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Don’t Ignore the Flashing Lights

Several years ago, I dated a man. Shocking, I know.  But it’s true.

Our relationship wasn’t terribly long, but I really fell for this guy. He was everything I thought I wanted. He appeared to meet all the characteristics of The List. And I fell hard and fast. In fact, I felt so hard and so fast that I actually introduced him to my kids. He became part of our daily lives and I thought he might become a permanent fixture in our home.

I would have married him. In fact, I told my friends, my family and my heart that I would marry him. He insists that I even told HIM that I would marry him.  I don’t recall that, but whatever. He’s not known for being particularly truthful.

Things were going along quite well, then there started to be a few nagging little inconsistencies that just didn’t seem to mesh with what we had going. Simple stuff like not introducing me to any of his friends (he explained that he knew it was hard for me to get a babysitter, so we spent lots of time at my place with the kids) or having a credit card with someone else’s name on it (WHAT???).

You can see those flashing lights already, can’t you? Well, I didn’t. Or I didn’t want to.

Then, we’d have plans to spend a holiday with my family and he would suddenly be called out of town on business.

Flashing lights (brighter, in more alarming colors) with exclamation points!!!

A little curious digging into court records in our county turned up not one marriage, but two (and the second one wasn’t even “dissolved” yet). Which he attempted to explain away with an allegedly long separation. Yeah, I know that the fact that I was even digging was a clue.

I know. I know. BIG BRIGHT FLASHING LIGHTS WITH RED FLAGS ATTACHED. And jumping monkeys trying to get my attention.

And I ignored, explained away, and tried to swallow the nagging doubts in my head. You see, in my marriage, I had been (rightly) accused of being a bit of a control freak. And to be fair, there was a tiny bit of truth to that.

But in the midst of this relationship, I was still trying to retrain my brain NOT to question every little thing. NOT to have to have things MY way. So, I passed off all of these “this doesn’t feel right” moments as MY problem.

Stupid. if it walks like a duck, it's a duck

Two days before Christmas, right before a family outing, he informed me that he had recently discovered that he was going to be a father. And the date of conception WITH THIS OTHER WOMAN was within the time frame that we were allegedly exclusively dating.

BIG BRIGHT FLASHING LIGHTS

WITH SIRENS AND CIRCUS PERFORMERS

AND ALL KINDS OF CAUTION SIGNS.

My heart was broken. It took me a long time to get over that one.  And sadly, I still miss him sometimes.

And now, I know…if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. And I don’t want a damn duck.

Lesson learned.

And really…it worked out for the best. I don’t need one more heartbreak, and I’m pretty sure he came preloaded with several rounds.

In fact, I kinda feel sorry for his new wife. Wonder if she knows she’s #3. Wonder if she wonders where he goes. Wonder if she has doubts of her own.

Looks like I lucked out. I’m still single.

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