…non, je ne regrette rien…

Regrets. How do we feel about them?

As Edith Piaf said in her famous song, she regrets nothing in her life. However, is that how we truly feel when we look back on some of the decisions we have made?

I was looking through some old photos recently and found one of my ex-husband. Damn! I thought I had got rid of all of them years ago! I felt nothing as I looked at it; it was like looking at a picture in a magazine. However, even though I don’t necessarily regret the act of getting married, I sure as hell regret marrying the person I did!

I defend myself by saying that I was a stupid, young naive person then and despite having a foul temper, I was really scared of confronting his bad behaviour. Therefore, for two and a half years I put up with his inability to look for a job, his constant infidelity, his little note books full of girls’ telephone numbers, waking me up in the early hours of the morning for sex because he had not managed to pull someone at the nightclub that evening and getting through three wedding rings because he always took them off when he went out on the pull and ended up losing them.

I could go on but that is a pretty exhausting list already.

Looking back, he never tried hard enough to hide his unfaithfulness but it is not surprising really as he only ever married me in order to get a visa to live here. The one time I asked him about this, he feigned shock and said that he was not marrying me for that at all and how could I possibly think that about him! I believed him then but after a while his indifference to me along with never showing me any affection or telling me he loved me proved to me that my suspicions were true.

Occassionally he would disappear for a few days at a time; I never heard from him and although those days gave me peace from having him around, the distress from wondering whose bed he was in was painful.

What a stupid, stupid girl I was, and because of my insecurities about my looks etc, I said yes to him because I didn’t think that anybody else would ever ask me. Jesus! I’m shaking my head as I write this because even though we have been divorced for over 20 years, I should not have sold myself short for someone so unworthy as he was. But that is what having no self-esteem does to you.

And how could I have been so deaf, dumb and blind to his ways? Because I thought I was in love with him, that’s why I acted for many months like nothing was happening. I suppressed my rage when his girlfriend rang my home when I really should have given her and him what for.

Not dealing with that paid its price and I became physically ill with the stress of it all, because in addition to my crappy marriage, I had to cope with the sudden death of my father, which was a tremendous blow to me and my family as talked about in this post. Sadly, true to form my husband did not care about what I was going through and was not there to support me in my grief. In fact, he had a friend that said that Dad must have been a bad person to make me cry so much!

Well you know what shit for brains? Dad wasn’t a bad person. He had many faults and could have dealt with many things differently, but on the whole he was one of the good ones. I cried alot because A) I loved and missed Dad and still do, death does not diminish those feelings, and B) I was married to your friend; a louse who was totally blind to my need for comfort and to feel lonely within your marriage must surely be one of the worst things to experience.

Oh, and remember those letters that his girlfriend gave to you to pass on to him? Well, you didn’t do a great job of hiding them, because I found them. Unfortunately my divorce lawyer said that they were not enough to get him on adultery alone, but at least he never got to read them. I did, and I almost felt sorry for her because he spun her as fantastic a bunch of crap as he did me!

So, what have I learnt from all this?

I sorely regret not doing something about my situation. I regret not forcing him to look at his behaviour and see how it was affecting me and I regret my utter stupidity in agreeing to marry him when I knew, deep down that it was doomed from the start.

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