He never looked at me

5 years ago

I spent the day with my ex-husband and his new girlfriend. I am observant, so I watched them, curious. It was as if I was watching two strangers. Because how could the way he is with her be anything but unfamiliar to me?

 He never looked at me the way he was looking at her.

 Respectfully, gently, joy . . . .love.

 It took three years of marriage counseling to discover what I had known for years, had always known: He never loved me. 

 Marriage counselor: Do you love your wife.

Him: (Pondering) No, I can honestly say that I don't.

Marriage counselor: Then why are you with her?

Him: She turns me on. 

 The reason I left my marriage in case anyone is wondering. It should put the rumors to rest.

 We've been apart long enough for me to not have regrets.  I initiated the leaving, after all. But I'd lie if I said it doesn't hurt to see him love someone new in a way he could never, would never, love me.

 I asked him how he could move so fast with someone he had just met. He was blunt . . .

 "You could never understand, Michelle, you've never been loved." 

 I would've fallen to my knees and doubled over in pain if I wasnt so prideful, so strong. I turned away before he saw the tears.

 At least that part is still familiar: how well he knows me, how well he knows how to hurt me the most.

 It would be easier if I didn't recognize his looks so much. The looks of gloating.

 "Look what I have and you don't. I am capable of loving after all. I just wasn't capable of loving you."

 He knows my humanity too well . . .  and how to bring it to surface in the most familiar ways.

 But today, as he looked at her with that look of love, he was a stranger to me.

 And that is not fair.

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