It’s a surreal thing, being able to devote energy into dissecting my actions, inaction and general thoughts in an attempt to reach beneath the surface of my infidelity. My ex did not know about my girlfriend initially, but she found out about her very early on. Despite that, we carried on and I adjusted to her demands on top of adjusting to my girlfriend’s. By the time the affair was over, I spent a great deal of emotionally draining energy resenting my ex for being so angry with me for how things ended. For the months following, I feigned perplexity, but all I had to do was read some of the emails we exchanged over the two-year period to see why she was still lashing out even though she’d moved on and was in a new relationship.
For a while I held on to the attitude that she had no right to be upset because she knew my girlfriend was still a staple part of my life. This would go on to be a major source of contention. I’d say one thing and do another and this became a routine that she would deal with, all the while fighting until the end. In hindsight, my lies ruled their perceptions of our individual relationships and where they felt either one was headed.
Lies in truths and truths in lies, the truths and lies I intertwined. I lied about lies and truths alike. And that was the basis of my dual love lives.
It’s easier than one thinks to fall into the trap of not acknowledging ones feelings. It’s easy to lay blame on one person, one thing, one this, one that, but the truth always remains. And it is quite possible that my perception of love and being in love was highly dysfunctional due to any number of reasons, but what I believed then and still believe to be true now is that I loved and was very much in love with two very different women at once. I became addicted to the duality of those powerful emotions and came to rely on them to the point where I couldn’t fathom not having one without the other. Granted, falling in love with someone you shouldn’t be falling in love with is selfish, it’s also one hell of an adrenaline rush as I alluded to earlier. That constant is the most addictive as it can fulfill a spirit for adventure to last a lifetime in one moment, and alternately it can change the course of the entire life you had all planned out in the next.
What I learned is that I placed myself into the situation because I was not focused on my needs. One can be selfish as hell and not bother to focus on their actual needs, the ones that sustain and foster healthy personal, emotional, and spiritual growth. Instead, choosing to focus on wants and desires and immediate satisfaction while real needs are left by the wayside. This can be a breeding ground for emotional discombobulation. What’s even more ironic are the times I was being selfish, my girlfriend and my ex should have been that way about their own needs despite any protests coming from me. And there were many, except toward the end.
Just because I had a long-term relationship and an affair that was very much a relationship doesn’t mean I stopped loving my girlfriend. At no point did such a thing occur. I could have lived happily with both relationships firmly as they were. My girlfriend and my ex fulfilled individual wants and desires and I did everything in my power to provide balance to an inbalanced situation. I felt very much in love with them both, some would call it infatuation, but it’s painful to see the truth and accept it for exactly what it was. It would be an easy out for me to say it was puppy love or a short-lived passion, but it was a two year affair and nothing less. There is an alluring, dangerous and destructive aspect and that’s exactly how it felt. It’s difficult to make sense of senselessness.
My girlfriend was asked why she didn’t leave my ass when she first found out. To question without knowing or bothering to understand the complexities of affairs and relationships, no answer will suffice if it doesn’t revolve around her having actually left the relationship. How is it that my girlfriend only truly loved me if she respected herself enough to leave? Don’t answer that. I wonder if people understand that love and respect are two different things. I was giving one but not the other. The other but not the one. It’s still a difficult thing for her and I to wrap our heads around, but we ultimately both agree that everyone deserves a second chance.
In reflection, I realize that they both sacrificed a lot, much more than I. They didn’t always know the truth about each other or my intentions, but I know in my heart that they both deserved a complete love. My girlfriend deserved so much more. That doesn’t make either of them weak or my girl stupid or my ex a home wrecker. That makes me imperfect in every sense of the word and it makes them completely human. Besides, it takes a strong person to not simply walk away when the going gets tough. If I had either of their strength of mind, I wouldn’t have gotten myself into that mess in the first place.