My husband and I fell madly in love after meeting at a dance in high school. At that early age, we knew right away we didn’t want to be with anyone else. We went through college and got married a week after graduation. Our families were ecstatic, because his father and mine were best friends and our mothers played mahjong weekly, come rain or high water. We thought that was the start of our fairytale story.
How wrong I was. Though we spent all our free time together after school, mostly with friends, and went through necking in high school and a bit of intimacy in college, we never went beyond that. In short, we were both virgins when we got married. The most sex I had was watching some soft porn with friends while I knew that my soon-to-be-husband and his friends went for the heavy, kinky stuff.
I was therefore shocked during our honeymoon when he wanted sex that was alien to what I saw in romantic movies. But, wanting to be a good wife, I went along with whatever my husband wanted. I started to see a completely different kind of person in him in every way, and that disappointment just grew by leaps and bounds.
Besides the unpalatable type of sex he wanted, he turned out to be a pig, relied on me or the maids to pick up after him everywhere, and was an insensitive brat. He was constantly with his friends in their motorbikes every weekend and holidays, and would come home late almost every night without calling. Cell phones were not yet in vogue, but there certainly were phones he could have used.
The house his parents gave us and my comfortable allowance did not give me any comfort at all. After the second year, our marriage proved to be a complete disaster and too much to bear for a young woman like me. We failed to have children, which was just as well. Looking back, he almost never wanted to be with me alone.
Our marriage was annulled, and he went on to three more marriages—all unhappy, I was told. I’ve stayed single, but am now in a loving relationship at age 66.
We finally found out why women were not his cup of tea. He’s gay and tried to deny his true identity for fear of ridicule from his macho friends around him. He is still in the closet, with his lover acting as his live-in “personal assistant.” He already gave up the pretense of being this handsome, rich “playboy.” He is now very happy living a “bachelor’s” life, and has even become a politician recently in his province.
My question is, how could I have mistaken his feelings all those early years for love?
Lust, crush, infatuation, puppy love—all these are intense emotions in varying degrees. Some are momentary, some long-playing, and each one defined as that singular, overwhelming feeling called love.
You were both young, ignorant, innocent, and pure as the driven snow in the ways of the world. What you felt then was real, but with so much bitterness and anger muddying that relationship over the years, those wonderful moments have been eclipsed and all forgotten.
Try not to muddle your mind with the whys. That was a great learning experience for you, and thank fate for whatever little happiness you felt and overwhelmed you at the time. You cannot negate the breathless memorable moments you experienced with him that made you eventually marry him.
Quit asking how you could have mistaken his feelings then. That was then, and now is now. You’re lucky to have moved on to a loving relationship, and in an unusual, liberating way, so has your former husband.
Love, whatever you called it then, will always be love. It just wasn’t meant for that man and you.