As told to Dipannita Ghosh Biswas
My love was tying me down, my love was leaving me confused, my love was not letting me move on…. And yet all I wanted was to keep loving. I didn’t know what it would feel like to move on and break free – I was wary of the unknown feeling of not ‘being attached’ and I didn’t want to let go of that cosy feeling of being with someone. I trusted him with my entire being, I wanted to spend my life with him and build our future together but that was just me, it wasn’t how he wanted things to be. And I saw no point in continuing with this.
When I met him for the first time, I had just moved to a new city to finish my studies. I was excited about being on my own and he was the best thing that happened to me, literally. He was a busy doctor but he never made me feel the brunt of his professional obligations. Things were perfect and rosy – just the way it is when love blooms. But I couldn’t overlook the thorns – my boyfriend was a married man. Of course, he had convinced me with his sob story about his incompatibility with his wife but well, that didn’t change his marital status.
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He kept reassuring me about his impending divorce and how there wasn’t anything going right between his wife and him.
My love for him always won the battle with my conscience and I kept falling for his web of lies.
He wanted me to stand by him during the emotionally tumultuous phase of a divorce and I stood by my love. There were enough reasons for me to pull the plug – long conversations he had with his apparently ‘estranged’ wife, the house showing tell-tale signs of a woman’s presence when I was travelling – but love blinded me.
A year went thus. When I didn’t ask questions, I was happy, but truth doesn’t elude one for long. And then I stumbled upon photo folders of him with his wife in different holiday destinations, in each other’s arms.
The illusion that I was trying to hold on to came crashing down and I couldn’t believe my eyes, but the proof was right there.
Suddenly, from being the loved one, I became the other one, and that hurt. I knew there was no one but me to blame.
I had chosen to continue with this relationship knowing well that it would only give me pain.
It was a nightmare when I confronted him with all those photographs. He was hesitant but lied once again about their relationship to the extent of accusing his wife of bedding another man.
Related reading: What to do when you fall for a married man
He wanted me to stay and my heart told me to stay on. But my head knocked some sense into me and I met his family with all his stories. What I gathered didn’t surprise me – I had figured out that he was trying to keep both sides appeased. He continued as if nothing had happened but I found myself being stifled. I was sobbing my pillow wet every night and felt miserable at the thought of being his dirty little secret. But I lacked the courage to move on. My self-esteem went for a toss at the thought that for the last two years I had been looking for solace and recognition in relationship that was never meant to come out in the open. But the guilt of being called a home-breaker was the final nail in my shroud of misery.
I left my job, the house, the city and his life in a few days and moved back to my parents’ house. It feels terrible that I can’t share my misery with them, but their presence is solace. “What did I not do right?”, “Was I not good enough for him?”, “Did he never love me?” – these questions leave me with no answers. It took me a broken heart and a distraught mind to realise that he wasn’t the type to stand by me. Yes, I have moved away from him, but no, I haven’t quite moved on. I want to be less harsh on myself but it doesn’t come easy. I’ve lost my enthusiasm and peace of mind; I’m left with distrust.