A Letter To The Woman He Loved Before Me.
Sometimes it feels as though we already know each other.
I’ve heard stories about you, seen pictures of you, and I used to worry every brunette woman in a crowded bar was going to be you when she turned around.
I have cried for you, because of you, and most likely alongside of you without either of us realizing the reason we were crying was the same.
At first, I wanted to hate you. You used to consume the love of a man that now loved me, and it’s only a natural reaction to feel threatened, angry, and frustrated when those feelings begin to well up. But I’ve learned over time that you seem like a pretty great person. I’ve learned over time that if he loved you for the amount of time he did, we probably have a lot more in common than seeking love from the same man.
I’ve even thought about how under any other circumstance, you and I would probably make great friends.
I used to view you as the enemy, but I’ve learned that you are not the enemy at all. The enemy is fear, jealousy, lust, and ego. The enemy is choosing to fuel the fires of negativity and create storms in both of our lives. The enemy is not you or I or even he, and the only way to defeat the true enemy is in realizing that. The only way to defeat the enemy is in letting go of all of the ugly feelings that well up inside of me when I think about you, and choosing to see you for your beauty, instead. It is a conscious decision and some days I am better at it than others, but I promise I am trying.
I have also learned that pouring gasoline on a fire cannot put it out. I have been tempted to respond out of anger or haste when your family or friends target me, but I have to remind myself that they are only trying to protect someone they love and that their feelings really have nothing to do with me at all. It’s been difficult to not resent you or feel anger toward some of the decisions that were made when I feel as though I am being unfairly blamed, but this situation has allowed me to practice so much patience, forgiveness, and compassion, and, for that, I am thankful.
Some day, I hope we can be on the same team.
I’ve tried to see things from your perspective, but sometimes it’s hard not to get swallowed up by the uncertainty that always lingers when I hear your name. I remind myself of lovers from my past and the pang I still get in the deepest part of my heart when I think about them telling someone else the words they used to tell me. I soften my heart when I think about the fact that you’ll probably never get used to thinking of him as no longer yours, but I’ve learned that nothing in life is ever final, including the voices in your mind trying to tell you that you aren’t going to be okay.
You’re going to be okay.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to hear about all of the wonderful times you had, adventures you went on, and places you traveled together, even if he leaves out your name when he talks about them.
I’ve learned to become okay with my mind filling in the blanks.
I would never wish to erase you from his past or ask him to speak poorly about the roads you traveled together, for every single road led you both to the ground you are standing on today.
I’ve learned to become thankful for all of the mistakes you both made, all of the lessons you learned together, and all of the hurt, pain, and regret that still makes an appearance sometimes when I look into his eyes. I’ve learned that you are both better for loving each other just as much as you are better for leaving each other, and that it takes true strength to do both.
You are better people, friends, and lovers thanks to the storms you encountered together.
You will find love again and I hope you will not feel afraid to let it in when it comes knocking at your door.
Sometimes love isn’t about staying with the same person forever.
Sometimes love is about getting knocked down to the ground, learning to fall in love with yourself first, and proving it possible to stand up on your own two feet alone before ever taking the first step toward loving someone else.
Sometimes love doesn’t look like love at all.
Sometimes it looks a lot more like pain, heartache, loss, and failure.
But love is always there with open arms when you feel ready to dive back in.
I hope you will never resent him for choosing to dive back in, and please believe me when I tell you that I hope you’ll dive back in head first when you are ready.
At the end of the day, I want to thank you.
Thank you for loving him,
thank you for growing him,
and thank you for finding the strength within yourself to truly let him go.
It used to be really hard to accept the fact that the man loving me had spent so much time loving someone else. I learned something not too long ago that has helped me diminish that feeling.
Every single cell within our body dies and is reborn again. It’s a constant process that never ends as long as our heart is beating and our lungs are breathing.
What a hopeful feeling it is to know that the man who loves me is no longer the same man that used to love you.
And what a comfort it should be to know that the man who loved you for all that time will remain yours forever, and will never even have the chance to meet me.