Several days ago, Eric emailed me. Told me that we should take some time off and then let's work towards navigating a friendship. Because he still wants that. And, man... I do, too. Big-time. There's been a gaping hole in my world since I shoved him so unceremoniously out of it.
But I realize that I have a deal-breaker condition.
And if he already knows that he cannot or will not do this one thing, then let's just call it all off now.
I have been living with the assumption that he has already done that one thing. My sister-cousin insists that he has not and that he will never.
Ah, rose-colored glasses, how you deceive me...
I thought that perhaps I should wait the period of time that he had requested before asking the question.
But that seems silly. Why postpone grief? If we are not going to be able to be friends, why not know that now so I can start moving past it? Or, if we are, then sure, allow me this knowledge so that I have something to hold onto in the meantime. Something to help me keep that hope alive.
I waited a day before sending the email asking the question.
And he has not responded.
Which means I have my answer.
And I'm so angry and sad that he is not brave enough to even tell me. When I asked, point-blank. And said, "don't spare my feelings. Just tell me the truth."
It's just words. Say them.
And then I think back to that last therapy appointment with the husband. When we stood on that sidewalk, both of us, apparently, thinking the same thing. "I want to kiss you."
And I stood my ground. And I was going to take that enormous risk.
And he pulled away from me, turned his back on me, and walked away.
I've done some really scary shit in my world.
I've traveled many miles, across bridges with no hand rails. I've used note cards to tell someone I love him. I decided to be with Eric even though I knew that the possibility was very real that I could end up with a broken heart. I left my husband. I asked him to give us another chance.
But a recent Daily Om entry was something about how the decisions you regret are the ones when you did not risk. Regret comes from not trying.
And these men that I have loved. These men that I DO love.
They are not as brave as I am. And they are unwilling to try. Which means that the day will come when they are the ones with the regrets. Because one word could have changed everything. One kiss could have changed everything.
Yesterday, I ran into a gal who has been that "right person at the right time" for me in the last several months. She has said the scary stuff at moments when I was, apparently, open to it. And she presented risks to me that I chose to take. I put that ring on my wedding finger because I had mentioned to her my hopes. And she suggested that risk. Which, as we all know, blew up in my face. But I'm so glad I took it. I'm so glad I tried. I'm grateful for the pain I am in now because at least I know.
And, yesterday... When she asked me how things were going... I told her about how things have been progressing (or not) with the husband. And I said, "I broke up with a wonderful man who loved me in order to try... And now it's too late for us..."
And she said this to me: There is someone even more wonderful out there.
That had not actually occurred to me in the last few months. I've been imagining being alone so much that I have not even imagined that, perhaps, there is someone out there who will be that wonderful man who eats sushi, drinks wine, brings me flowers, takes me traveling, calls, emails, etc....
But this man will actually be over his grief in his past relationships. And this man will be brave enough to stand up for ME when faced with a decision in which he has to choose. And this man will be someone to whom I will, eventually, want to introduce my son. And he will love my kid as much as I do. And this man will choose ME. And he will be brave enough to take the risks to say so.
So. Universe. I'm upping the ante. I have added to my list of Requirements. Read it, and understand that it's just a minimum list of Requirements.
THIS OR BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That said, I'm still gonna grieve this latest bit of clarity about Eric. And I've got a long road ahead of me when it comes to the grieving over the husband. And I'm not going to sit here and say that I'm all zen about it. That letter to "Cara" is still saved. I'm not saying that if I continue to get silence from Eric that I won't go all psychotic bitch on him. (What? I'm nothing if not honest here!)
I'll get to that "Oh, I wish him Light and Love" place. But even though I've had to come to this conclusion without his help, that doesn't mean that I'm ready to forgive him yet. I will.
But I'm not there yet.
As TF reminded me last weekend... This was the first guy I actually imagined a future with. And I know I broke his heart. (Or at least, that's the story some like to tell me. I think they hope it makes me feel better. Like I mattered at some point, at least, even though I don't anymore.)
But I broke my own, too.
But I remember how Nat told me that it's only when the heart cracks that we can let the Light in.
So, I'm letting the Light in.
But when I'm ready... I'm going to stick with the "THIS OR BETTER" mantra.
Because it's braver not to settle.
Not like the two cowards I have loved.