When I first started dating my ex, I was excited about all the time we would spend together. I daydreamed constantly about the times we would spend together with my friends and family. My family and friends mean the world to me and them spending time with my significant other is literally the happiest I could ever imagine myself being.
I come from a huge family that is very close. I have three sisters who all look at me as their rock, and almost thirty cousins that I am also very close with (as close as you can be to 30 people). We have always had huge family parties where everyone was drinking and eating an ungodly amount. We are loud, hug constantly, and just embody love in its purest form.
My friends are essentially my adopted brothers. One guy I have known since the first day of first grade. We have been through heartbreaks and happiness, fights and quarrels, and so many stories that we both can scream out loud and never speak of. We have seen each other cry. I would take a bullet for any of them and couldn’t ask for a better group of men to be associated with.
During the two years I was with my ex, she only hung out with my friends and family a handful of times. She always had some kind of excuse that I took as law. She is a mom and wanted to spend as much time with her child as possible. I would always invite her daughter to whatever we were doing and she would always say she wasn’t comfortable bringing her because she didn’t want to confuse her by introducing her to a new family before we were at that point in our relationship. I understood and respected her decision for the first eighteen months, but towards the end I took it to mean that she would never want that for us.
My friends and family were very inquisitive at first. They could tell I was exuberant about this girl and wanted to know everything about her. I had come home to Chicago in the summer which meant lots of backyard bbqs, house parties, family events every weekend, and sweet sunshine. Her absence at first went unnoticed and excuses were made. After a few months, the same excuses got old.
“So, is she coming this time?”
“She can’t come out just this once?”
“You know, she can bring her daughter with. We won’t bite.”
“Are you sure she isn’t imaginary?”
*Brooding stare followed by a headshake*
I ran out of excuses after a while and just started to shrug.
They stopped asking. It got to the point where they just flat out stopped asking about her. They didn’t ask if she was coming to a party or event. They didn’t ask how we were. They didn’t ask anything because they already knew the answer. For a year, they didn’t ask. The worst part is that it wasn’t because they didn’t care. They didn’t ask because they did care and didn’t want to remind me that she wasn’t there. They didn’t ask because they knew that I would go to the end of the world for her, and she wouldn’t drive forty-five minutes for me.
When you care about someone, you make time. When you care, you show up. You don’t know how you will, but you do show up. I am not naive. I understand that not everyone and can make it to everything. It took me a long time to learn that when someone misses everything, they aren’t trying. They simply don’t care. They may think that they do. They may want to, but they don’t. Their actions are proof of that.
My friends took a lot of this broot damage. I would lash out at them for asking or questioning me about her. This was all pent up feelings and insecurities I had against her, but it was easier to lash out at people who loved me unconditionally than it was to lash out at her, who could reject me at any moment. That fear of her rejecting me led me to damage a lot of relationships with friends and family. I risked the most important people in my life for a girl who couldn’t make time for me on my birthday.
I would blow friends off to spend time with my ex. I would completely ditch them. Sure, I would come up with some excuse of lie, but in it’s essence I blew them off just to spend a moment with her. She wouldn’t be happy about that either. She would ask me straight out if I was blowing them off for her and I would lie to her because I didn’t want her to be mad either. I was so insecure about losing her that I didn’t want to spend a moment without her. I almost lost the people I love the most in this world due to my insecurities and fears.
Luckily, those who truly loved me stayed. I could never express what these people mean to me. I could never show my love for these people because nothing amounts to what they have done for me in this moment of weakness and fear. They are all the best part of me and I turn to them constantly for advice and support. They are the men I wish I could be and have the relationships I strive for.
One day, I will make them proud.