain. Luckily for me, sometimes painful things can teach us lessons that we didn’t think we needed to know.
It may sound like I regret being with you, but I don’t. I certainly wish that 5 years was 2 instead but there’s no use pondering on desires that appear inconceivable. Instead, from the bottom of my heart, I’d like to thank you.
Thank you for being the person you were when we first met. You were my rock and I’ll always appreciate it. Thank you for pushing me to be better academically, regardless of motive. Thank you for not standing up for me to your family and friends. It made me realise that I shouldn’t count on just anyone. Thank you for not attending my brother’s memorial service and important family events. You showed me how different our values are.
Thank you for making me feel as though I’m not good enough. I now pride myself in making others feel good about themselves. Thank you for booking your boy’s trip to Thailand without informing me. It made me realise my worth and gave me an idea of what not to look for in a relationship.
Lastly, thank you for letting me go. Our relationship was a blessing in disguise. If I never experienced the chill of a dark winter, it would have been very unlikely that I would ever cherish the warmth of a bright summer’s day.
Thank you for breaking my heart, because without this kind gesture, I’d never be the fulfilled, remarkable (if I do say so myself) person I am today.
Signed- a completely changed person
If you were the given the chance, what would you say to your ex? Reciprocate the juice by dropping a comment below!