72 hours in hell
I started seeing a girl from work about five years ago. It was pretty casual but soon after she fell pregnant. I was devastated at the time and was pretty useless during the pregnancy. We moved into together shortly after the birth and both of us were very happy. We never really got our sex life back as I stopped being attracted to her. We would be together occasionally but more the exception than the norm. We settled into a life of being loving parents and good friends but the intimacy both physical and emotional was gone.
I had for years suffered from low self esteem, depression of sorts and had long history of self sabotage both in work and in relationships. I think subconsciously that is what I was doing again. It was all about 'poor me' and I did not or would not see the pain I was causing both to my partner by rejecting her and to my son by not showing him how much I loved her.
So, the inevitable had to happen that she would meet some one else who would tell her how great and attractive she was. Needless to say that this attention she had been deprived of for years was overwhelming and intense. After just a couple of dates, she was feeling love and is now heading away on a plane to be with him for three days.
The me of old would have taken this transgression as a death blow and would have left thinking I am a failure re-enforcing my innate belief of my low self-worth. Obsessing about some other guy coming in and making my partner and child happy, something I could not do! Somewhere in the midst of this breakdown, I decided that I was an asshole and had let my egocentric self-obsession destroy the only things precious in my life.
I begged for forgiveness and swore, and meant, that I never wanted another day to pass when my partner felt unloved. However, it was too little too late , the last gasp of a drowning man. She has moved on in her head and is totally besotted with this other man. She is emotional and loving by nature and having been without it for so long is nearly already convinced that she is in love.
Now I get to stay at home with our son while she spends an intense three days getting physically and emotionally closer to this guy who obviously feels the same about her. I am dreading every excruciating hour and have taken the time off work as I know I will be suffering the fires of hell as I am sure with each hour she falls more in love and further away from me.
I plan to head to the airport with flowers to pick her up but know with an almost guaranteed certainty that the moment I look in her eyes will be the moment I have lost her and our family forever and that knowledge brings with it a pain almost too unbearable to carry. I know also that this situation is totally my fault and is what I deserve after years of neglecting our relationship and for that I will be eternally sorry.
Okay, so, she was ready to do the real deal but you weren't. She waited around super-patiently but you took so long that she's finally started to wander off towards some other bloke. And now that you realise you *can't* be in a relationship and (mentally and emotionally) still single, thus have to choose All or Nothing, no in-betweenie, you're choosing All. Correct?
No, she has not already moved on. Because HE'S NOT THE DADDY! You are. Plus she chose someone with an impractical geographical location for a reason. It's called, arm's length. It's called, plenty of openings/opportunities (for you). It's called, Maybe THIS will get your finger out of your a*se?! And it's called, But if you don't, I at least have Person B as my consolation prize.
Best you make that bouquet theeeeee most impressive bouquet any woman has ever seen! But you'd better not stop there. Use these 3 days to clean the entire house top to bottom and do everything *else* that comes under loving husbandly duty, as well, that you might have neglected or avoided. Really go for it. Whatever it takes to convince her you finally mean serious business. And I'm talking actions that cannot be undone, actions that impact permanently on you and the ongoing set-up, and actions that represent skin off your nose for solely *her* (and baby's) benefit.
Actions, actions, actions... ain't no arguing with them.
It's over man. No matter how much you do now, or how nice the flowers are, the fact of the matter is that you two are now, and always were, just shacking up. You're not married, and judging by the fact that she flew somewhere to meet another man, you're not even in a relationship. You know it and she knows it. So how do you look showing up at the airport with a bouquet of flowers for her, all the sudden showing your affection for someone that you've never really cared about, just because she's met someone new? You look like the two year-old who doesn't ever play with his ball, but the minute another kid picks it up, he throws a fit. She's not going to respect that. Let the relationship go, and just be co-parents to your son.
It strikes me as odd that when she was yours or at least not with anyone else you didn't want her. Now that she's glowing with love, or infatuation or whatever, for another man and slipping away from you, you're convinced your life will be over if she doesn't come back to you. Are you able to recall all the unsexy times before this moment and how you felt about her then? If she "came back to you" including all the unromantic moments that those words will also entail, would you still want her? Or when you feel bored and safe and burdened once again would you revert to your "poor me" mentality and be doubting your choices all over again? You say you were being blind before, but how can you be sure you're not deluding yourself now?