I used to consider myself a good judge of character. May-December romances were something I laughed at when I read about some of them in your column years ago. I just shook my head then, not knowing I’d be involved myself in one such relationship that would go on for 15 years.
It was the usual poor guy-rich woman scenario. I had my own business and had separated from my husband when I met this young penniless man. We hit it off from day one. I wiped off the grime off his face, so to speak, and turned this frog into—well, not entirely—a prince, but close.
As in all relationships, the frog reverted to its original character after his sense of privilege got embedded in his needy mind and, soon after, altered him into a monster of my making. I thought that the goodness that attracted me to him and the generosity I showered him with would blossom and make him better. But the life I introduced him to transformed him instead into this heartless womanizer, spoiled by this totally different life he began to discover. Despite thinking I could not live without him all those years had he left me, I kicked him out of my life when I could not take him anymore. That was eight years ago. It hurt terribly the first year, but time is such a great healer. I began to enjoy my life, and my money, again, without a leech sucking my life dry anymore.
Then, early in this pandemic, a number I didn’t recognize on my mobile was calling me. It was him, apologizing and begging me to take him back. I can’t begin to describe the feeling of liberation, listening to his pathetic pleas. I almost threw the phone away in disgust. I couldn’t say thank you enough for the strength I had that moment—happy and free to be rid of a pesky bug. – Liberty Belle
There really comes a point when deep love turns into disgust over time. This frog you tried to groom into becoming a prince wasn’t worth your while. His deep-seated need to be what he was not overpowered his better self into becoming what he will never be. Too bad! He missed the chance you tried to offer him.
Calling yourself Liberty Belle was so apt in that the yoke you carried for over a decade released you from more of the same, had your cup not run over from pain all those years with him. This experience definitely taught you that despite your generosity and goodness, that grain of evil in him consumed him into revealing his real self.
He lost something of value in you that he may never find with anybody again. Consider yourself lucky! Trust that your wisdom will be more enriched by the morsels you’ve experienced in this dire episode, however painful.