The last time I was single it lasted for 1075 days. I can mark the time by relationships or jobs or really bad arguments with the ex-wife.
I fell in love way too easily in the months that followed my first divorce, although I only managed to get engaged once! (wink wink) Wendy (she wasn’t my rebound btw) and I met at a Christian Open Mic that I hosted. About two months after we started dating I asked her to marry me, she said yes. Three months later she showed up at my door one evening with car keys in hand (I’d bought a car for her to use because her own vehicle was in terrible shape) and broke up with me, saying she’d been planning to break up with me some six weeks prior but wanted to go on the business trip with me to Washington DC so that she could see a friend. Then she ask if I wanted her to pay me back for the trip but added she didn’t “have the money to pay for the ticket, is that ok?” Next she requested the use of the car for ol’time sake, and added a final request to use the tanning booth at the apartment complex I lived in. Now, when someone sets me up in that fashion I say “I’ve been Wendy’d.”
I took away one thing from that experience. We’ll call it the “You’re better off without me” routine.
She started telling me a few weeks in advance of the trip she wasn’t good enough for me and that I should just move on.
In retrospect, she was hoping I’d take her advice thus saving her from confessing the foul deed. So now I pay attention to such ramblings.
In EVERY CASE since then in which a woman started the routine she was hiding something that she didn’t want me to find out. I’m sure it was their attempt at being merciful.
In the months that preceded my last divorce, my ex-wife suddenly started in with “You’re better off without me.” In the end, I would have been better off with NOT digging deeper. Perhaps it should be enough when one partner wants to move on and leave it at that. I soon discovered her second affair, and she was trying to end it in a way that saved her from full disclosure and me from the pain of infidelity.
I’m more careful now. Aware that some folks have closely held events in their lives they don’t want exposed reminds me of my closet of such things. Some are personal low points in my life, others, embarrassing moments in which I was the fool.
If I can’t figure someone out easily, I’m better off respecting the cloudy nature of some their sketchy explanations. Transparency is still not required for me.
Although I hate being alone, the fear of misspent “I love you’s” is greater than the certain solitude which awaits me for withholding them.
“You’re better off without me!” is not a cry for help, it’s a prelude for departure.
Thanks for reading this far.
(Originally Published: January 21, 2007)