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That Promised Post about Beards

When you are blind-sided as horribly as I was, you start to analyze everything you can. And over- analyze. At least I have been. I thought we were so happy - how could I have been THAT wrong?

Of course I wondered what I did wrong. What was I not providing him that he felt the need to look elsewhere? Was it because I gained too much weight? Was it because I stopped wearing makeup/dressing up except for special occasions? Did I just get boring?

And while all of those might be valid, I really have come to the conclusion that I did nothing wrong. Not that there isn't a little nagging doubt because how could there not be? And he did mention my weight as a factor so clearly that was something. But if any of those things bothered him, he could have (tactfully) said something. I would have done anything I could to make him happy.

Hindsight being what it is, I have now come to the conclusion that once he started growing out his beard, he was already one foot out the door. Once he stopped caring how I felt about the facial hair, or started caring more about what someone else thought, I should have known it was the beginning of the end.

But I told myself I had no right to tell him how he could look. If he liked it then I would just have to figure out how to be ok with it. After all, I would have been pissed had he suddenly demanded I dye my hair red. If he can't tell me how I should look, why should I tell him?

Because here's the thing. Before we ever had our first kiss I told him how I felt about facial hair. In fact, I told him I would never kiss him with it. And I told him why. And the very next day he came to work clean shaven. So this isn't something I suddenly sprung on him 12 years later.

I have very negative associations tied to facial hair. The man that molested me when I was in fifth grade? Mustache. A big red one that came down the sides of his mouth to his chin - but nothing in the center. Sort of like Floyd from the Muppets but less bushy. I'm sure there's a name for it but I'm not going to look it up. My father had some form of facial hair for as long as I can remember. Beard, mustache, goatee...he usually wore some variation. And to say I do not have fond memories of him would be a vast understatement. And most unfortunately for me/Daniel, his was even grey in the same places my father's was. It was too much. And I told him that because I needed him to understand why I disliked it so much. But apparently that hurt his feelings.

It isn't that I can't see that a man is attractive with some form of facial hair. Or even be attracted to one. And I will even admit some look better with it. I'm not judging all men - I know that facial hair does not equal a bad man. But I have a type and he is clearly clean shaven. Which is going to make dating now extremely challenging for me because it seems almost all the "available" men I see have it now.

Too late.

And it isn't nearly that he was having an affair that blind-sided me, not that I suspected anything. How could I? She was on a whole different continent! And historically, he had a past filled with infidelity so a part of me always knew it was a possibility. I went into this with my eyes open. But we talked about it. A LOT. Before we ever even decided to be a couple. And I told him that if he felt like he wanted to be with someone else to just tell me. So we could figure out why and either fix it or separate. And he agreed to those terms. He promised me he would. And my dumb ass believed him.

I thought we were both always honest with each other - you know, until SHE came along. But I guess he lied to me the entire time. I gave him everything. I trusted him completely when everyone and everything said I shouldn't. And I guess I was wrong.

And it is so hard when you realize that you put your trust in the wrong person. But not only that, you trusted that person for 12 years. I honestly don't know how to come back from that. I'm trying and I know it won't happen over night.

I don't judge him for falling out of love with me. Hell, assuming he ever did love me. Because I haven't even been able to get him to acknowledge that. I haven't been able to get him to even admit to me that what we had was amazing and beautiful even if he didn't think it was worth holding on to.

I do judge him for lying to me. I do judge him for letting me humiliate myself and live a lie for who knows how long. And I do judge him for fucking her behind my back. And I most certainly judge her for pursuing a married man. And I judge him for the deplorable way he handled all of this. It makes me so sad to think that we could have ended amicably. Sad, but amicable.

I think deep, deep down that's what hurt the most. That he didn't care enough about me to treat me with respect. That in his twisted mind, in spite of literally everything I ever said to him, he thought living a lie until he just couldn't anymore was better. And I am trying so desperately to not hate him because I do think what we had was beautiful and amazing.

But it is really hard.

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