I’ve made a living landing on the good side of breaking free and breaking down. I have been wealthy in love in my life and until recently I was able to navigate it successfully. I know that matters of the heart aren’t always rainbows and butterflies, but I have always held myself to the highest of standards when it comes to being the other half of an Us. So when a recent serious relationship, to a woman I loved through and through, suddenly came to an end, I was devastated.
It was my fault the relationship ended, or at least that’s what her “list” indicated. Much like me, she was a bit of a writer and had carefully penned her Dear John letter constructing her argument for the downfall of our future lives together. She was right. She had repeatedly conveyed her devotion to me. We had talks about our future together, our plans to get married, but I failed to notice the urgency in her words. This was a women that I deeply loved and had decided to spend the rest of my life with who I was taking for granted. I didn’t notice that I had started to forget to tell her how much I cared, loved and appreciated her often. I didn’t notice that by becoming so consumed with busywork, (I had a booming design company, a stellar banking position, played recreational sports, coached hockey, sat on several professional board of directors) I had put at risk the most important relationship in my life. I thought I was busy making a life for us that she would be proud of. I had spent three years making decisions in all areas of my life based on what was best for us. Except that I hadn’t.
I will never forget walking out the door for the very last time. I remember breaking down. I’d like to think that in that moment I had some say in staying or going, but I have learned I didn’t. It was three days after she told me she had accepted the advances of another man. I’m not implying that in her doing so was what caused the break, her letter proved that to be false. But it made it real, and it hurt like hell. I’m a big believer that you put yourself in a position to cheat. You have to be willing to allow yourself to accept the advances of another man. On some level, you had to have quit. As cowardly as she acted, I was still the one at fault. I was busy being busy, taking for granted that she would always be there.
The next few months after the break up were incredibly hard for me. I found myself questioning who I was as a person, my goals, and even my physical appearance. For the first time in my life, I was open with the people around me about what was happening in my heart. I was honest with myself and with those I talked too. I took responsibility for my part in the downfall and made life altering decisions to ensure such a predicament isn’t replicated when it comes to my partner. I don’t regret it ending, I regret not keeping my end of the bargain. I had made decisions based on what I thought was best for us instead of what was best for me to ensure that I wasn’t sacrificing my goal of putting her happiness first. From the first time I heard her voice, I had dreamed of marrying this women. I had taken her for granted and had become busy being busy.
I am incredibly excited to love again. I have every reason to give up on it, but I won’t. To me, love is my end game. I’ve learned to be less busy, and to continue to love recklessly daily. I have equipped myself for love once more. I have forgiven her and I am done grieving for a loss I hope to never experience again. I have recovered from my devastation. I have a reason to smile again. I no longer have a broken heart. And this time, you guessed it, I won’t take it for granted.