My dear Jil, in my humble opinion you took the right decision for your life – you got out of the relationship. That was the only option available and it will hurt a while. You were emotionally invested. The hurt will be on two levels: there’s the hurt of getting out of a relationship. Then there’s the hurt of a postponed nuptial.
Solomon wrote that hope deferred makes the heart sick. But it was either you got out, or you messed up your life. As it is, your heart is already messed up. You’re crying. Unfortunately, you have no other life. You have no spare life. Nobody does. It is this one life. Life is the most valuable natural resource on earth and marriage uses that one life. Marriage is not external to you. It is your dreams, your hopes, your future, your happiness.
You dated this guy for two years – only to discover he had another woman all the while. And it wasn’t a side-relationship. It was THE relationship. You were the side-relationship. When you confronted him, he told you he met her before you, had known her before you. If you hadn’t found him out he would have kept up the ruse, two-timing both of you. That guy is HARD, and dangerous! He’s a deceitful guy. Can’t be trusted. But marriage is a trusteeship. And he made you believe you were the only one, that there was none beside you. Yet he was fully committed to another woman. And he promised to marry you. How was he going to pull that off?
He did promise to break off that other relationship. But that was 6 months ago. Six months after, that relationship is not only alive, it is kicking! And when you asked for explanations he resorted to that most infamous of expressions: It’s complicated! No, it’s not complicated. He’s just a two-timing and dishonest person!
Clearly the other woman has a hold on him. He’s probably planning a wedding, that is, if he wasn’t already married. He’s just wasting your life. He’s conscienceless. You were no more than an extra-curricular activity. And because you were his secret secret, he voyeured on your hopes with the sauce of deceit. He invented promises he had no intention to volunteer in the first place; just to keep stringing you along. As long as you were dreaming of marriage the relationship could keep going. And he’s smart, thinks he’s smart.
Whatever the state of that other relationship, it can’t augur well for you. Someone is bound to get burnt, and you’re the most suitable and most likely candidate. Hoping things will swing is not worth your while. He’s not worth getting. He’ll bring you sorrow. And anyway, you’re under-resourced for such a faith adventure. You’ll get wasted along the way and you’ll still lose him, if you ever get him. He’ll just keep lying to you. There’ll always be another woman, another you. He’ll never be content with you.
Your boyfriend is living a double life, like he’s two beings. He was heavily committed to two women in two dimensions at once. It takes a lot to keep that kind of ruse going. Unless of course you’re very talented in lies. It’s unfortunate but you’re just someone he lied to in present continuous tense. He’s pathologized. My take is that such a guy can maintain two homes and two families in the same town and none will be wiser. Kind of reminds me of those crime series on cable TV – the guy who maintains two separate families and assumes a distinct identity for each. Psycho?
A similar thing occurs when a guy studies abroad and starts a family. Then he comes back home and starts another family. And it happens locally too. Sometimes the latter wife is aware of the first wife. Things stay secret until the interment of the gentleman. The secret wife then insists her child assert his right to ashes to ashes. These things must not become normative in your generation. Painfully, I’m already getting mails for advice from young men on such issues. They have a diaspora family and wish to start a local family as if the diaspora family doesn’t exist. And some girls know for a fact these men have families abroad yet want to start a local family with them. How will you then demand fidelity from such a man? Are you that desperate and heartless? The man abandoned his children for you. What do you think he’s going to do with YOUR offspring when he seeks escape? Kill whatever love you have for this man – murder the feeling. It’s legal.
Once saw a movie… (Trying to recollect the title now… Oh, yes, An Education). It’s one of those coming of age movies, based on a memoir actually. Lynn Barber. Jenny was a bright schoolgirl who fell under the wayward charm of an older man – a con man who seduced her. She was preparing to go to Oxford University when she met the gentleman. He took her to concerts, clubs, fine restaurants, and of course Paris! But she soon discovered he wasn’t what he appeared to be. He made money with a variety of shady practices. But not before losing her virginity to him. And then he proposed. Jenny accepts and drops out of school. Only to discover, by accident, that he was already married! At which he abruptly drops out of sight, forever. Luckily she was able to recover her life through the help of her favourite schoolteacher. Not everyone is that lucky Jil.
Perhaps I’m that schoolteacher in your life this morning – the one who helps you get back on track. There are those who live fantasy lives using other people’s lives. They’re life borrowers. May you be far from life borrowers. May they not find you. If things become “complicated” once the subject of marriage is introduced, run. Or you’ll complicate your life. Take this experience as an education. Please wipe your tears away. God saved you from ruin.
Your mentor, LA
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.org