I know what the vows state, but I’m no dummy.
In 2013, I met the man I had every intention of spending my life with. He was well educated with two psychology degrees, took me on romantic dates, was my best friend and gave me the kind of animalistic sex you only read about in Zane novels. He wasn’t perfect, but when we were together, life felt like a fairy tale.
That was until he was taken from me.
No — not by another woman, but by life itself. Tragedies began piling up. His best friend committed suicide, his grandmother passed soon after, and it turned him into an alcoholic with a newfound interest in devil-worshipping Youtube videos. I’m not sure if the videos were a result of his anger towards God for how badly he was made to grieve, or because of an old friend he’d gotten into contact with, but after a year of sticking by his side and doing my job as a faithful woman, I felt my limits gaining on me.
Yet, I stayed. Like the loyal woman I was supposed to be, always thought of myself as, and promised I would be should things get difficult, I stayed. To both of us, marriage was an eventual goal but not the measurement of our commitment. Before things got crazy, he asked me if I could one day see myself being his wife and I told him yes but in the meantime, I was as down for him without a ring as I would ever be with one.
God must’ve had plans of making me eat those words because things continued spiraling downward and the man I fell in love with had been completely replaced by a paranoid meth-addict who wrote notes to imaginary people he was convinced were following him. At this point, I could no longer convince myself this was just a phase. This was a new form I didn’t sign my heart over to and wasn’t going to allow to keep it any longer.
After months of begging him to come out of it, taking him to church with me, advising him to seek out help from a therapist, and losing hope in the future we had planned together, I finally called it quits.
It was a quiet, subtle call, more like him coming home from work and passing me on the way out of the subdivision with my suitcases packed so high I could barely see through my rear window. We made brief, uncomfortable eye contact as I saw him just receive my text message I sent telling him I was currently in no mood to explain, but I needed to go.
Was I wrong? Maybe. But if you’d gone from being swept off your feet to being brought to your knees, sometimes in prayer but most times in sheer weakness from not knowing how much more you could take, you’d understand.
My friends and family I bragged to about our relationship were side-eyeing me when I refused to give them details, but it was none of their business what all he went through. I may have detached myself from the toxicity I endured, but I’m not the type to expose things someone confided in me, even if we didn’t work out.
All anyone needed to know was that I chose me. I look back and think if I’d do anything differently had we officially gotten married, and the truth is, I wouldn’t.
Call me what you want, but my mind is my gas mask, I can’t help anyone with theirs if mine is broken.
Sent in by: Anonymous Voiceful Reader
Edited by: Staff