The Fragile, Fickle Nature of Relationships Part II
Continued from Part I.
Even now, after all this time, I still have the occasional dream about my first boyfriend. These dreams make me sad - not because the break-up continues to haunt me, but because he isn’t worth the brainwaves required to dream.
He was a selfish, self-centered, arrogant boy who, today, is probably as reliant on his short-term charm as he was years ago. That’s his only redeeming quality; he has the ability to charm, but not for any length of time, because he can’t conceal his true self for very long. “I wish I’d been born rich instead of so good looking,” he used to say when he looked in the mirror. This was one of his milder statements. When he wasn’t focused on his own appearance, he found time to chide me for gaining weight; hoot at other girls he found attractive (he once leered at one of my female co-workers, an act that did not go unnoticed by the rest of the staff); and mocked my clothes because they weren't stylish (I didn’t have much money for shopping).
Unfortunately, that relationship was just the first of several that became progressively worse.
When he and I broke up, I lost a collection of people who had come into my life because of him. I lost his parents and grandparents, to whom I’d been close, in events that unraveled very quickly. Naturally, there was never any question of their allegiance, so I quietly faded away with my tail between my legs, although I hadn’t done anything wrong.
The situation with his sister was a bit more complicated. She’d been like my own sibling, and we did everything together. We shopped, dined, and went to bars together. She knew my most intimate secrets, and I knew hers. After the breakup, she and I tried to remain friends, but it just became too difficult. He moved on very quickly, and I would hear about his dates and forays with other women from his sister. This would have been okay if my heart hadn’t still bled at the mere mention of his name. So, to distance myself once and for all from his world, I stopped talking to his sister as well.
When I married my first husband, I went into it thinking that forever is a long time. Such thoughts made me much more cautious with my heart, and I subsequently kept him and his family at arm’s length. When we divorced, no relationships other than our own had to unravel. And, just like my first boyfriend, my ex-husband and I fell apart slowly.
It started with minor money troubles, which tugged ever so slightly at the yarn that held us together. Those yarns quickly lost their strength when he started drinking on a regular basis. By the end of our marriage, when he would arrive home and drink until midnight, slurring the insults he hurled at me in a drunken rage, the yarns were nothing more than a pile of tattered remnants.
With my second husband, I threw everything I had into the marriage. I enjoyed being with his parents and became especially close to his mother. Similarly, I welcomed his friends and their wives into my life and tried to be a warm and gracious hostess when they came over. Unfortunately, my efforts were in vain.
*Tune in on Friday, May 3rd for the completion of the mini-series.*