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I CONFESS: My past love still haunts me


BARBADOS NATION

I CONFESS: My past love still haunts me

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HOW CAN I make sure this stays in the past and regain my self-respect. Why are my thoughts and those bad memories still before my very eyes today?

This man, who is originally from another island but has now relocated to Barbados, keeps telling me that neither my first relationship nor that with my husband can be as intense, passionate and inspiring as that I have shared with him. The truth is my relationship with this man has been for want of a better term, real bad poetry.

It was nothing more than puppy love at the time, I was young and foolish and rather than happiness it brought me sadness.

When we were together, I used to joke that he was my purse, always with me. My friends envied me, or so I thought, given the glances of envy whenever we strolled by hand in hand or I on his arm. He had the rugged good looks most women want of their man, tall, with a six-pack and assured. I felt on top of the world.

Rugged good looks aside, what really made him my Mr Perfect was that he was the only man who saw I wasn’t as strong as I pretended to be. But the more I opened up to him the more he played it cool until, three months in, I walked away in a fit of frustration. But he was a bag of deceit and untrustworthiness. We were young, we were studying and with clear goals, something we both accomplished. But while his journey has been a smooth one, mine was full of bumps and potholes, thanks to him. Now, to think that I allowed myself to be used and abused again, is what is eating my soul from my body.

To this day he has remained single. Yes, three children from different women, but no real commitment.

When I look at myself in the mirror, all I can ask is why? I mourn what I went through with previous relationships and, while my husband is not a saint, he is the sweetest thing to have happened to me.

It is totally illogical and wrong to have got carried away by stupid things and sweet words from a man who mistreated me before and whose only objective is to bring harm and pain into my life.

I know it’s completely illogical to be hung up on a man I dated for less than two years, especially as he thinks of me and indeed all other women, I believe, purely as sex objects. While I do not see him in my mind or behave as a lovesick teenager, I find it hard to get him from in front of me. The unfortunate thing is that I believe my husband knows I am confused when it comes to this man.

To help find a solution to my problem I’ve read books about getting over previous loves, I’ve deleted all his emails and I’ve written long lists of things that are wrong with him to give myself a reality check. Honestly, I would like to pretend that what happened between us never did. Worse for me is that I was pregnant, not once but twice for him. I aborted on both occasions. I am very ashamed and can only hang my head in shame.

I am not going through a change of life crisis. It’s just downright stupidity on my part to have even accepted his emails, telephone calls, flowers or messages from his friends.

I watch many of my friends, my work colleagues and people I know casually and realise that successful long-term partnerships come to those who have taken a calm, pragmatic view of what they need from a relationship. Sometimes you laugh at these people, but after many years you realise that they may be having the last laugh.

So, don’t laugh at people because they have not found love at 18 or 20 or 22. Do not get carried away by someone who can take you to the movies, and to dinner or even on an overseas vacation. I was fascinated by those things. I remember going to this man’s home country, excited to be there at Christmas only to be abused and vilified by other women who described me in the worst ways.

You must take time to know that man. And you must recognise that all you may have done together can be thrown back into your face when you are in a settled and happy union.

If you want to find happiness in later life, it is best to avoid puppy love altogether. I feel as if I have lost all my self-respect. I fear my children will find out what has happened and even more so my husband. My wish is for this bad dream to go away and stay in the past, or rather disappear. Writing this may give me the strength I need to do the right thing.

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