A few months back, I spent an evening at my friend Liz’s house.
I’m pretty sure I blogged about it, but I don’t expect you to remember it, since I clearly don’t. Anyway, we were just hanging out at her dining table having some wine—her new fiance was there playing video games.
At that point, I’d met him on a few occasions and thought he was nice enough, but didn’t really know him too well. As Liz and I sat and talked, the conversation quickly turned to wedding planning.
At that time, it seemed like ALL of my friends were planning weddings. And me? I was sitting at home eating fried foods. I was trying my damnedest to put on a happy face and be really excited about different churches and flower arrangements, but this particular night was too much.
I feigned being tired eventually, got into my car, and cried all the way home. I felt like a loser. I felt broken. What kind of friend was I that I couldn’t be happy for my friends and their relationship successes? I cried to my ex, telling him I just knew I would never get married, it wasn’t for me, even though I wanted it so badly.
Months later, Liz and I were flying back from her bachelorette party. Her fiance had agreed to pick us up from the airport and give me a ride home. Although I was thankful for the free ride, I was disheartened when he didn’t even get out of the car and help us with our luggage. Not even to give Liz a kiss hello after we’d been gone for 3 days.
It wasn’t a deal breaker, but it was something I (obviously) didn’t forget.
Last week, Liz asked me to come over to help her edit a newsletter in exchange for wine. I happily agreed. When I arrived at her house, I was shocked to see her fiance not there—he moved in a few months back. She told me they were in a fight and even if he did come home, he would probably get ready for a run and leave quickly.
When I asked her about the fight, she grazed over it, saying things had been tense lately, and often, they were both too tired for sex. She said it was something they needed to work out.
Then, she spills a little more. She said they were out drinking a few weeks back and apparently she had a chance to look through his phone. In it, she found a conversation he was having via text with his ex. He called her a “hot ass.”
I asked Liz what context the “hot ass” was in. I didn’t want to bad mouth her fiance. But, she spoke my mind when she said, “Bottom line, I don’t flirt with my exes. The day we got engaged is the day I stopped talking to people I’d been intimate with.”
Point taken. She said since she saw the “hot ass” conversation, she never said anything because she didn’t want to give it away that she’d looked through his phone, however it was eating her alive. A few times, she said, they’d been near each other on their phones and he’ll get a text and quickly hide his phone from her sight.
So, he comes home, and just as she said, he started getting ready for a run. He reached the back door when Liz said, “Tell the girls I said hello…oh, I haven’t eaten dinner. Are you going to eat?” she asked.
“You should probably figure out dinner on your own,” he said, and left.
“Girls?” I asked.
“Oh yeah…he runs with a group of girls around the lakes…and then they go eat together.”
“Oh…that’s…interesting,” I said.
“Well, here’s the weird part,” she said. “He asked me if I wanted to start running the lakes with him and his friends, and I told him no, because I don’t like working out that way. So he started going on his own. Then, I’m at work and this girl comes up to me and says ‘oh, you’re Stephen’s fiance!’ and I’m like ‘yeah…who are you?’ and she says she runs with him and the other girls.”
“Wow,” I said.
As the night went on, we went about our work and wine.
Around 9, he texted her that they were done with the run and he was heading to get dinner. She said she didn’t know if that meant he was picking something up, or going alone, or with the girls.
When I left Liz’s at 10:30, he still wasn’t home.
In front of my face, Liz is the kind of girl that’s going to act like everything is okay. But I knew she was upset.
As I drove home, for the first time in a very long time, I was happy to be alone. If I were in her shoes, I would have been angry, and fretting over when he was coming home and who he was with. And they are getting married at the end of October.
If I ever meet someone to marry, I am vowing to not put up with that kind of bullshit. Dating is one thing, but not marriage.
When I got home, I sent Liz a text saying I made it safely and that I had fun hanging out. Her response?
“Me too! He still isn’t home…guess the dinner wasn’t alone.”