It’s a question I have thought about since the day everything ended.
Did AJ love me? I mean, really love me. The way I loved him… No, he couldn’t possibly love me the way I loved him. My love was unconditional. His came with conditions… so is that love? Could there have been any ounce of him that loved me?
Does it matter?
For some reason, it matters. After the dust settled, forgiveness given out, and new courses charted, I still wondered if I was completely played and used, or just slightly played and used. It almost feels like knowing if he loved me at any point would validate my feelings and help me feel less… fooled.
The other night, my guy friend and I were discussing our divorces. I said, “well, I just got played… he cheated the whole time, not sure what else he did”. Without missing a beat, he said, “he loved you”.
I stopped in my tracks. He loved me? How on earth did my friend come to this conclusion?
He began to talk about how cheating isn’t always about lack of love. Sometimes, he said, it isn’t about anything. And likely, it wasn’t about me at all. So, he must have loved me.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this since. Did he or didn’t he? Were his actions separate from his feelings for me?
But honestly, my question didn’t even stem from AJ’s affairs. Obviously, that doesn’t help, but his actions after I asked for honesty and counseling was what showed his feelings towards me.
There is that saying – actions speak louder than words. When it came to AJ, that was seriously true. When I asked him to schedule counseling to save our marriage, no calls were made. When he said he would win me back, no actions were taken. When he left the house, he was in a relationship in days.
Those things hurt worse than the cheating. Those things gave me that answer I didn’t want.
He doesn’t love you, Erin. Probably, he never did.
It is a tough pill to swallow… to know you gave all of you to someone who did not give anything. It’s extra hard to understand that I let him. And to some extent, it’s so disappointing, it’s almost easy to say that I give up on dating all together…
Maybe I am so effected by one man’s disappointing actions, that I am willing to give up trying to find the right guy. The guy who will put in the effort. The guy would will value me. The guy who feels lucky to have me. I’ll just miss out, because I blame everyone for what one guy did to me.
Spoiler alert – I am not giving up. But I have heard this so many times that it breaks my heart. Friends disappoint us, but I am not swearing off all friendships. Family fails us, but I won’t cut all of my family member out of my life. Cars break down, but I still drive one. We face countless disappointments, heart breaks, failures, but we still move on. Why, when it comes to love are we so quick to swear it off for good?
Is it because love is such a fierce emotion that when we lose love, it causes a physical pain? Is that why I still wonder if he loved me? Perhaps he felt that intense deep pain when I cut ties with him? Perhaps it would even the playing field if he did.
While I have little interest in feeling the pain of a broken heart again, I have great interest in feeling love again. For me, the risk is more than worth the reward.