My friend Jill responded to the question about my ex-husband before I could, “he was a con man.” I, of course, smiled and agreed. Dinner ended and we all left in our individual cars. As I drove home, those words kept ringing in my ear. “He was a con man.” I have said those words, I was conned I have told people. I have admitted that I didn’t listen to my intuition when flags popped up during our dating. Although that was true, something was gnawing at me.
Was he really a con man or was he trying to be something he couldn’t live up to? Was I really in love, or was I in love with the thought of having someone love me? By using con man, am I neglecting my part in the marriage, the falling apart of it and the damage that was done afterwards? Am I giving myself a pass when I should take responsibility for my part and understand what I could have done differently including listening to my intuition. And most of all, how does a smart woman not see a con?
When we first broke up, I blamed him completely and saw him as a con. Over time I was able to see my part in all of it, it does always take two. I know that I was broken when I met him even though I didn’t know I was broken then. I thought I had healed everything however, I had buried the biggest wound of them all. When you are broken, you attract broken. I didn’t love me so I couldn’t really attract someone who truly loved themselves and I couldn’t show them what loving me looked like.
As stories about him came up, things he did, things he was accused of, I started using the “conned” comment as a way to describe who he was and why I fell for him. Although I can say some of that is still true, he isn’t really a good person and very selfish. He has done some things since we were together that are far from right, are questionable and in some cases just sad. Being conned isn’t exactly what I want to admit. How does an intelligent, somewhat worldly and courageous woman fall for a con? When you are starving for love, have little self love and someone touches your heart, you ignore the gut feelings, the red flags. Using “conned” abdicates my part in the marriage and the destruction of the marriage. I am not the one who originally wanted out, nor am I the one who went elsewhere for love. Those are on him. I am the one that was broken and didn’t get help for it until we were already torn apart. I am the one who judged heavily as I was so caught up in my victim state of mind that I couldn’t get out of it. I am the one with the fiery temper.
I needed to really focus on my part and not abdicate responsibility. I realized that after this dinner and spent some time really focused on what I have done since then to heal and grow. I had to figure out how I sabotaged the relationship and how I even fell for someone who would do some of the things he has done. I meditated on it, I wrote in my journal and I spent time alone focused on me.
Yes, he was a con man. I still agree with that statement. I also know I was haunted by the belief that I was unlovable and made it very difficult to love me fully. I had high expectations, was judgmental and wanted so much on my terms because of my fear of someone figuring out I wasn’t lovable.
Spending time understanding my part in all of this has helped me to see a few things clearly. The first is that it is true, it takes two no matter what one person does. Taking responsibility for my part was important, without giving up his responsibility. The second is that you do attract where you are, if you are broken you are attracting broken. That forced me to look at me today and see what else I need to heal so that I am fully ready for the love that I can give to be returned. The third is to trust my intuition (or gut) when I feel things aren’t right. I have had so many experiences where my gut says something and it is true, I finally know to listen to it. The last is about self love. I am finally the person I was meant to be, less judgmental, less victim and more compassionate, loving and open to receive. I have focused so much of my healing on releasing my old beliefs of being unlovable, of doing whatever others want because I was afraid of losing their love if I didn’t. Loving myself doesn’t make me arrogant and doesn’t make me stop growing or learning. It means that I am as compassionate with me as I am with others. It means that I forgive me, I care for me, I take care of me.
Jon is a con. Suzy knows that. Suzy is lovable. Suzy knows that.