I would like to share another story.
I was in a relationship with my boss who was married. He is a co-founder of a company owned by his older brother, and his wife is the financial director of the company, a very beautiful, intelligent, and disciplined woman. The company is big and international.
At first, M. and I just talked about work issues and sometimes informally, he could comment on something on my Instagram or invite me to some event outside of work, we exchanged memes, then we started playing tennis together with a coach, then he started inviting me for walks in the evenings.
And then everything got twisted. I was very much in love. His significance to me was enormous. At that moment, it seemed that he was also very much in love. We went on “business” trips, made love wherever possible, there were many gifts, beautiful words, confessions of love, I didn’t see anything around me, all my thoughts were only about him. Once he asked me if I could have a child with him (he has no children, although he and his wife have been together for over 10 years). I replied that of course I really want a child, but I won’t be able to raise it alone.
We stopped being careful, it seemed to me that he intentionally wanted us to be exposed. Our communication did not raise questions for anyone in particular, as we had communicated before. Several people in the company knew about everything. But on my birthday, where he and many other employees were invited, he began to behave in such a way that people began to have questions. He gave me an expensive gift in the office, paid for the restaurant, and then danced with me all evening, spinning me around.
Infatuation clouded my brain, and I turned into a mess.
I started to mess with his head, saying that I couldn’t do it, that he had to make a decision. He started looking for an apartment where he could move out from his wife. He was afraid, saying that if he decided to take this step, he would be left with nothing. His whole family works in this company, and everyone respects his wife. Their property is all communal, and his wife holds a higher position in the company than he does, despite being a co-founder. We were supposed to fly to Peru together, to take Ayahuasca. I wasn’t particularly interested; I don’t like altered states. He said that he would fly alone and come back with a decision. A small remark, he was on strong antidepressants for a couple of years, and almost came off them during our communication.
To distract myself, I flew to Barcelona for Christmas. We had agreed not to communicate during his trip to Peru so that he could make a decision calmly. On the way to Barcelona, I couldn’t hold back and wrote to him because it had become unbearable; a week had passed. I wrote that I was flying to Barcelona and remembered how we were there together in the summer. I received the answer: “This city will always be associated with you for me. Thank you for bringing me back to life.” And that was it. I was in shock. At first, I thought that maybe Telegram wasn’t working. I couldn’t believe that our story could end like this, even without a final conversation. Then I started to accept reality little by little.
Going to work was unbearable. M. was cheerful and happy, he started giving flowers to his wife in front of everyone at work. Our department was moved to the office opposite his, and for six months I saw him for 8 hours a day through a glass door, including all those endless bouquets. It was terrible. I tried to keep a straight face and pretend that everything was okay, but of course, it was visible externally. I would get a new haircut or dye my hair dark, I was shaken up. At work, I tried to communicate through someone else.
After two months, she couldn’t take it anymore and asked why he had ended things. Couldn’t they talk about it? He said it was too painful and he had decided it was better without all those conversations. He said that while in Peru, he realized he was ready to let go of all material things, but he would never change, and that he was so unstable and unreliable. He decided to focus his energy not on creating a new family, but on saving his old one. Looking back, she doesn’t understand why she didn’t quit her job the same day. At the time, she was probably financially comfortable and afraid of being unemployed in another country with a mortgage. She put all of this on the scale with her self-esteem, and of course, lost.
In the year and a half after the breakup, M.’s mental state went from very good to very bad. She suspects he started using drugs. He started destroying her at work to the point where people in the department asked why he was so mean to her. Even a well-done presentation was belittled by him, and he said it was terrible. He was no longer her direct supervisor, but he still controlled only her from his department. She was already in another relationship, and his behavior angered her. Then he invited her to a conversation where he said he was reducing her salary because she wasn’t doing well at work, and she said if that was the case, then she was going on maternity leave. He was, to say the least, stunned because he didn’t realize she was in a serious relationship and pregnant (in this country, you can go on maternity leave from the first day of pregnancy, which she certainly took advantage of). He said he was happy for her and congratulated her.
For a year and a half, she didn’t see him. She only heard from acquaintances and colleagues that M. was doing very poorly. She can’t say she didn’t think about him. She did and followed him, his wife, and their social media, although he stopped posting altogether.
Now I have my own family. I love and respect my husband, and I cherish my son. A year ago, as my maternity leave was coming to an end, a colleague told me that at a meeting with the company’s founders, M’s brother said that it would be better if I didn’t return to work because of issues between me and M. I called M and asked what issues he had with me.
We met, but he couldn’t really say anything. He was in terrible shape, had gained 10 kg, and said he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had been at a health camp on Lake Como.
Overwhelmed by anger, I said that I regretted everything (which is not true, as I still remember my most serious crush), and he said it hurt to hear that. We parted on good terms, he said he had no issues with me regarding work, and that I could return, especially since he was leaving the company himself. I asked who knew about our history. He said his brother knew, and probably everyone else, including his wife. Although I don’t think so, she recently saw me in town and sent a nice message about my wonderful little one. Of course, I didn’t return to the company, but found a new job.
I sometimes see M in our neighborhood, as we live 500 meters apart. Every time we meet, we say we should have coffee together, and I even wrote twice to suggest we go. But he was away, most likely just didn’t want to. A couple of times, he wrote me himself with some questions, but I could ignore them or give short replies. He left his brother’s company and is now working on his own projects, living with his wife, but without children.
I understand that this is an old story, but it remains unresolved for me. I know that, to close it, I need to realize that I was never needed by him.
But it seems that false pride doesn’t allow me to do that and paints a picture of M, the man who was in love with me but was forced to leave me because of a cruel fate. Please share your perspective on this situation. Thank you for reading!