My love and I have known each other since we were 13 years old. That is a very long time to know anyone, especially as friends of the opposite sex. We stayed friends on Facebook and in real life all of these years (especially the last six of those) but neither of us had any idea the trauma that we both had been through in our marriages. I married a narcissist with very low self esteem who made everything my fault. He married the female version of my ex, except she drank and when she drank she became abusive. We both married people who threw “I want a divorce!” around like a verb.
Bottom line? We are slowly learning how to leave our exes behind and realize that we are not our exes. Tonight we had an argument over the phone that was minor, but his first accusation was “So, I guess this means we are breaking up?!”. No, that’s not what this was at all. I told him it was ridiculous and then realized it’s not… that’s what he was used to. A chapter from his book of divorce had just opened and affected me! Earlier in the day he made a joke about me napping instead of doing what I’d said I would. Normally we are on the same wavelength with humor and jokes, but it rubbed me the wrong way and made me feel guilty, like I wasn’t doing enough. A chapter from my previous life opened up and BOOM! sucker punched the poor guy in the mouth.
I’ve learned a lot about projecting lately, as I’ve had time to read and grow. I’m exhausted much of the time due to MS, work, and a back surgery coming up in two weeks. I realized tonight that we are projecting our pasts on each other without realizing it. This is incredibly common and something we both promised to work on.
Trying to love again after being with someone abusive (whether mentally, physically, or both) is a real challenge but we are up for that challenge.
We look forward to ending the chapter, reading the epilogue and closing the book.