When I first left jared, I did not talk to many people for a while. Of course, I saw my new family at home, and confided in them; I saw my coworkers when I went to work, although I did not tell them what was going on; my current friends knew that I had left him, and since they had already guessed at most of the situation for themselves, they approved: Carmen, Rachel & Coco, Sarah, Perry & Jerry, Robin & Jason, and Rusty were all supportive. I also called my mom and told her a little of what had happened.
I was afraid, though, to say anything to the people I had known longer, the ones who were also friends (or at least acquainted) with him. I knew some of them were much closer to him than to me, and would most likely support him without knowing any details. I also thought that some of our mutual friends would judge me harshly for my actions, that is, cheating on my husband and then leaving him for the same people that I had cheated with. I knew that it looked bad; I was also embarrassed and frightened of revealing the truth of why I had left. I thought some of them, like Jeff, Jen, and Lisa, whom I thought were closer to me, would sympathize with me if they knew my reasons, but I could not bring myself to confide in them right away.
I did not want to be the bitter ex, to be broadcasting negative stories about jared, however true they were. I knew that he was already being vocal about what happened: I saw his comments online (Facebook, Twitter, Livejournal) about how unhappy he was, pleading with me to come back at first and begging people to help him through the rough times, or to talk some sense into me; later, when I refused to see him or speak to him, he was angry, and then he began to make comments about how badly I had treated him. I could only imagine from the things that he said so freely online, just what sort of things he was telling our friends in person. (I know what he said to my mom on Facebook, before she blocked him, and that was also harsh.)
And I could see from my friends’ online accounts that they were responding with sympathy: and then I began to see nothing from them at all, because many of them removed me from their friends’ lists. Most of those were not a surprise. I also removed some people myself, because I did not want to see their conversations with him. Still, I did not say anything on the subject.
Then, a few months later, it came around to my birthday, and L&D wanted to throw a party for me. Our circle of friends would come, of course; I also invited Mac, who was more than happy to see me again, and when I admitted to him that I had left Jared, he expressed some sympathy and did not press for details.
Then I ventured to contact Jen, and invite her and Jeff to come to the party. I apologized for not talking to her in a while, said that I missed her, explained that I did not know what Jared had told her but I could give her an explanation for my actions if she wanted to, etc. Jen responded that she did not want to just show up at a party at my new house with strange people, which was understandable, but she missed me. She missed me! She also said that Jared was not saying bad things about me, and she didn’t want to get into the middle of things. Then she asked about details of my current life.
So I told her about my plans to go back to school, and seeing my family again over Christmas, and a little bit about my current situation. I said that I wanted to see her again, and that L&D would like to meet her and Jeff if they were willing. I asked when they would be available soon to hang out. Then the delays: she was busy, they had only one car, so much was going on, etc. Each time I contacted her, there were reasons to say no, and then finally she stopped responding. (Not long after, Nate started contacting me “as a neutral party to help speed up the divorce”, but he was only listening to Jared’s side of things, so I let Luke tell him to leave me alone, and then blocked him from contacting me.)
I wanted to reconcile: I even wanted to explain things. I wish that there had been time. I wish that I had pushed for things sooner, or been more ready with my explanations, instead of hemming and hawing and “not dragging people into the middle of things.” I deserved to tell my side of the story.
But I acted as I did, and the result is this: the only old friend that I have seen in over a year was Lisa, once for lunch, and though I did explain some things to her and she was sympathetic, the whole thing ended up being too painful. Especially when I asked her if I could see her again on the trip, and she replied that she was busy; and then I later learned through Facebook that she went to Jeff’s birthday dinner, and Jared was there, and nobody (apparently) wanted to invite me.
I did some soul-searching over the past few weeks, and I have reached a conclusion. I have dragged things out for too long trying to cling to old ties that are not really making an effort to stay connected to me. Instead, I am just tearing myself up with disappointment, confusion, and regrets. If there was a time that I could preserve old friendships, it has passed; and I am too concerned that people are still speaking to Jared, which means that stories could pass back and forth, or online conversations will be visible to both of us. It’s too hard to speak to anyone who still holds any respect for him.
It hurts, but just a few weeks ago I finally cut off communication with the last few people: Jeff, Jen, and Lisa. Once, they were my closest friends in the world, and I will always have fond memories of them. But I think that this chapter in my life has already ended. I didn’t want to force people to take sides, but after a while I felt as if all of my old friends were on his side, against me: so be it. He needs friends, and hopefully if they are good friends, they can help him to change and be a better person; I could not change him, but maybe someone else can. I don’t want him to be miserable and alone. I just don’t want what he did to me to ever happen to anyone again.
Good-bye, old friends. I wish you health and happiness. I am sad that our paths went separate ways.