Part 3 – Redux

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This blog is the third part of a five-part series that supports the theme of our Summer Event and our Fall Master Class Series: “How Your Past is Hindering Your Future”

 As mentioned on August 1, I decided it was time for me to be very transparent and share my past experiences as I have made a commitment to being a “Keeper” and the only way to being a “Keeper” is to not let my past hinder my future.

Let’s continue with Part III of the Series: Redux

I opened this series with a story about an ex-boyfriend (Please refer to my blog called, The Point of No Return published August 1) that I broke up within which it took me many years to determine the true cause of our breakup.

Well, this time the story is different: I have another ex-boyfriend that reappeared in my life after many years of us being apart.

I met Gerald* (*name has been changed) in college and the attraction between us was instant. We started dating and remained a couple until we finished college. He went away to graduate school and we had a long distance relationship until we drifted apart. I still held on to the hope that we would eventually marry but Gerald ended up dating a woman he met in graduate school. Despite this obvious obstacle, I still felt there was a chance for us. Well, one fateful day I had a feeling that he got married. I had no proof, it was just my intuition. I could not shake the feeling and I decided to call his mother. His mother and I talked and she gave me the news: Gerald had gotten married two weeks prior and did not have a wedding, he just got married. Of course, his mother was not going to release any contact information to me (totally understandable) but I felt I needed closure. I also felt that Gerald still loved me and I thought his marriage was a sham: it was just my gut feeling and I was really convinced of this. I know what I am saying sounds really irrational: how could I be so sure a man who just married another woman was really in love with me?  I am a firm believer in my intuition and I was very brazen: I tracked him down by calling 411. He was living in another state and  I was able to reach him. I just spilled my guts and told him that I meant no harm but that I loved him and thought we would get married one day. I thought he would hang up on me but instead, he decided to tell me that he married his wife because they were moving in the same direction. They both had finished graduate school and were ready to start their new life as a married couple and business partners. I backed off since I was still trying to get grounded and had not started graduate school yet and thought “perhaps this could be true “ and he’s made his choice. We ended the conversation on a positive note but I still felt that he loved me and had not told me everything.

Well one day, many years later,  I was at work, and my phone rang and it was HIM. Gerald had searched and found me. Twelve years had passed since our breakup and I was definitely caught off guard. Gerald told me that I was in his heart and he wanted another chance with me because he loved me. (OMG!) I could hardly believe my ears when he told me this. I never thought this would happen to me, I thought a redux only happened in movies and fiction novels.  More importantly, my intuition about him loving me was spot on.

I had never been married but he had been married twice. Yes, twice. Gerald admitted that his first marriage was a business arrangement and that he stayed in it longer than he should have but was too stubborn to end it sooner. Gerald married a second time to a woman who had gotten pregnant by him and he was miserable yet again: when he called me he was a twice-divorced single dad with two children. We immediately made plans to see each other and catch up with each other.  We began dating and I was hopeful that I finally had the right man in my life after all.

I had to get the answer to my burning question: Why did Gerald not marry me in the first place? Gerald told me the truth: He was scared to marry me because he was afraid I would lose interest in him and he could not bear the thought of me leaving him. I was shocked that a man could confess this but I know that the male ego is very fragile. Men fear pain and rejection more than we women realize.  Men must feel safe before they can be vulnerable with a woman.

One advantage that Gerald and I had was familiarity so it was easy to ease into a renewed relationship with him:  but I soon could see that there were other issues we could not work out.  Gerald would complain that I was not spending enough time with him, he would accuse me of going out with other men, he would act out and embarrass me in public in front of my friends and family. We would argue a lot and I always ended the argument telling him he should have become a lawyer since he enjoyed arguing so much with me!

I decided after experiencing the challenges that I had no tolerance for him. I certainly wondered if I was being too short-sided with him. Time had passed and both of us had been through some experiences in life. Although to be fair to Gerald, being married twice and having children to raise was not something to sneeze at. I also wondered if he was still suffering from his fears of my rejecting him and he was acting out. Gerald was working in a job that had nothing to do with his graduate degree because he was unable to be successful in the career that he really wanted.  I wondered if he was unhappy with his status in life and my success was a reminder of his failures. He mentioned to me more than once that my belief in him was greater than his belief in himself which was interesting.

I wanted to be married and I was willing to do the hard work, but the work did not need to be so hard. When I ended the relationship Gerald knew I was exhausted and he told me that he really wanted the best for me even if I ended up with someone else. I told him that I still loved him but we were not compatible as a couple. We remained friends and actually are still friends to this day.

Why did the universe bring Gerald and I back together again? Was it because of the forces of nature and we both had unanswered questions about our commitment to each other and the timing was right to explore those questions? Was this an experience that I needed to have in order to really test my soul and understand what I really wanted in a husband?

I believe the real answer is this: It seemed that despite the tremendous love that Gerald and I had for each other his insecurities about being with me were too overwhelming for our relationship to survive which was really unfortunate.

I actually have another male friend who admitted that he was insecure about being with a woman that he dated that was beautiful in every way: despite her tremendous love for him he felt that she should be with a more successful man and he ended the relationship. Interesting to say the least. All I can say is wow, the male ego is fragile.

Gerald recently got married a couple of months ago for the third time.  I was one of the first people to call and congratulate him: despite the fact that things did not work out between us, I was genuinely happy for him.

Everyone deserves love and I do like the fact that Gerald still believed in marriage.

I certainly believe in marriage too.

Stay tuned for the continuing saga as follows:

 

Part IV: Transformation

Part V: The Journey to Becoming a Keeper

 

Just KeepingIt100,

– Stephanie

Photo Source: Freepik

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