Was Any of It Real?

“When do you think it started?” I was asked recently in regards to my ex’s betrayals.

“I traced it back more than two years, but then I made a decision to stop looking. So really, I have no idea.”

I responded to her question while my mind was busy posing its own question to me –

Was any of it real?”

It’s a question that plagued me in the beginning. Haunting me. Taunting me as I replayed memories built over sixteen years, examining them for signs of fabrication.

Was the entire marriage, the entire relationship, a sham? Did I unknowingly turn my life over to a master manipulator to be used and discarded as easily as a prop on a magician’s stage?

Or, was it once real? Pure and sweet before it became rotten and poisoned from some outside source?

I will never know.

Yet even amidst that perpetual uncertainty, I have made up my mind.

It doesn’t matter what was real and what was not.

Whatever his mindset and motivations were behind all of those precious memories are inconsequential. Because at the time those experiences and feelings occurred, they were real to me.

And that is what matters.

I will never know what happened behind the scenes. His experiences and thoughts will forever remain a mystery. And since a mystery takes up more mental space than a known entity, I have chosen to no longer entertain the question

Since the marriage is gone, its veracity no longer has any real meaning and serves no purpose outside of my own mind. It seems cruel to myself to settle on the more painful option, so I have elected to not contribute to the torment that he put me through and believe that at some point,

it was real.


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