There is ignorant bliss in the form of a haze over the eyes. Rose colored sunglasses. Moments before you find out your love has been untrue. Moments before learning you’ll never be completely okay again. The moment before it hurts. If I had even the slightest inkling of what was to come, I would’ve unpacked and lived in that moment forever. I’d savor it like the last bite of a decadent dessert. They’d have to drag me kicking and screaming into the realm of knowledge I never really wanted.
When someone is unfaithful to you, regardless of how big or small the act was, it’s world-shattering. Suddenly, nothing feels real anymore. Everything feels perverted. The anxiety, the constant need to watch your back, because if you can’t trust the one person you share literally everything with, then who can you trust? The insane need for constant reassurance and validation that goes unfulfilled because you fear the sting of rejection. The intrusive thoughts that keep you up at night, feeling alone. Pacing your floors, cleaning your house at 3 a.m. because you’re not sure what else to do, but you physically cannot lay still. Audibly crying when you’re alone. Feeling stupid and doing very stupid things to earn his full attention back. Equating and calculating why this happened. Hours spent studying the girls he looks at behind your back, seeing what they have and trying to figure out how you can become that. Wondering if it’s worthwhile. Wondering if you’re worthwhile.
But you can’t tell anyone. Because you know you’re not leaving. He knows you’re not leaving. Everyone knows you’re not leaving. This isn’t like the other times, though. Your decision to stay isn’t rooted in fear or certainty, but something in you does feel compelled to stick around. You pray that someday he will become an old man who warns youngsters against the behaviors that almost caused him to lose you. You plead with God, manifesting the day he looks in your eyes and sees a reason to change. Praying that he can actually see you and how much you love him.
Then comes the day he wakes up. It’s a random morning down the road somewhere in time and it’s like something snapped into place overnight in his head. He starts to lead by example. He puts his pride aside and sees your heart for what it is… broken. He patiently works to put the pieces back together. You don’t have it in you to tell him that you will never quite feel like enough, but his efforts are healing in their own way. You look into his eyes and your guard lowers a little with each passing day. You promise yourself you’ll put it up again as soon as you need to. You await the day that he messes up again, but it never comes. You can’t exactly trust him, but cautiously, you do have faith in him.
With time, consistency, and an abundance of affection, you find yourself believing in the magic of love again. And there you have it. Sometimes they change, and sometimes the girl who stays does get happily ever after.