Wednesday, March 15, 2006


A few weeks ago I received a letter from my ex-fiance. He's the guy that I jilted just three weeks before the big day. He had written because, he said, he had been "cleaning stuff out," and had come across the letters I had given him when we were engaged. These were letters I had written as a sentimental teenager "to my future husband." He thought that I might like to keep them, so he was kindly returning them.

All of the letters had been opened.

Now, I'm sure that while we were engaged, I gave them to him and we opened and laughed about them together.

Laughed, because they were AWFUL. Gushy, silly, boy-crazy awful.

So I'm looking down at his familiar handwriting and the pile of the letters (open) I had written once and I am feeling major mixed emotions:

-glad that I'm not that same silly girl who wrote those things
-glad that I was able to get out of that engagement before I made my mistake bigger
-glad that my husband is cool with the fact that I had been both of those people (the teen and the mistaken fiance) before I was ready for him
-embarrassed to high heaven that I had ever written those letters and then had the nerve to give them to a guy I wasn't married to . . . and also that he had read them, and probably re-read them, and probably shared them with his wife, before sending them on
-glad to hear from him again, just because I'm always curious.

I am always very curious about what has happened to my ex-es. I have a theory that in the next life, I will be able to sit down with each one of them on a heavenly park bench, without any of the barriers in the way, and discuss what really happened.

I have had my heart broken. I have broken some hearts. I am convinced that I ended up with the best guy for me (pretty good to still be sure of that after fourteen years), but I still feel a lot of love for these other guys, and I wish we could still have connections with each other, somehow.

How can you convince someone whose heart you broke that you still love him, and always will? Back then, I still loved them. Now, I still do. But I don't think I could ever make them understand that--at least in this life. But I hope to someday.

I'm pretty sure that three of my favorite guys (whose hearts I broke) are still single. And it's not like there were that many. Just that most of them went on to NOT marry. (I hope that wasn't my fault . . . ) Maybe it makes it easier to keep being fond of them because they didn't marry. Like they are somehow still mine, or my fan club or something.

Anyway, it's weird that our hearts have so much room in them. I hope that there will be a way in the next life to love as many people as we want, and just be happy all together. (While still remaining happily married to the best one.)


Christopher Bigelow said...

I admit, I've googled exes before but haven't found any. I actually only have two exes who I never married... I dated extremely little but extremely intensely, practically living with both those women.

I wish I DIDN'T know so much about my ex-wife and how she's screwing up the two kids we adopted...

It is wonderful to finally be married to the right person. I think we've gotten cross with each other about half a dozen times in eight years.

Darlene said...

I'm so glad you found your "keeper," Chris. I'd be interested in hearing your feelings on whether you could have discovered and married her if you had met her first, before the others. I know I couldn't have married my husband without the experience I had with my ex-fiance. And since I am very happily married, I wonder sometimes if it was "meant to be" that I have that other (bad) experience. Hard to believe that my own bad choices would be "meant to be."

Christopher Bigelow said...

Yes, I have thought that I probably never would have recognized or appreciated my current wife without my earlier experiences. The two premarital relationships were both with outwardly attractive, promiscuous women, which cured me of any interest in that type of person. Then I think my first marriage was some kind of karmic payback for my earlier involvements. It wasn't until I was 32 that I was ready to finally be introduced to my real spouse...