”LOVE CANNOT BE CREATED WHERE THE EGO EXIST.” -Jada Pinket-Smith
I think I’m in the most interesting place in my life. I’m moving into my own space for the first time since 2014. I’m just almost a week shy of being single for a month (technically). I’m still legally married, but separated from my wife going on, hmmm, two years now? Talking to other married people, I learned that this is normal when you have shared a great deal of assets with a person. I sat down with my manager at my current job as I contemplated over relocation, not an option for her since the company values me, and she opened up to me about how she’s been separated for four years and they still can’t make a decision about money. Thankfully for me, I’m finally at the tail end of the train wreck that was my marriage (book coming soon) and I can keep on pushing. No worries, we’re cordial people. Somehow through all the drama, we found a way to be mature.
In the midst of all my personal shit, guess what I decided to do? Date. Yes. The one thing they say not to do. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a bull and just downright stubborn, but I always have to go against the grain. I do what I want. Welcome to that interesting thing I was talking about.
A divorce and a breakup at the same damn time.
So, let’s talk about this said ex-lover, whom I never wish to never cross paths with again. Why? Because hindsight is 20/20.
We said some very ugly things to one another in the end. Things that made me push my mind back to the beginning of what we thought could be a forever. I won’t speak for her, because well, I can’t.
I want to call what we had love, but unfortunately, it didn’t even come close. I’ve had love, great love and that wasn’t it.
I met Said Lover through a friend, on accident. I was in a place I had no desire to be, but because my then active wife at the time was TDY, I figured I needed to find a life. Said Lover and I crossed paths, exchanged words, and somehow became Facebook friends. That was it. She wasn’t on my mind and I’m sure I wasn’t on hers.
We’d see each other a few more times and the sparks, chemistry, vibes, whatever you want to call it, would fly.
It was lust. Nothing more.
We had a few conversations in my inbox that lead to nothing and she would invite me to events, but I could never bring myself to take her up on any of the offers. I was someone’s wife and there needed to be boundaries.
We called that friendship. It wasn’t. Friends go through things and get through them together. They have each other’s backs no matter what. They have history, inside jokes, secrets to take to the grave, real connections (non-romantic), you get the point.
I have a friend that I fell out with for two years and guess what? Even in silence we had each other’s best interest in mind and at heart. After those two years, the band is back together and the love between us is stronger than ever. Her secrets stayed right here with me and vice versa.
We’re going to make a list now.
1. We were never friends.
Life went on for both Said Lover and I until I packed up my trauma and left my wife. I spent a few months in silence and tears trying to grieve one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I mean, it should be easy to leave a toxic person, but it’s not. Despite the bullshit that was our union, my wife was still my friend, she just was trash at commitment. We all have our vices.
Said Lover and I reconnected over Facebook and I thought that I’d grieved enough to entertain whatever our odd connection was to one another (I’ll tell you later). In my mind, we would just talk and get to know one another. In her mind, she wanted me and whatever came with that (not okay).
I had seven days to not decide my own fate. She TOLD me I was hers. There was no question, no conversation. She Will Smithed my ass and I Jada-ed like a motherfucker accepting a choice that wasn’t even my own.
Lesson learned. More power to you Jada girl.
Here is where I should have been paying attention. It was not flattering. It was selfish. Also, ALSO, she’d just admitted to me a few days before that she had been dealing with another woman for a year and they were talking about moving in together. I guess it just dawned on her in the middle of the night that she didn’t love her or want that life with her, huh? (FLAG) No, she had sex with this woman one last time then dismissed her.
Wasn’t my business. I could only be concerned with what was happening with us.
I’m still married y’all. Don’t forget. Never forget.
Said Lover and I kept on pushing. We spent hours on top of hours on Facebook chat every single night. We asked each other the “important” shit like over or under when it comes to toilet paper and would you smash Sanaa Lathan or Nia Long.
Sarcasm. All sarcasm.
The point here is that nothing came up that should have actually mattered to build a real future together. (I’ll share what you should talk about in another blog. Let’s not lose focus, because I do that quite a bit.)
In the middle of our first-to-third date questions some serious shit went down. Her grandfather passed away. That night, we didn’t talk. We sat in silence and listened to music. It was kind of dope, because we both got to talk about how the way we dealt with grief was not to deal at all. (2 FLAGS-ONE FOR EACH OF US)
We kept on going. We planned our first date and, AND we decided to wait to have sex. I really wanted to wait. I mean, we did share some inappropriate pics and videos with one another. All for science 😊. The desire was there, but I like to build something that means more.
Note: not easy to do with a Scorpio. I love y’all, one of my best friends is a Scorpio but get your genitals under control.
We went on our first date and it was absolutely amazing. It was one of the few times that I found we were on the same page and connected on a level deeper than what only the eyes can see. There was an intensity and a safety that I had not felt in a long time. I could have sat up and talked to her all night. She wasn’t a vulnerable person, but she had been that, if only for a second.
We kept on doing this thing. It felt good and right and easy. We met up on Tuesdays for kissing and poetry and we always, always ate food. A bull loves a good meal and I think she knew it. We planned our next date and that was amazing, too. I’m not filling this with details. I do that in novels. I’m sure you’ve been on a date. If not, what are you even doing?
Then it happened. We did the thing that we said we wouldn’t do. I don’t believe that it decreased or intensified what was happening between us, but we for sure liked doing it. A lot. A part of me still wanted to wait. Still not sure what the rush was but it went down.
It was time for our first road trip together. Another moment where I knew damn well that she and I needed to keep on growing—separately. In the eight hours that it took us to travel to Eastern Washington (I think) to see a waterfall, I learned that she was impatient and angry (FLAG). Her road rage with traffic made me uncomfortable. I felt like I needed to phone or text a friend to let them know my location, just in case. Luckily, we both made it back safe and sound and so did the other people in traffic. Her temper turned me off quite a bit. She reminded me of my wife. No Bueno. This is where I started to kind of/sort of pull back.
We still kept on going. In the midst of us doing what we were doing my wife was piling the pressure on me to fix our marriage. She wanted to try. Letters, text, emails, you name it. She was dangling our history and foundation in my face. I took the bait thinking it was the right thing to do. Wife called Said Lover a rebound, a bandage, someone who would never care for me like she did, well, because…ABUSE.
I tried to end things with Said Lover. Whether my wife and I worked it out or not, she didn’t need to be in the middle of it. Red flags and all, she didn’t deserve it. I had a book to close and it needed to be done without her.
Divorce and heal no matter how long it took.
Said Lover wasn't having it. She slept on it and said no. She wasn’t going. I took this as a gesture of “love.” She was “fighting for me.”
This was a battle of egos. Who’s strap was bigger. Neither of them cared that what I actually needed was therapy and to be left the fuck alone. They both wanted what they wanted and that was that.
I chose Said Lover, but wife still would not give up. She was in another country still sending gifts, cards, and letters. They didn’t make me happy. All they did was trigger me and every time that I had an episode, Said Lover was there to pick up the pieces.
I thought this was love.
Do you know how many times I asked this woman to let me go? Let me deal? Now thinking about it, I think somehow my need to be better translated to her “you aren’t wanted.” She was, just not right then. I needed me more than she did and she refused to let it happen. Or maybe she was just so full of herself that she thought herself a remedy.
Love keeps no record of wrongs. This was not love.
We kept on going, but it was back and forth. I wanted my space while wanting to give her whatever it was that I thought she needed from me. I was still in turmoil with my wife and my mental health. I also had a job, a stressful one. All of this was making me crazier than I already am. Who cared?
My mom, my friends, and my sister. They begged me to be by my damn self.
I DO WHAT I WANT AND I CAN DO THIS.
I kept on doing it, even though it was rocky. I wanted to what made sense. I still felt that if I just went slow enough I could figure it all out. It was the holidays. Said Lover was upset with me for not wanting to meet her family yet. We were only three months in, THREE. (FLAG) She kept inviting herself to my space without talking to me about it first. (FLAG) She would need to go dutch on dates. (FLAG because I’m spoiled. I pay or you pay. Thassit.)
The fallout came around April. I had a sick aunt, the one aunt that I loved the most. She was eighty-eight and I just knew she would live forever. I didn't and don’t owe anyone an explanation for how much I loved and still love her--not my job, my lover, my friends, nobody. The last thing she asked from me was to hold $100 dollars in her hand because she never got to and I did that for her. The final moments mattered with no thought of anything else, because one day soon I wouldn’t hear her voice or see her face in real time again. Not in this life.
Said Lover did not understand how I could just up and leave. Do you think I got a night of silence and music from her? Nope. I got a nasty email where I was called out of my name and told that she should have cheated on me. (FLAG) I should have stayed at my level. I stooped to hers. I called her broke and said she had no edges. I’m not a perfect woman. I can write a whole ass list about myself and number one would read MEAN. Ownership and accountability.
She’ll tell the world that I abandoned her. I should have. I could always go back. It wasn’t permanent. I tried to be cordial, but I learned something else at that point.
There was three months of silence between us. Well, she reached out, but I rejected her at every turn and even played with the stupid idea that I should work things out with my wife. I hated Said Lover, while silently missing little things and good moments we shared like this one time we saw this big ass Christmas tree and pulled over to take selfies with it. The way she would randomly kiss my hand while driving. Our music sessions by the fireplace. Our movie dates. Netflix nights. Food ventures. Tuesdays. Naked sleeps. That one time on a rooftop. Superbowl. That one time at the airport.
I took all of these memories and convinced myself that I had done something wrong. Travel, a text message, a hotel, a photoshoot, intense making up, verbal apologies that I do believe were sincere, a ferris wheel, and food rejoined us.
But neither of us came back the same. I still needed to get a divorce, move out of the townhome I shared with my wife, write a list of things to be divided, because, community property.
Her? Said Lover? She was guarded.
It keeps on going down from here. There were only moments of up. My aunt finally passed. She’s been gone over a year and I’m still mourning that loss. She was my true mother, the one adult in my life, the non-toxic person, my safe place.
Said Lover called. I guess that was enough. In the middle of all of that Wife and I had finally separated our lives. Still married though.
Said Lover and I continued to move forward with me living in another state, but soon that would become an issue. I think she just got tired of being and doing things alone when we could have been doing them with one another. Time was passing and all we had was the phone and Facebook. And I wasn’t exactly the girlfriend that checked in every now and then. We also thought we had the same love language--quality time. We didn’t. She didn’t even know hers. (FLAG) I told her it would probably be another year before I moved again. She told me that we probably wouldn't make it. She didn’t have a history of doing well with long-distance. This created a silent pressure for me. It was move or lose. Of course, she takes no responsibility for this implanted idea, because ultimately I could have said no to moving.
I’m glad I said yes, because the only way to truly learn if someone is for you is to live with them. The game was over the moment that I landed. She’d won. There was no more work to be done. The mask was off. We spent two blissful weeks together, eating, hanging out, going to the gym, fucking all day and night, talking, watching Charmed or The Vampire Diaries, me bringing her to work because I got to extend the time I could spend with her. Then it all stopped.
She said it was work. It was stressful and while I believe that was part of it, I still don’t understand how being stressed at work stops you from saying good morning or kissing a person goodbye. Balance she said. She’d lost her balance.
Maybe I got too far into my head, but to me, I was not wanted. I decided I needed to leave because I refused to do what I did in my marriage--stay way too long. All I did was ask about an airline to my friends on Facebook and looked at tickets and this woman came home from the gym choked me and started throwing my things outside. (FLAG) This all went down while it rained and random strangers walked the streets. I was locked outside, crying, and calling my friends because there was nothing else I could do. I REFUSED TO CALL THE POLICE. When. I did threaten to call the cops and that got my phone snatched and another altercation near the mail room where I followed her. I’m sure this could have been a conversation.
This should have scared me away.
She cried, I cried and there we were again restarting the cycle. She reassured me that I was wanted, but this was always words and unmatched action.We made it through another sixty or so days with her not having time for me, not including me in events in her life, looking for new apartments, me going on job interviews, her checking her phone instead of rolling over to acknowledge the human (me) next to her. And with that, she had the nerve to feel she should be talking to other people. I started to drift. I couldn't sleep. I learned the neighborhood by walking it at two and three in the morning.
Also mania, my battle, not hers. (different blog)
We both realized that we couldn’t go on the way we were going. We broke up. That night that we ended it she stayed out all night. I called and texted out of worry, discontentment, and unfinished conversation. The dissolution was still fresh out of the oven and where was she? She returned home the next day and said she went out, got drunk, kissed some random woman, and fell asleep at a friends house. Too drunk to come home, but sober enough to get the strange woman’s name and number and continue to connect with her, while being okay with us living together.
I packed my shit, dropped the keys off at her job and went to a friend’s house. This was the perfect opportunity for her to leave me alone. I should have done the same. We continued to go back and forth until I realized that she was literally also going back and forth between me and another woman. A woman she swore she had not been talking to until after I moved out. She was taking this woman out and couldn’t even respect me enough to take my pictures down so she could look as single as she was acting.
If you’re waiting for it to get better from here, it won’t.
She comes to me with tears and pleas, her corrected love language (words of affirmation), and we get back together and move into our new place that she only refers to as hers, but she’s perfectly okay with me paying half on all the furniture and groceries. She also got to keep a painting that she bought for me. I’m feeling less and less guilty for cancelling every single plan I’d made for her birthday.
We broke up every two weeks, because now I didn’t trust her as far as I could throw her.
Here is what we held onto: sex, we looked good in pictures together, we both liked to travel, we both wanted wealth, and a home, to live abroad, maybe have a kid or two. I believe we did enjoy each other’s company, we fed one another, with food. I had to make that clear because if our spirits and minds were being fed this would read a different way. We both liked ice cream and dancing in random places. We liked money. She was obsessed with it. I just liked the security of it. We both were good at making it and saving it. I did my crazy shopping here and there, but I knew when I couldn’t. We pillow-talked. She sat through my depression and breakdowns, kind of. (another blog)
I think she was happy with this.
I wasn’t. I never would be, because I wasn’t a bigger picture kind of girl. I liked the details and there were very specific things that screamed at me to not believe she was my person.
She was never home when I got from work, which meant I’d often have to eat alone. She actually was never home period. During the week there was enough time for work, school, and the gym maybe some quality time at night. That was never consistent. On the weekends she had to do what she didn’t have time for during the week. Acceptable. Still, her purpose was lost on me. I couldn't miss company that I didn’t have. The moments we did share, I realized how much I disliked her. She was shallow and narrow-minded. It was a superficial connection.
I said once that all men were trash. She said not all men. Pass.
She slut-shamed her ex. Ex or no ex. WE DON’T SLUT SHAME.
I don't want to talk about the video of her and some friends burning a Kaepernick jersey.
She purposely seeks out women that look good without makeup.
She threw the term Queen around like an ashy Hotep. GODDESS BABY, GODDESS. DON’T EVER FORGET IT.
I gave her my affection freely. I had to ask her for hers or tell her when it was needed. I always showed up for her. She sometimes showed up for me. I couldn't even get this clown to meditate with me. I think I wanted the artist in her to be more prevalent, but it wasn’t. There was still some conditioning that she needed to work through. I know I’m still kind of problematic, she’s in denial.
In any attempt to have a conversation with Said Lover, it turned into an argument, because I just don’t believe that she contained the depth that I desired. There was no agree to disagree, no real compromise, nothing beyond the surface. The lost of trust and a shaky foundation also played a huge role here. And again, the little things: wash my hair, help me take my weave out, come somewhere with me other than a mall, movie, or planned date.
You know what, I’m tripping. I’m missing the biggest red flag that there was in this union. SHE COULDN'T PLAY SPADES.
I taught her.
I don’t believe we had any real intention of sharing our lives forever. All we ever did was plan adventures. We kind of talked about money and buying a home, but why share any of those things with someone who can’t do something as simple as come home to talk about life over dinner?
At the end of this, none of it matters. I still have a wife and trauma to deal with and all I’ve done was piled on more shit to deal with by putting up with someone who could so easily disrespect me and then play victim. This too, normal behavior. She’ll admit her wrongs and faults only in private, while seeking validation for her image from the world. To the women before me, I sincerely apologize, because she never will. Classic narcissist shit.
Thank the universe for silence, because I needed it to see if I was angry, to see where I was wrong, to see if I needed to care about the aftermath. Everytime that I even try to think about being compassionate or empathetic, I remember her phone going off all night. I remember her calling me insecure when she admitted to being the one needing constant validation. Projection is a motherfucker. I’m guilty of that myself. I remember the many notes that went without a response. I remember being rushed. I remember the many nights that we slept with our backs and pride to one another. I remember the time she yelled at me and threatened to punch me right before our trip to Vegas. All because my friend called to tell me she was thinking about going to a show she was in. She’s friends with my friend’s ex and that’s fine. There was no motive or ill intent, yet there she was, angry and taking it out on me. I remember that she’s only partially free, making plans to make a plan. I remember arguing once in the middle of cooking and I stopped. I was wrong for that and she could have said that. Instead, her argument was that her ex would cook for her, no matter what. Good for you, bitch. I say that with ease, because she’s called me out of my name one, too many times. I remember that she told me to never contact her again as if I was a toxic person and ruined her entire life only to turn around, not even a week ago and leave a voicemail saying that we should probably have a conversation. This conversation was probably only for her image, because in the midst of our final argument I stated that I wished we could be better people than this, only to still be met with aggression and insults.
If that isn’t enough, I can remind myself that she’ll say that she never did or said any of these things, because she denied often. But, I keep everything. Voicemails and emails. Even though the only real proof that anyone really needs is the fact that she’d never had a relationship longer than six months until she met me. (FLAG)
Mine was five years. Match me.
Shout out to my stupidity, because even with that, I convinced myself that she was patient and knew what she wanted so she didn’t waste her time.
The lesson in this is to move at your own speed, heal, pay attention to red flags, invest in yourself, and be ubapologolegtic as fuck during all of it. deal with each relationship slowly and individually so that you take nothing with you to the next one. Call yourself on your bullshit and don’t make excuses for people who behave badly.
To end this rollercoaster of a ride that you briefly rode with me, I’ll tell you what she was to me, as I’m sure a few of you are dealing with the same thing. Y’all thought I forgot, huh? I thought she was a soulmate, then I thought she was a twin flame. She was a karmic tie, one that needed to be broken in this life so we don’t do this shit again in the next one.
True love will wait for you to be your best self.