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April 3, 2021

Cutting Shared Threads

Photo by Victor Freitas on Pexels.

To the women who flirted with, slept with, messed around with or dated my husband,

When I think of you, hear your name, envision your faces it magically teleports. Right there. To the middle of my stomach. Just below where my ribs meet. I feel it sit there for a while. Then it begins to sink. As it sinks, it makes me nauseous. It is heavier than anything I have felt. More sickening than anything I’ve experienced. The thoughts enter my mind without warning, and the ball settles before I realize what’s happened.

The ball is dark. Weighs a ton. It is so tightly wound that the first few times it appeared, I didn’t realize how many threads were compacted in it. Many belong to him, but many belong to you. Some are tied like a tourniquet around my pride. This, I discovered, is what causes me the blinding pain that distracts me from unwinding the threads. From disassembling this unwelcome guest in my core.

How many people knew?

How did his friends come to my house and eat with our family knowing about you?

How many calls were unanswered because your lips were on his, or your hand in his hand?

How did you smile when he chose his time with you over my call?

Did my ignorance and the sneaking around turn you on, at my expense?

These questions, thoughts and feelings coat the ball in wax. Protectively encasing the truth with my hurt. Wax can be melted. It warms fast, it burns as it drips, sears where it lands and it leaves scars. My pride limping, melted beyond recognition, no longer able to flow, makes way for me to shakily inspect the first thread. Then the next, and the next. I’m not sure where you are in the sequence. But I have to face you. When the wax covered the ball, I was hard. I was angry. I was bitter and blinded. I was disgusted by you. I hated you.

Now. Oh, but now. I am so sorry for you. These threads that belong to you, also belonged to me. They stung so deeply because we co-owned these threads. Each holding one end. Accepting similar lies, experiencing similar hurt.

I wonder if he made you feel like you were special. The only one who could make him look away from me. The only one who got to hear how difficult his marriage was, and how awful it was to be married to me. How I tore him down and now you had the chance to build him back up. When did you realize this was all a lie? Thread.

I wonder what you envisioned as a future. As he whispered “I love you” and you dreamed of a life together. You waited, asked and pushed for that day to come so your love could be free. Free of his marriage to another woman. When did you realize that despite his attention to you, he would never choose to leave me? Thread.

I wonder what you spoke to yourself to justify your actions. It is hard for me to imagine the level of selfishness and the ability to lie to self in order to stoop to such a level. There is a level of self-deception required to remain in such a relationship. The effort would be astronomical, unless you’re already used to doing it in other areas and scenarios. At what point could you no longer lie to yourself or justify your behaviour? Did you even get to that freedom? Thread.

Strong women unite. Content women respect other women. Healthy women have solid boundaries. Happy women don’t settle for less than their worth. Strong women stay away from men who diminish her worth. Thread.

I didn’t embrace my strength. I wasn’t content. I wasn’t healthy and I wasn’t happy. Neither were you. Thread. Oof. Big thread.

I am now.

I hope you will be one day too.

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