A Letter To The Man I Love, From The Woman He Kept On The Side

I love you. You know that, I know. But do you know what kind of love it is? My love for you is that gut-wrenching, soul-scarring, don’t want to be without you but will adapt if I have to be without you, kind of love. It’s the kind of love that is unexplainable: he wasn’t my type, he isn’t that nice, but I don’t know how and why it happened and I’m sure I will never again feel anything like it. I’ve described it in a way that emphasizes its feeling but the feelings aren’t always good.

I feel like I love without having anyone to actually love. I am an option when you’ve always been my choice. Love is in the little things, my darling, and all I receive are spoken “I love you”s but where are your acts of love? Your mistakes are always forgiven, your brushing off my wants is always “fine” but they are not. With each unfulfilled promise or request I die a little. Not only do I question my worth when I know all I can offer I also see myself sacrificing too much for occasional scraps. I know that it is partly my fault for allowing this but I always hope you’re listening and will take my feelings and desires into consideration and give me what we both know that I deserve.

Every day I sacrifice my wants and come to a standstill while your life continues. As you build what I so much want with you with someone else. As you share experiences that I want to share with you. As you watch your child grow, I wait for my turn, a turn that may never come; because I am aware of the happenings in your life but are you? Does she know that you love someone else and that you’ve made promises of a life without her? I bet not. I’m tired of waiting for a turn I didn’t have to wait for in the first place because at one point it was and could’ve continued to be mine.

I can’t be that girl you’re sure will always be there for you. I can’t be your escape from a relationship we both know is damned. I won’t keep harvesting pain when I can live free of it. Every day I wait for that courageous act of love that for me comes naturally. I wait for the day you’ll tell me everything has been resolved and we could finally be together. That despite all the “stuff” you would bring into our relationship we are able to work it out.

I can think of all the ways we can make it work and I know it won’t be perfect but behind this wishful thinking, I am reminded of the little things that equate to love that never came or happened. The undelivered graduation flowers, the ignored calls and texts, the movie we didn’t see, the shutting me out. These little unperformed acts of love that show me there is no effort in making a place for me in your life. A place I shouldn’t have to scavenge for. I won’t give you an ultimatum because in the end it’s my choice: to wait for something that may never happen or to walk away and regret not risking it all but I have risked it all now it’s your turn. If you really do love me so much, you shouldn’t let me go and if you don’t, I rather be alone than being alone while “in love.” So today I’m taking the first step in not being “the girl that waits.” I just hope whatever movie I see is worth the awkwardness of going to the theater alone. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

featured image – Tim Roth

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