Hollie is broken-hearted. Her ex fiancé, Nick, recently moved his new mistress into the home that Hollie had chosen, renovated, and furnished for her future life with him. She’s stuck in a state of grief; her wheels spinning and unable to stop thinking the one thought that plagues her, “She stole my perfect life.”
“I met Nick six years ago. He was just coming out of a messy and painful divorce. We fell for each other immediately, although I was concerned that it was too soon for him. He used to cry and cling on to me, thanking me for rescuing him. He has two gorgeous daughters, but of course, it was a long time before I met them.
“It was good from the start. Mostly. Nick had odd mood swings and sometimes I felt as if he didn’t want to spend time with me. There was a coldness about him and he would look at me as if he didn’t like me. The moods always passed and we’d get back on track. We lived quite close to each other but, because we both had demanding jobs and he needed to see his children, it was hard to meet each other more than twice a week. We managed though. As time progressed, I assumed that the relationship would move to the next level. In other words, I hoped he would ask me to marry him."
I Asked Him To Marry Me
“Three years went by and we juggled careers and struggled to make time for each other. He still suffered with mood swings, and sometimes he was so distant and cold I felt as if he were a stranger. I knew how to deal with the moods by this time. I didn’t understand why Nick couldn’t see that it would be so much easier if we lived together. In the end, I plucked up the courage to ask him to marry me. I did the whole corny candlelit dinner thing. He looked at me in that cold way of his. And said no.
“I was devastated. Humiliated. But I loved him, and I was certain he loved me. He explained he didn’t want to get married. He couldn’t make the commitment and I was pressuring him. I didn’t see him for two weeks. Eventually we got past it and he suggested we move in together. We had a wonderful time house hunting and found the perfect fixer-upper. It made sense, Nick said, if he bought the house in his name. I had a mortgage on my home, so he suggested when the time came for us to move in to our new home that I rent it out. It made sense. The rent we would get from my house would help with the payments on the new one."
Looking Forward to My Perfect Life
“I was in heaven. We renovated the home, chose furnishings together, and fell in love all over again. We set a date for moving in, we were just waiting on some landscaping work to be done, the driveway to be completed, and then I'd arrange to rent my place. I was constantly dreaming of my perfect life with my perfect man in our perfect home. I had visions of us preparing meals in the beautiful kitchen, playing with the girls in the yard. I even added a yellow Labrador puppy into my daydream. We were going to be so happy. And he’d want to get married, for sure.
"Then it all ended."
He Took His Ex-wife on Vacation
“Nick told me he was going away with work for a couple of weeks. I was still preparing the house, so was quite happy to be left to get on with it. When he came back, it was obvious he hadn’t been working. He had a suntan and there was something different about him. It turned out that he’d taken his daughters on vacation… and taken his ex wife too. I can’t tell you how I felt. I was numb.
“We agreed to end it. That sounds too tame for how it actually happened. We had a fight. I accused him of many things, some true, others not. He told me he was finished with having me direct his life. That I was a clinging parasite. It was awful. We ended up in tears, with me making him promise that he wouldn’t move his ex into ‘our home’. He kept that promise at least. But within a month he met someone else and moved her in. I heard he speaks of her as ‘the love of his life’.
I Blame Her For Stealing My Perfect Life
“Every morning I wake and my first thought is that this other woman has stolen my life. I imagine her in my kitchen, playing with the girls, celebrating Christmas, going out for dinner with our friends. I shake when I think about it. She took my man and my home. They've even got a little dog. She trampled over my future. My perfect life. I don’t know what to do.”
It’s completely understandable that you feel like this. You invested so much of yourself into Nick and the house. But, it was never a perfect relationship, was it? The mood swings, the lies, his refusal to commit, the emotional distance and the cold looks. He wasn’t ever going to let you into his heart.
It seems he took his ex-wife and children on vacation in such a way that you were bound to find out. And he didn’t care. He was already manipulating the termination of the relationship. He didn’t have the courage to end it honorably, he wanted you to instigate it. Your anger at his new girlfriend is misplaced. She didn’t do anything except fall for the same old spiel he gave you.
And you think she’s living your perfect life? Is she? Don’t you think she is struggling with his mood swings and coldness? Don’t you think he will lie to her just as he lied to you? It’s guaranteed; no woman is going to be happy with a man like that. Sure, she may smooth over the cracks, but underneath, she’ll be wondering and thinking that perhaps you got out in time.
Right now, you are dwelling in a place of your own choice. Your energy is all focused on his new girlfriend. It’s said that the best revenge is to live a good life. So start living it. Reach out to your friends. Not all of them will have taken Nick’s side. They’ll probably be glad to hear from you.
It’s time to move yourself up the emotional scale, from despair, through anger and into hope. You are not a victim, you are an escapee. Your future is still in front of you. Instead of believing that you are, or should be, one half of a pair, decide that you will live life on your own terms. That you, and you only, will create your perfect life.
Photos from UnSplash.