You guys are too good to me.
Well, I took the plunge.
I sat down with Erich, and explained what had hurt me the most, and how I was feeling.
I explained that I didn't feel this was a small matter, and that other relationships had started the same way. I explained how I knew it wasn't fair to hold past relationships, but then I realised that it was stupid to say that. We learn from our mistakes, and take great care in not making them in the future, if we're smart. So yes, I do hold those up to the light and compare. I am not ashamed. I told him how his actions were indeed similar to those of Steve, and I didn't feel comfortable continuing a relationship.
I did not leave a window open for him to redeem himself. I explained myself and told him that I would not continue the current relationship.
And I must say, the boy did well. He was upset-not angry, but devastated. He told me that he was so sorry, but he couldn't take back what he did. He said that he never had valued anything as much as his relationship with me, and he never meant to harm it. He proceeded to hold me. He didn't lose it and bawl, but he just brushed my hair, and whispered into my ear all the things he loved about me, and how much he wanted to marry me. His hands curled around me, and held me close, and I lost it.
I was so sad-I mean, I've connected with this man in a way that I've never connected with anybody. We have similar tastes, and different tastes, enough to keep it interesting, spicy. But more than that-I finally felt safe. Not like...not paranoid, I guess. But I didn't feel like he would use me to win over his parents. I didn't feel like he was using me to fix himself.
Truth be told, Erich was quite whole without me, which is something I deeply valued from him. I didn't want to be "the missing link." I wanted to be the complement. Something that he loved all because of it. (me...I'm not an inanimate object)
I prayed. Deep prayers, lots of tears. I thought of all the great times we had. They far out-number these few problems. I thought about how I really felt, in my heart of hearts. I realised that I was confident that I could work past this. I really felt like this could be worked with, muscled out, and be done with.
I even felt a little silly, for making a big deal about past relationships that were none of my business anyways. I was looking out for the red flags...but then I realised there was just one-and it was mine. I literally went into this relationship expecting him to cheat and lie and hurt me. I literally braced myself for it. He found my behavior alarming, but went straight to work in mending my heart. He never once ridiculed me for crying for no reason. He never once complained if I wanted to talk. He sincerely listened when I talked, and he offered solutions, gave advice. He never once was offended if I didn't take it. He knew I was paranoid, and he felt so bad that he had done it. Now, I'm sure you might be thinking, "you don't know if he really did feel bad." I don't know if he really, truly means that. I will never, ever KNOW if he is telling the truth. I can't read his mind, control his thoughts. But my heart can read him. His mind, his actions. And....I feel a little better. But I realised that in doing what I did, it was a huge leap of faith. And I would have to do the one thing I never wanted to do again. TRUST. It felt strange, in a way, to not even feel right saying the word trust. I shudder just thinking about it. I define trust as a way of opening yourself up for hurt. No other definition. Trust was opening up your heart and soul to murder, and I don't want it. I still DO NOT want that. But.....
I realised I will never truly know his heart. I will never, ever truly know if Erich loves me for me. I can't read his mind. I will have to TRUST that what this man says is true, and believe in what he says and shows by his actions.
And if, by his actions, he shows me that there is something going on, I will investigate it. But, and this is the hard part, I can't keep treating Erich like he hit me, cheated on me, used me to get in good with his parents, and for my money. I have to start treating Erich like a different person. It's hard to say this, and even typing it feels like ripping of the scab from this stupid scar I have, Erich is not Steve. What scares me most is I can't figure out his next move. It was easier to just assume he was like Steve, because then I was able to feel confident that he could never hurt me. It's hard to explain, but somehow, I felt if I treated him like Steve AFTER everything had happened, I couldn't get hurt. So why did I still feel hurt? Why was Erich feeling so hurt?
AH HAH. It feels better now. I didn't just flip a switch and say "I trust you now." I don't. And to be honest, I will always keep a small grain of logical doubt in my mind, in case he starts showing the "signs." And if he does, I know that I MUST be strong, and do the right thing for myself.
I know that every minute, every hour. Every time that man gets near a computer, or a cell phone, or leaves the room for a long period of time, I will have to quell that fear. That paranoia. I have to know that if Erich does cheat on me, I can't truly stop him. I may delay it, but really, it's only dealing with the eventual pain that will come. Drawing it out, making it hurt more. He will cheat if he really wants to, and I have to know that if it happens, then it happens. It eases the load a bit, you know? It's not like I feel free-but I feel like the dark shadow that draws tears to my eyes, keeps me awake at night, and has me trembling in fear each time I wake up and he isn't in bed....I feel like each day those lift just a little more.
It's time to stop hurting and sabotaging myself. I will accept this gift God has given me. I will trust Erich, even though it's hard to do, because I have to work especially hard to make my relationship wonderful. And it's well worth it.
He's well worth it.
I'm worth it.