I walked my cheating ex-boyfriend‘s wife down the aisle and gave her away…. at least, that’s what happened in my dream.
Let me backtrack…
A few years ago, I dated a man who was essentially living a double life. I don’t know what else to call it. One where he was in a committed long-term relationship, shared a home, a life, a dog, sleepy Sundays and football with his family. The other, where he was a single philandering S.O.B. He brought women to our house when I was at work, claimed that the hair bands on the bathroom door (and any other female paraphernalia) belonged to his sister as he complained about how he is such a “nice guy” who can’t seem to find someone. He was a compulsive liar… a very convincing one at that. So much so, I’m convinced he’s a psychopath.
He was cheating on me. I wish I could tell you I didn’t know, but as women, we always know. We feel it. Guys aren’t as good at covering their tracks as they think they are. I’ve been cheated on before and I didn’t want to project my trust issues from that relationship on to this one.
Fast forward, towards the end of our relationship he started cheating on me with someone he worked with. He took her to the same gorgeous expensive restaurant on the water he took me on our first date. He brought her to our home, slept in our bed, and all the while she had no idea I existed in his life. While he decided if he wanted to stay with her or with me, my life was a living hell. I was reluctant to let go despite not being happy in that relationship. Our lives, friends, vacation schedules, EVERYTHING we had was intertwined. Incredibly, I was willing to give it one more go, if he was willing to work at it.
For the sake of expediency, I’ll spare you the gruesome details leading up to the separation. I will admit, in a way I was relieved. I’d turned into a shadow of myself and barely knew who I was outside of that relationship. He never came clean about it when we separated, instead insisting he wasn’t seeing anyone, that he’s just “confused.” I knew, he knew and G-d knew. That said, I was convinced SHE didn’t know what she was getting into. Shoe being on the other foot, I would have liked someone, ANYONE, to tell me. I wanted to tell her so many times. What really bothered me more than the cheating itself is that she has a child. I have a soft spot for children. Women? We bounce back. I felt that if he betrayed her the way he did me, this child would surely be affected. Invariably, therapists always want to talk about “your childhood.” We all know how much those early years shape and mold us. What would you have done?
I had every way to reach her — in person, phone, email — but WHAT IF he was for real this time? What if he actually found the love of his life? If he found someone to be happy with, then I was happy for him and forgave him for it. All’s fair in love and war, right? After much struggle, I decided to take the high road and not say anything at all, deciding that focusing on my own life was a better use of my energy. I wished them love, happiness and prayed he had changed his ways.
I was wrong.
A few months later, he reached out to me saying he made a mistake and wanted me back. I was L-I-V-I-D. In not so many words, I told him he’s lost his d*mn mind and if he ever spoke to me again, I would take all his emails along with instant message transcripts and send them to his girlfriend. He retreated and I didn’t hear from him for a while. What I didn’t know is that he was engaged to her when he was trying to engage me. I only found out about the nuptials after they were already married, less than a year after we’d separated. Ever since then, I wondered if I made the right decision in not telling her.
A couple of nights ago, I walked into wedding hall, inside a dressing room where my ex’s (now) wife was preparing for her wedding. Everyone knew who I was, except her. Seems they had decided to keep quiet, too. Noticing the commotion, she asked what was going on. I explained, told her everything. She was angry, but with a forced smile, she asked that I walk her down the aisle. For reasons still unknown to me, she wanted to see the look on his face when we both walked down the aisle. In retrospect, maybe I did, too. I wasn’t exactly appropriately dressed for the wedding party, but she got me some high heels and lipstick. It’s the least I could do.
We entered the room and almost immediately, you heard a wave of gasps washing over the guests, sadly not because of the bride but because of the tall conspicuously familiar figure next to her. Afraid to move or say anything, the guests stayed in their places unsure what would cause a bigger scene, having me removed or letting this play out. They all stood there immobilized. The groom was flushed red and you could see beads of sweat forming on his brow. More than the wedding dress, the bride wore a courageous smile as she grabbed my right arm firmly and started to walk, slowly and determined towards her future husband. She is stronger than I thought. I unceremoniously gave my ex-boyfriends wife away to him. I stood to the right of them and then sat. People watched as if waiting for a train wreck. I didn’t give them the satisfaction and woke up.