I love you,
I like you,
I choose you.
These are words my wife and I say to each other regularly. Sometimes we don’t like each other, and we will tell each other. We always love each other.
We have not always wanted to choose each other, however. Yet we continually choose each other over and over again after we make mistakes, or otherwise. This is the definition of marriage. A lifetime dedication to growing with one another. People do not stay the same, you must accept and support each other for who they are and whom they grow to be if you want the relationship to succeed.
This is going to be about choice and the story of me falling in love with another woman while I was just a few months away from getting married.
This story does not go anywhere sexual, at least not physical in any way. Though I could tell, and I’m sure she could as well, that the tension needed to be cut with a chainsaw. The woman whom I speak about in this piece will not be mentioned by name, though we are in touch and I am fairly positive she will read it one way or another.
We have never overtly spoken about these feelings that I believe were always mutual.
She is a woman that when I met her — made me feel emotions that I hadn’t at times even felt around Megan. She has a smile just as bright and captivating as Megan’s and she is an extremely intelligent and driven person.
This woman challenged me mentally and meshed with me intellectually maybe more than I think anyone else ever has. I would be lying in bed next to my fiancé thinking about her and how I would get to see her when I went to work in the morning. I would think about how I would get to spend all day just talking nonsense and laughing.
We held our gazes too long, too many times — often with laughter. It was incredibly fulfilling and uplifting.
Some of my favorite days working in my life were in tandem with her. She understood me very well as a person and was able to get the most out of me while we were working together. She inspired me, to say the least. I very easily fall in love with people when they inspire me. I love to be creative but I find it hard to just bring it out from within. I need some one, or some thing to pull it out of me.
This woman pulled a lot more out of me than I could have imagined any one but Megan could, and I didn’t know what to do with myself.
Even on my wedding day I was slightly concerned out about it. These are feelings I was having that I hadn’t even gotten to experience yet. Was I sure that I wanted to link my life to another when I was also in love with someone else at the same time? Is that possible? Is it okay?
It is possible; it is okay.
You see, feelings, they are not something that can be easily controlled. Love is the most uncontrollable emotion of all in my experience. Even when we want nothing else but to not love, we do so regardless.
It is perfectly acceptable to be confused and be in love with multiple people at the same time. This is what happens to us throughout life. We meet people that just absolutely enthrall us. We feel like better people around them. Their warmth makes this reality palatable in a way it would not be without them.
Feelings cannot be controlled but actions can.
Megan has known about my love for this woman since I first realized it myself. One thing we promised each other is that if we ever found feelings for someone else, we would tell the other person. So I told her, and our marriage counselor, not long after our wedding.
I had major feelings for this woman, still do, and always will. There’s a part of me that still believes I could live a life with her just as assuredly as I can with Megan.
But I don’t know —
and I do know that I can, have, and will with Megan. There is a bond there that now goes beyond attraction, beyond desire, beyond the superficial things that draw us together as people in the first place.
No matter the strength of my feelings for this other woman I never once acted upon them. I had already made a choice to be with Megan for very many reasons and she is one of the largest reasons why I am not dead in an alley or stuck in prison for the rest of my days.
There is a very sure chance that had I not met Megan this woman and I never would have met. Megan helped me find the job I met her at, even!
Only children make whimsical decisions like abandoning importance, because they don’t know any better.
I am a man. I can stand by that sentence in part because of my ability to choose Megan over this other woman years ago. But if I didn’t, what kind of man would I be? Could you even consider that type of person a man? I would have up and abandoned everything Megan and I had built together and were building together, for what?
For an idea of what else I could have instead?
Is that not greedy? Is that not egotistical and immoral? Were I to do that, regardless of how it would have turned out for me, I would have abandoned someone who I literally just helped crawl out of her own depths and madness. Megan and I are our own separate people, but we owe a lot of who we are to each other. If I had abandoned her it would have made me the definition of a scum bag.
Megan had done nothing wrong but love me, why would it be right for me to spurn that love for a chance with another? Especially with no idea, truly, if it would work out.
I think what I am trying to say here is that while a choice may not always be easy, there often is clarity about what choice should be made in a given situation. My mind may have been jumbled in all sorts of thoughts and emotions — but I still knew what the right choice was for me as a good person.
And in my heart of hearts, I truly believe she did too.
Not shortly after my wedding this wonderful woman made a choice. A choice that ego wants to tell me is in part because of our mutual affection and inability to pursue it. It’s not an answer I ever intend find out or spend any time on beyond this writing.
But I do like to think that she did us both a favor when she took another job opportunity and moved away. I do not know if we both could have stayed good people for too much longer. I like to believe so, but you can never know these things.
The love we shared was unspoken, but I can still feel it and grasp it within me today. She still inspires me, in a way, and when I said we are in touch earlier I did not mean that we speak often or even interact regularly online. We both still know what each other are up to at all times — just based on my knowledge of social media. We support each other professionally.
I think I want to end this piece by repeating myself:
…what I am trying to say here is that while a choice may not always be easy, there often is clarity about what choice should be made in a given situation.
Do yourself a favor and listen to your mind as well as your heart. Put all things into perspective and take serious time to reflect on a decision before you make it.
Decisions like the ones that are relevant to this article are not the kind that can be made any more than once. Be sure you are confident in being comfortable in your choice for the rest of your life.
Because living with regret is a poison that eats us from the inside out.
I may still and forever feel loss. I will never feel regret.
Thank you for reading.
©2017 Trevor Elms