To The Woman Before Me

By Anonymous

To the woman before me—

I give up. I am exhausted and I am waving my white flag.

From the beginning, I have felt compassion for you. I have put myself in your shoes and my heart has ached for you. We love the same man and normally that would be the commonality that builds a wall between two women, but it makes me feel connected to you. I feel a fondness for you that can only come from spending time with the same man at different points in life.

I imagine the love of my life leaving me and I am overwhelmed with even the slightest feeling you must feel. I think about his eyes, grey and smoldering, and never seeing them burn with love for me again. I think about his laugh, his jokes and his ability to captivate the center of every room. I think about how much I love being the woman on his arm and I imagine that you loved that, too. I think of his rough hands and how well they fit within my soft ones and how you, too, might have noticed that. I think about how no matter where my day takes me, it always takes me back to laughing with him on my side of our bed and I think about how lonely it must be for you to have the bed to yourself now. I think of those things, that man, walking out the door, never to return, and my breath escapes me. I make a vow to myself to work hard to not let this love die like a candle coming to the end of its wick.

I understand because of the pain in your heart, you hate me. Regardless of how sweet I am, how good my heart is, how respectful I am of the things we now share, the things you hate sharing, you will never let me in. I think about what it must be like to consider the family you once had all to yourself, with the man you love, now spending time laughing with me and telling me they love me. I think about your desire to keep those people close and to yourself so you are always reminded you are on top, number one and in control. I think maybe if I were you, I would do the exact same thing.

However, I am not you. The man you once called yours is no longer yours. Your relationship ended, and while you like to explain you never wanted it to end, you contributed. We all contribute in some way to our situation and holding this resentment in your heart for me, someone who had nothing to do with the end of that relationship, will only harden you. I did not take him from you; I came years later. I had no idea about you and once I learned about you, I prayed for you. Prayed that your heart healed and that you found love, that you didn’t still feel him in the house you shared and that the sound of his name didn’t bring a tear to your eye. I imagined the things I would feel and I didn’t want those things for you.

If your goal is to drive a wedge within us, you win. Your ability to call him and ask him for more takes him from me. The stress overwhelms him and he is gone, upset and frustrated, how I assume you wanted him to feel. If it makes you feel better, my heart breaks that you work so hard to exile me from the family. I cry when everyone is at the birthdays, cookouts, holidays and events and I am left alone, at home, just the way you want it.

Maybe you don’t like how I look or who you think I am but I assure you, I am hurt often by you, but I don’t hate you. If given the chance I would only treat you with the utmost love and respect for sharing a history with the man I am now creating a history with. I believe in my heart that while he holds all of the same personality traits, he is a different person. A woman’s love changes a man, makes him a little softer, a little harder, a little different. The man I am with is not the same one you were with and maybe he was meant to just be a phase of your life, not your lifetime. I hope maybe this thought offers you some comfort, that the love you were shown will always be yours alone.

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I would just hope one day your heart softens toward me. I hope that you realize you are taking life moments from me and you are hurting someone you’ve never even met. I have to think on some level you understand me. I would guess that we might even be a little bit alike. Something about this man is like a drug to us both, in your past and in my present. If we are even slightly similar, you must then understand that I can’t help the love I feel and I imagine you too couldn’t help falling in love with him. If we broke up tomorrow, I don’t know that I would ever stop loving him but I wouldn’t hate the next woman. After all, I understand her.

Sincerely,

Someone like you

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