Sometimes I think Ex loved me more than I loved myself.
He loved me so much that he put me on a pedestal and held me to a higher standard.
There were so many things that I was supposed to be. Pretty but humble, kind-hearted but unyielding, well kept but natural, conservative but open-minded, reserved but out-going, strong but soft, cordial but not too friendly. It was almost impossible and quite draining to keep up with. Still, I was determined to keep it up. Ex thought more highly of me than I thought of myself and I wanted to be everything he thought I was.
So I did....or at least, I tried.
Sometimes I was too friendly or didn't say the right thing. Other times I held back too much and came off as awkward. It was a little nerve-racking to not know when I should or shouldn't speak to someone. Normally, I would just speak to store clerks to be polite. Now, I needed to make sure I wasn't being, "joe." It really wasn't a big deal I guess. My need to please Ex was so strong that I was willing to change or fix anything he needed me to. Of course, some of this change was done with complaints and sass, but it was still done.
For some reason, at that time, I needed Ex to be happy. I never thought much about my own happiness. I just knew that when he was in a good mood we had the best times. We laughed and joked. We watched movies and football. We went out and had drinks. We had fun, and I needed that.
Now, don't get the wrong idea,
This wasn't some crazy, dark and twisted relationship where Ex forced me to change. It was my choice. He wasn't barking orders at me like, "Go get my plate woman!" or "This house better not be dirty when I get home from work." He put me up on that pedestal because he thought very highly of me as a person. Ex really loved me. He told me I was beautiful every day. He sang to me and wrote me poetry. He opened doors for me. He gave me his jacket when I was cold. He made me soup when I was sick. He doted on me. And most of the time I felt really loved.
Still, here I was standing across from him on our wedding day with a heart full of doubt and uncertainty. Ex looked over at me and read me like a book. Confusion ran across his face and for a moment he looked sad. The Pastor's voice chimed in, "We now pronounce you Mr. and Mrs. Ex." We both smiled and looked at the audience. "Cue the smiles," I thought...
Cue the fake fucking smiles.