I should have known what it meant when, a few weeks after we started dating, you shamelessly lied to me. You pretended to forget we had made a date the day before and coldly informed me that you were going out with friends. No mention of our plans. No apology.
I should have known what it meant when, though you claimed to love me, you were visibly uncomfortable in situations where emotional support was required.
I should have known what it meant when you treated me like a sex doll, with no intimacy or connection and as if you owned my body. Or when you made a frightening comment about rape during sex. Or when you groped me in front of others, including your own mother, like you were showing off your sex slave as proof of your virility. It makes me shudder now just to imagine it. How did I let you do that to me?
I should have known what it meant when you were violently possessive if another man showed interest in me and I had to give up male friends to keep the peace.
I should have known what it meant when you wouldn't listen to me, did not respect my intelligence and credited others with things I had actually said. You were dismissive of my opinions and feelings in so many ways.This was how you wore down my self worth so I would accept mistreatment.
Then there was the silent treatment. The stonewalling. The gaslighting when I tried to bring any of these issues to your attention. There was the arrogant refusal to do any work on the relationship. All of this was telling me a terrible truth I could not see for 32 yesrs; the truth of your covert malevolent intent towards me.
I was afraid of you at times. I had nightmares about you. I felt in my gut that you were not loyal and that you wanted to be with other women. My instincts were telling me that you could not be trusted and did not have my best interests at heart. They were telling me that you were killing my spirit, bit by bit, and that someday you would gleefully pound nails into my coffin. I didn't listen to my instincts, and I paid dearly for it.
Now here I am, 33 years later, having finally accepted that what happened to me was a conditioning process wherein I was slowly and meticulously trained to accept disrespect, callousness, objectification and manipulation.
You felt entitled to a high level of caretaking from me that did not have to be reciprocated by you, simply because you are a man.
Is that why you conveniently "fell out of love" when I became seriously ill, because you didn't want any obligation to care for me?
Will I ever get an answer to the question of why you so brutally discarded me and started an exit affair, but did not exit because you found duping and betraying me thrilling? Why so much hate? Why did you elevate a trashy, narcissistic user who had earned nothing to the position of primary partner? The decades I spent loving you and raising a family with you meant nothing, but somehow this awful person meant everything. Do you know how excruciating it is to know that I was so casually replaced by the person who promised to love me until the end of time? How about the agony of knowing you were laughing at me with this other person, making fun of my trust in you and love for you, as if I'm a total non-entity, undeserving of even basic human rights? Knowing that you were cruelly toying with me, planning to continue to do so for as long as we were together, is soul destroying. Do you even care how deeply you hurt me, so deeply that it caused me to slide into suicidal madness? I don't think you really do. I don't know who you are. I am frightened by your potential to do evil.
Today is Valentine's day and I am alone and unloved. What I should have known was that I was alone and unloved for our entire relationship. What I know now is that I have lost my innocence and can never be the person I was before. You said you loved that person. That was not love, and she no longer exists.