Wednesday in the Word - Out with the Old, In with the New
Updated: Nov 12, 2022
If you were with me a couple weeks back, you may remember that I wrote on Psalm 23:4. Today, I'm going a little backwards, and want to share a little bit about Psalm 23:3.
"He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake." - Psalm 23:3
I know that my post last week was rather cryptic, a lot had happened in that one day, and I honestly didn't know how to process through everything, nor did I want to say anything that I wouldn't feel comfortable knowing is online for the world to see.
It's been a week of chewing on and meditating on the situation, and I think I'm as ready as I ever will be to share what had happened.
As some of you may know, I talked about how my boyfriend and I had taken a break in October. Around that same time, I actually found an Instagram of him and his ex-girlfriend, which was still active, and had new posts from August 2020. I didn't want to jump into conclusions, as from what he had previously shared of his ex-girlfriend, he said that she was a little off the rocker, and the type to try to stalk him. I couldn't tell if the pictures were old or new, so I wanted to calm down first before asking him about it.
Finally in February, I asked him to meet for some time to chat, and he was busy. He asked if we could meet in two weeks. Two weeks came and went, and I gave him another two weeks grace period. Those four weeks became four months, and I gave him one last chance for an opportunity to talk about it. To be honest, at that point, I was still in a place that whatever he said, I would trust and give him the benefit of the doubt. However, he was still unable to meet, and I made the decision to go to the only other primary source: the ex-girlfriend.
She was extremely sweet, and it turns out that she was never his ex-girlfriend. At least not until recently. The entire time that I was dating my boyfriend, he was still with this "ex-girlfriend". When we confronted him, he began gaslighting the both of us, trying to convince her that they were on a break when we met, and trying to convince me that he had broken up with me very soon after we had gotten together. His intentions? To somehow find some moral high ground to say that I was crazy for clinging onto him after our relationship ended, and to make her seem insecure for bringing up the past and talking to someone who wasn't even with him while they were together. He seemed to have forgotten there were such things as screen shots...
But regardless, what hit the nail in the coffin was him telling me that "[I] always take things too literally". Such as when he promised me marriage. Promised my dad at my dad's grave that he'd take care of me for the rest of my life. Called my mother "mom". Not to mention the fact that I called his father "dad", and gave him a Father's Day, birthday, and Christmas gift!
He was often busy, yet I believed it wasn't because he didn't want me, but because his job is demanding and I had to adjust my needs for him. I stifled myself, my hurt pride and feelings so that he wouldn't be burdened. I encouraged him, brought him care packages and food and soup for his long days at work. I tried to talk to him in mature conversations when I felt jaded, and asked for better communication, or just some sort of explanation that I could cling onto. He would make me feel like it was my fault, and that there was something grossly wrong with a girlfriend asking her boyfriend if he could be a little bit more detailed with what he's busy with, so that I could understand. He made me feel like I was in the wrong, and way too clingy, for requesting a date with him after a couple months of not being able to meet up due to his schedule. I planned work meetings by his workplace and his home so he wouldn't have to travel as much to see me, so we could still spend time while working on our own things. I know, stupid. Stupid Sharon.
Hindsight is definitely 20/20, and throughout the relationship, he gaslighted me and made me feel like I was constantly in the wrong. And he did this even now, months after we went on break, he said we had broken up way before the break even began, and that I was the one not getting a hint. Yet he was the one texting me first daily with "good morning" and "I love you", telling me he missed me, and that we will hopefully soon see each other again. He even pulled out the fact that he didn't see me the whole pandemic, whereas I took his excuse of fearing passing on COVID to his family since I was so sick, as reasonable. I defended him against my friends who thought he was lacking, and I told my friends that I was glad despite his busy-ness, he would check on me daily and make sure that I was okay, and that I understood his position of living with his dad and not wanting to risk anything.
I gave and gave and understood. The then-girlfriend-now-ex told me that he fed her the same lines, and asked her for the most expensive of gifts. From expensive street fashion to limited edition sneakers and Dior shoes, he asked for them all. And she gave out of love.
We both met a gold-digging, narcissistic parasite who wanted nothing but his needs met. He was too selfish to break it off when he didn't see the relationship headed anywhere because he didn't want to be a bad guy. He wanted to leave a backup plan open for himself. He always gave subtle little hints of breaking up, but would let us "discuss" and be okay, so that when the time came, he could use those little lines of "I don't think this is working out" to say it was completely over, without ever once mentioning "break up", and continually letting himself be doused with loving words. He manipulated every situation and let me keep giving and investing into a relationship that he himself deemed as over, and basically just treated talking to me as customer service over text.
I am embarrassed. I should've known. I was wondering whether or not I should air these things to the public, because to be honest, I'm so embarrassed that I fell for him and his lies, and continually gave him the benefit of the doubt. How stupid can I be? But I was completely blinded by my love for him, and fueled by his continued loving words of affirmation. But I know that I don't need to be embarrassed. It was he who had done she and I wrong. It was he who betrayed my trust.
This past week has felt like a whirlwind. I have been slowly processing through what has happened, and I think I can finally say that I have peace regarding what happened. I was eaten up with guilt, and mourning the loss of a relationship I thought was going so well. We were talking about where we want to live, school districts, how big we would want our wedding, and I had a guest list! Only to learn that those were the same things he was talking about with his girlfriend. I am angry - what he did was wrong. I don't think that anger and sadness can really be taken out of this equation, I am only human. But I have found peace in God, knowing that in His sovereign wisdom, stopped me from making an even bigger mistake of marrying someone like him. I know that I did nothing wrong; I loved him as I should have, and trusted him. I was honest with my intentions, and had faith that God would pull our relationship through even rocky times. I prayed for him, for us, and our future. I trusted that God had us meet for a reason. Though that reason is not as I expected - we did not meet to marry and build a family ministry, I hope that my devotion gave him a glimpse of who Christ teaches us to be in a relationship. He has restored my soul, and I can say that I'm no longer as much of a wreck over what has happened.
I think the more long-term aftermath of this is that I don't know how I can trust like that again. I thought I was careful, I checked all the boxes. I prayed about the relationship before going into it. It was our third time matching on a dating site, and the first time, he had actually ended our conversation because he was having a more serious conversation with another girl he was hoping to pursue. He was honest, and I trusted that quality about him years after when we re-matched and gave it a go. This was a boy who told me he was a man of God, and I saw this in action. He would go to his church service earlier on Sundays that he was going to meet with me, even on Sundays where he would be attending service at my church. He was kind to strangers, holding the doors and greeting those who passed our way. He met my dad and my mom, and even took my cousin out for his birthday. He let me meet his dad, and took care of my cat! If someone like him can turn around and be a cheater and gaslight me like that, simply saying that what he said to me were not serious statements of devotion and commitment... then what? I am still at a loss for how I can ever step past that barrier and find myself trusting someone (romantically) again. Would I really need to get an expensive engagement ring before I can let down a little bit of wall, and use the value of the ring as a down payment for trust? (I mean hey, money can't fix heartbreaks, but it's something, right?) I honestly don't know.
I can only trust that God will continue to lead me on the path of righteousness.