I thought he knew more than I did. He had answers I couldn't find.
He had all the answers.
He was secure, confident. Successful at everything he touched.
We shared so many interests.
Loved the same music, movies, humor, friends, career path.
We were both competitive and had such a drive.
I felt like we were both black sheep who found each other.
He was different than anyone I had met.
He pursued me more than anyone in my life. He treated me like a prize. A princess.
He would surprise me with gifts, notes, humor.
It was like he could see all of me. He watched me. Took care of me.
I loved his smile when I would make him laugh. It was a game to get him to laugh.
I remember the first time I disappointed him.
We were on a date and I alluded that I wasn't a virgin. I had sex when I was 17 with my high school sweetheart a couple of times.
He was devastated. Debated dating me. He wanted to wait until marriage to share that only with his spouse and was hurt that I didn't hold the same value.
I felt worthless. Laid on the couch for days. I still remember my roommates comforting me. I started to close off to him, hoping to be good enough. Be enough.
I didn't ask him to Spring Fling. Instead, I went with my friends. He asked why I didn't ask him given his big grand gesture to ask me to Harvest Fest. Another failure. Another expectation.
This continued into our relationship.
He didn't feel like I was authentic when I said, "yes." It wasn't the way he envisioned it.
He wouldn't look at the wedding pictures because his memories of that day were of me being stressed from all the planning. He was hurt that I wasn't present with him. He was hurt that I was talking to others while he had his dance with his mom.
He was even upset with the divorce. "I was in the courtroom alone. I had to tell the judge that we were getting a divorce for 'irreconcilable differences' alone."
So maybe it was all of those qualities I listed that attracted me to him. Or maybe it was the deep need inside of me to please someone who was impossible to please. Just like I did with my father. A man who would complain if you gave him every possible item on his wishlist. A man that complains about my brothers, his job, his home. A man I could never please, but I spent my entire life trying. This was an addiction and a pattern I'm used to. Wanting to feel good enough. Trying to please others to feel loved. So maybe that was it.