Last week I discussed how we need to accept our partner’s flaws as an inherent part of them. Catch up on that article here: . As Aristotle once said, the whole (person in this case) is greater than the sum of their parts. I gave an example of how I was willing to accept that John had numerous friends who were girls. But I drew the line on his old flame Regina. This week, I share with you how I finally put an end to Regina’s meddling once and for all.
As a tribute to the great Bill Withers who passed away on March 30th, 2020, all the sub-headings in this article are song titles from his work. (PS the sub-headings in our articles are usually song titles, had you noticed that?)
I knew deep down that if Regina continued to be a part of John’s life, he and I would not work out. It was a simple case of either her or me. Even though John and I had grown very close, I was still nervous about bringing up the conversation. I knew I was going to have to issue an ultimatum, and there was a good chance that it would not go over well. He once had feelings for her, what if he still did? All my insecurities danced around in my head for days as I wrestled with bringing up the topic.
Hello Like Before
Regina was actually the one that provoked the topic to arise. John had come over to my place, and I was making him dinner. He was sitting at the dining table, which was close to the kitchen. We were prattling on about work issues when his phone rang. The call was from Regina! He picked up, lifted the “give me a minute” finger to silence me, and left the dining/kitchen area. I was furious! Here I was, slaving over a stovetop to cook this man a meal, I hadn’t seen him in forever, and he was talking to that…woman on my time?!? That was the proverbial last straw.
The Same Love That Made Me Laugh
When he returned, he tried to pick up the conversation as if nothing had happened. But he quickly realized that the mood was far from what it had been five minutes ago. “Sorry about that, what were you saying?” I remember him saying. I didn’t answer him. I couldn’t. I was raging mad and was fighting back the tears that were welling up. As I lost the battle with my tears, I was grateful that my back was to him, so he could not see my face. I hate that I cry so easily. I especially hate that I cry when I am angry. I feel like it makes me appear weak when I am trying to portray strength; it’s so frustrating. By this time, John had approached me and turned me around. He was visibly stunned by the sight that met him.
Can We Pretend
Everything that I had been rehearsing to say all week spewed out of my mouth like verbal diarrhea. Earlier in the week, I had pictured delivering my points in a calm, reasonable manner. Now here I was, half yelling, half crying as I tried to make sense of what I had to say. Thankfully, John was so taken aback at how quickly things had escalated that he just stood wide-eyed and shell shocked. I don’t remember much of what I said, but I recall using phrases like “I have had it!” “We can’t continue like this.”
After John recovered from the initial shock, he tried to comfort me. “Okay, okay, okay,” he repeatedly said in an attempt to placate me. I could tell that he was desperate to deescalate the scene. His malleability presented an opening for me. I made him promise to cut all ties with Regina immediately. The “Okays” kept coming, and I kept laying down the law with growing confidence. He was to block her number so his phone would never ring if she called. Then he had to delete her name and email. Finally, I made him promise to block her on all social media platforms. He agreed. I had finally vanquished Regina!
I was ambushed by the events leading up to me agreeing to ghost Regina. Let’s put this event into context. I knew Sly was less than happy with me and Regina’s continued fraternization. I intended to “handle” the Regina situation in due time. I did not know that it was such a hot button for Sly. Had I known, I would probably have expedited the “handling.” So you can understand my shock when I came back to the kitchen and found her face covered in tears and mucus.
On top of that, I had only been to her place a handful of times. Keep in mind that she shared an apartment with her brother at the time. Her brother and I were uneasy at best with each other, and my presence there was barely tolerated. Can you imagine Sly’s brother coming home to me and finding his beloved sister wailing uncontrollably?
I could here Lester Holt’s voice narrating this tragic murder story on Dateline. My first thought was, “I have to stop her crying and calm her down before the brother gets home.” That’s why I agreed to everything so hastily. Had I had an opportunity to make an argument, I would have argued that I at least owed Regina an explanation. But I was waylaid by the events and Regina was ghosted as a result.
Let Me Be The One You Need
Yeah, sure, we could have handled it a little better. But had he “handled” it earlier, it would never have had to come to this. Why did he need to continue messing with her anyway? He had me now ;).
Next week I shall discuss how we learned to empathize with each other’s baggage rather than fight about it. This is the third of the ten things I learned during our tumultuous storming stage. We shall reveal some painful skeletons. You don’t want to miss it! Share, subscribe, and comment – we love hearing from you.
Get caught up on the first two lessons here and here.