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I CONFESS: I keep my past well buried


BARBADOS NATION

I CONFESS: I keep my past well buried

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SOMETIMES SOME STRANGE things can take hold of your life and leave you confused and even dejected. I share my story in the hope that someone somewhere sees it and can write a response and so help me move forward. It is a matter which I really want to conquer.

Many years ago I had a relationship with a guy who was a student here at the time. We were both young and, naturally, gave in to our feelings. He rented a house in a certain district and while here he bought a vehicle to get to and from school. We would go to the drive-in and other places as any other young couple does.

Years later, I met and married a man whom I sincerely loved and who has turned out to be my true soulmate. Despite our differences on occasions, we stuck together, worked together and made some success of life and our relationship. I do not expect to have another partner in life.

A strange thing has happened to me over the years. It may very well be matter over mind and or a psychological disorder I may be suffering. I do not like to associate with things from my past relationships. I know my husband does not want to discuss, connect with or be associated with that part of my life. He is considerate but fickle.

Some years ago we looked at a house which was for sale two miles away from where this former boyfriend had lived and where I spent quite a bit of time. When I visited the area to see the house, two neighbours saw me looking around with the realtor and indicated that they knew me. I expressed doubts, but one woman said, “You look like a girl who used to be down here with the fellow from … who rented the house. But you look taller. In any case, I don’t believe she would come back out here, given how he dumped her.” I felt terrible, because she was speaking the truth.

The house was being offered at a good price, but I felt that moving there would have created too many unnecessary problems. The neighbours would be too nosy; I would have felt uncomfortable knowing the memories, good or bad, I had with the house, and if my husband is very sensitive and would not be at ease if he found out.

I found an excuse why I did not want to live in that area and my husband agreed. In fact, he said I seemed to have good taste and wherever I chose, he would go. We subsequently bought a nice house elsewhere without any baggage. It was as if one problem follows another since the next move to create headaches was the purchase of a car.

My husband was about to buy a car from a friend which was not only the same brand name as the one that boyfriend had but also that of another boyfriend. The similarities went a little further in that it was also the same colour as that of the second guy. Again I was able to get him to forgo buying that vehicle or even brand of car. I felt haunted.

I have a very close girlfriend from childhood who shares almost any and everything with me; the situation is reciprocated. She tells me I am too thin-skinned and worrying unnecessarily. She believes the past is the past and I should leave it simply at that. In a real world, I do not believe that things work so simply I base my feelings and actions on real life situations.

My close friend serves as my prime example. She had a wonderful marriage ­– or so I thought, until her husband walked away. It was during the divorce that he spoke of the pain and “bad feelings” he experienced when he found out about her romps with various guys. He was neither amused nor compassionate and said quite frankly that if he had known about the many men with whom she had been friendly then he would not have wanted her as his wife. A girlfriend or someone to sleep with, yes; a soulmate and permanent companion, no.

I subsequently learnt from listening to many of my husbands’ friends, whether over a social drink at home, at weddings and other socials occasions, how they feel. They want one type of woman to take to the movies, on a date, to dinner, to a party and to sleep with. But when it comes to a wife, a man, regardless of his past, wants a virtuous woman. Some people may dispute my argument, but it is true. Even brothers and sisters, mothers, aunts, fathers and uncles and even grannies want this particularly for their sons, brothers and grandsons.

It is foolish to have an open pasture, to raise sheep and let them stray when wild hungry dogs roam all around. They will be attacked and killed. It makes sense to avoid unnecessary trouble, so be guarded about the past, especially if it included stupid errors, such as having had multiple partners. The backlash of what you did yesteryear could be devastating to your current relationship.

I am very cautious about this aspect of my life and intend to keep it so. I try hard to avoid those bad reminders and would not even go to the country where a former boyfriend lives. I must confess I look to and think of tomorrow. Yesterday is forever gone.

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