1. Would love me.
2. Would be emotionally available to me.
3. Would accept my kids.
My cousin commented that all three was maybe too much to hope for but I might find someone with one quality.
Two weeks later, Luc came into my life. He gave me all three and more. He offered me love, safety, security. We work in a similar field and discussed opportunities for working together with clients. I didn’t think I wanted a steady relationship and certainly not with someone who had kids but after four dates in one week and our children meeting one another, we knew we wanted to be together. He spoke of a “coming home” feeling. He wanted me to stay in his life for a very long time. He brought me a red rose from his garden. He told me loved me and we agreed to grow old together. "No more dating, I asked the Greek gods for a Lady and they brought me my Helen of Troy: Now we can grow old together". Dating was behind us. We had found each other. His parents were delighted that he had found such a good woman and looked forward to meeting me in the next couple of weeks. He told me he had always wanted to be married by 50 (nine months to go.)
Within two weeks we were talking of living together. Within three weeks he found us a house to buy. It suited us all. The children chose their bedrooms. His youngest son wanted to live with us full-time and the mother agreed that he could go to the same school as my sons.
After five weeks we went to London for five days and he met all my family who thought he was super and they were so happy for us. Everyone warned us not to go fast but we felt we had known each other for so long. There was every certainty that we really had found the person, Mr & Mrs Right.
Every day I was grateful that this loving, supportive, amusing, intelligent rock was in my life and would never leave me. We cherished our time together. We called each other, “Darling”, “My love”, “Sweetheart”. We cuddled, we held hands, we kept close to one another, even when working on our laptops.
But after 7½ weeks he walked out of my house for the last time unbeknown to me. Two days later I received an email, “end…sorry”. A wave of shock went through me. No particular reason. Just a feeling over the last week that this was not right and he did not want to carry on. His early feelings of love had dwindled.
Yet during that week he seemed so happy to me. He was living at my house going to work, cooking together, watching TV – normal family life. We were settled and had no need for anyone outside of our unit. On the Saturday he told me he loved my children. We talked about possibly staying in my house and he looked forward to putting in a vegetable garden as a hobby to supply fresh food.
I’ve sent him countless emails and only received one back saying that he is sticking to his decision. He asked me not to call, to give him space and distance to come to peace.
Every day pain, questions. Why did he do this? Did I do or say anything wrong? If so, I want to know to avoid doing it in the future. If I was the “top woman” he kept calling me, why did he stop loving me? Did he get overwhelmed by the reality and the responsibility of the future we were planning together? Did he worry that we could not afford the finances to provide for our monthly outgoings? Why did he see differences as a problem rather than just individuality that makes a relationship more interesting?
He once asked if a London lady could settle down with a “baker’s son from the village”. Did he not realize that I see him as he is now, not where he came from? I have enormous respect for what he has achieved in the last five years in a new field of business after he lose his first business. Some people would hide the “skeletons in the closet” but I was so glad that he told me everything. He expressed concern that he might be at the top of his earning power and might be lacking in work over the years. I see him as very competent and believe that his opportunities will grow. I would help him to grow and provide him all the support for continuing success.
Was he scared that I might go back to my ex-boyfriend who has been pining for me? Does he not believe in my deep, lasting love for him?
He said he still thinks about his ex. So what, I still think about mine. Anyone we have loved remains a part of us for always but we move on, our love for them changes, whether or not they stay in our life. I was glad with his honesty but I reminded him that she did not and does not love him. There is no way back to her. They are friends and she is pleased that he found someone who could give him what she could not. My ex said the same to me. He was happy that he no longer stood in my way because he believed Luc was the right man for me and my children.
So many questions. So many rational reasons why he could have talked himself out of this relationship but if there were doubts, we could have discussed them. I never heard any. I just heard assurances.
Our sons talked openly about becoming step-brothers if we got married. We joked with them about who would be the first to provide grandchildren.
We have booked a week in London at New Year and the boys were excited. Now we won’t be going and the costs cannot be refunded.
We are all going to lose so much because he changed his mind yet I don’t even know why.
My eldest son wrote to him,
“Mummy was very sad about your message and wishes that you could at least see each other or call each other. She was so happy with you and we were happy that she was happy. You looked very happy with Mummy. I had never seen Mummy so happy before. It was a big shock when Mummy told us.
We both think you were all great friends. Please change your mind. Please come back together.”
He wrote that we went too fast and I had warned him that we should not do that. Did he get carried away with the dream instead of taking time to know the person? Yet he kept telling me how much he truly loved me.
A friend wrote,
“What a very sad letter we received this morning. I am amazed and terribly sorry that this happened - things seemed so perfect that it is quite a shock to us as well. You must be going through the agony of the damned and my heartfelt sympathy is with you.”
“I am stunned and in so much pain. I don't want to sound dramatic but I honestly thought a heart attack was starting this morning. I just wish Luc would talk to me and explain why he changed apparently from one hour to the next.”
I was loving, kind, a good listener, supportive, I cooked for everyone, I did everything, the sex was great and yet he dumped me by email without even an explanation. Just wishing me happiness. Happiness! I found joy with him, a peace, a togetherness that I have never known.
I truly believe that he is the soulmate I never dared to hope I would find. I know with every ounce of my being that he is the right man for me and I thought I was the right woman for him. He is the father that my boys need and I showed that I could be a great second mum to his boys. He seemed so interested in my boys and just the day before he left, told me that he loved them.
How could he change so suddenly? How could he do this, to all of us, to his sons who also wanted us to be together? How could he shatter everyone’s dream?
Just a week before he was talking to a girlfriend of mine about a business opportunity with her company, telling her how happy we were and that we would visit together to discuss the business.
Four weeks ago, he left me a note thanking me for being such a wonderful mother and woman, such a good girlfriend, signed love you truly, yours forever.
A male friend asked me what I had done to “attract this into my life?” How did I attract this??? I was so happy, I never doubted him or us. I believed him and trusted him totally. I had asked the angels for such a man and here he was and I remembered the line from The Thornbirds, “You have the love of a man who will never leave you.” I was secure. I could give myself totally to this man and trust him with my heart, with my children’s hearts. He went on, “Change your mindset. You've been there before - so you should be getting better at recovery. What are the lessons?”
Change my mindset? Just ignore my pain, my grief, move on. Actually one more rejection makes it more difficult to recover, less reasons to believe there is someone who will love me, truly, for who I am.
Another male friend,
“A man who breaks up a relationship in a way like that is not worth to be with you. He isn’t even worth crying over … You deserve someone much better than that.” Sure, rationally, in cold light but I love this man so much.
Luc is a Leo, the lion. I wrote to him, “You were my strong man, my protector, my helper, my friend. I was safe with you and we could achieve everything together.”
There is a time to learn, a time to pick myself up and move on. But not yet. Men and women are different. Even the strongest women sometimes need to be a little girl again, reach for the tissues and allow the pain to come out. If it doesn't, it will never truly go away. My girlfriends are encouraging me to talk, to write as many emails as I need, to Skype and to say the same things over and over. It's not "poor me". It's the way that (most) women operate. I need to grieve, I need to understand. I can't just say "sod him" and look for someone else.
I don't want to be miserable and a burden but this has come as such a shock for me. I keep going over and over in my mind what could have caused this. Fortunately, I have friends who encourage me to keep talking to them, keep writing over and over, to let the pain out.
I need answers to find closure. I still don't know why Nicholas split up with me back in 1987 and that has kept him as the love of my life all this time. I need to know. It is the only way I can find any peace. One girlfriend said leave him be, connect with God/spirit/angels/the universe and you will found out why but I need to hear it from him. There could be some huge misunderstanding. I keep telling myself it is just panic on his side, realizing that he really had found what he wanted and this was it for the rest of our days. Yet he wrote, “The early love is melting like snow in the sun.” How can that be?
We should have been together this weekend, all six of us. Our sons should have been swimming together yesterday, receiving a visit from Sint Nicholas afterwards. He should have been sitting at the head of the dining table as head of our joined families. We should have been playing Monopoly today, the new World version that he bought for us in London three weeks ago. Instead, I have spent the day sharing my pain with the tremendous people who have been showing love and support to me.
I love him and miss him to the core of my being. Yes, it was short but I thought it was forever so that does not make it easier to get over. Of course, it is better to know now rather than when we would have bought a house together, leaving me with huge financial responsibility. If he had doubts, why didn’t we talk about them? It would be easier to bear if I had known he had doubts. But we were so together, so happy to just settle down together.
A male friend thinks that if I want him back - of course I do - the only way is to leave him completely alone which in itself might make him think because a man can only reflect when he is alone, his sons are not with him, he is watching TV alone, weekends that he could have been with me etc. In “Women are from Venus, Men Are From Mars”, John Gray says that women need to talk but men retreat to their cave. He has gone home to his house, his things so I shall leave him to concentrate on his work. If I want to write to him, I will draft an email but not send it. No texts, no phone calls. Just be brave and wait and hope.
If you want to pray for me, please do. I am calling on the angels - the universe - spirit to bring him back.
Maybe one day, he will contact me to explain. Maybe one day he will be ready to meet, to talk and I hope to the bottom of my heart that we could start again but in a different way. Slow down, just date, have fun rather than pore over financial details and discuss problems.
It might take weeks, months or maybe never and I have to accept that. Right now I cannot even start to believe there could be someone better for me and the boys. My son and I just had a long talk because he is as baffled as anyone. Over the next six weeks I have to get through my birthday, Christmas and New Year.
It might be wishful thinking but I believe he is my soulmate and “there can be only one” as he used to say. I’m a good woman. Why wouldn’t he want me?
I'm not giving up on my dream, our dream, the boys' hopes. I'm not prepared to get angry, call him a bastard and look for someone else. My ex always says he admired my determination to obtain my goal.
Why am I writing all this? To help me to grieve but also because I’d like to think my bearing my soul, sharing my experiences will speak to someone else, warn others not to go so fast, to fall in love truly with each other, not fall in love with love. Maybe that’s what he did. Found someone to tick his boxes then discovered I wasn’t that person. No, but I am worth being with. I have many qualities and so much love to give.
I hope you respect my honesty, my authenticity in sharing my most heartfelt and raw emotions.
I’m re-reading Richard Bach’s book “The Bridge Across Forever” in which he describes his search for his soulmate and the subsequent relationship with his future wife, Leslie Parrish. Very different people, different ideas, some different values but they found common ground, discussed differences and allowed love to develop. I think we were too busy looking at house details instead of just dating. By so doing, we lost sight of "us" and now we've lost what money cannot buy.
© Antonia Harrison 2009