Things began just fine. We hung out a fair bit. We laughed. He even bought me a present – a beautiful bracelet. But soon I started to get the sense that he was holding back. Beyond the odd hug or kiss on my cheek, there was no affection. He easily became angry with me and often cancelled plans. I became desperate. Looking back I know that this wasn’t the right thing to do. The more desperate I became, the harder I pushed. And the harder I pushed, the more I drove him away. A lot of the advice that I read told me not to do these things and of course they were right. But wow, that is so hard not to do.
Over the course of the next few months we had a lot of highs and lows. The number of times he humiliated me was just devastating. He told some of my students we were separated even after I asked him not to. He screamed at me in front of our colleagues to stop trying to talk to him like he was my husband. He told me how stupid I was trying to pretend we still had a relationship. He called me one night and said we should go out, get drunk and then fuck. I was in such a low place that I agreed. We climbed into bed together two nights in a row. And then he decided that I was getting clingy and asked me ‘didn’t I realise that it was just a fuck and that I could have been anyone?’ Eventually he calmed down and we began sleeping over at each place’s quite regularly. Of course my hopes lifted more. And of course I denied this to him. I told him that I liked sex and that we were just friends. I thought we were on the path to reconciliation.
He led me on. He knows this. He just didn’t want to face all the difficulties that came with telling me otherwise. I tried to have a life other than him. But in truth, I didn’t really have one. I was jealous because he had all these people to hang out with and I had no-one. He lived with our other colleagues and he monopolised them. I was alone.
And all this time, I believed that he was staying true to me. True to our pact to stay faithful while we built up the fragile foundation of our relationship.