Unbroken Patterns

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Truth.

I’m always amazed at how much can change in a year. Or not.

Life Coaching TipsToday, rather  than  run  into  a meeting  ten  minutes early, I waited in my car. Normally I would have gone in- side  to  socialize  before  the  big,  boring,  sit-for-hours briefing. At the time, I didn’t know why I was moved to hang around outside.

Then I saw a married couple I’d known quite well last year. The husband stood directly in front of my car and I got a good look at him,  though he didn’t see me in my car. For the first time since I’ve known him, he seemed truly happy. The smiles were genuine.

The wife, she stood with her back to me, also waiting

to cross the street. I couldn’t see her face, but she looked skinnier than last time I saw her. Her hair was a little longer, but the exact color as before and just as curly as a year ago. Similar dress to the last time I  saw  her. But dang, she looked great!

I stared through the windshield at them. They’d split up and she’d remarried, and here they were together and happy?

A year ago this weekend, her new boyfriend stood in my house,  asking if she was there and terrified because her husband  kept calling  his  cell phone and screaming obscenities and physical threats, all of which I could hear every time the guy touched his phone’s voice mail to see if even one of the last 20 messages was from her instead of her irate  husband. (Rather than tell her husband she was leaving him, she left her cell phone records where he could find them so he could officially initiate the separation and she could respond by running to her boyfriend.) I  was  in the middle of an extremely  awkward  situation where her husband, a then-coworker of mine, blamed me for their marriage’s breakup because  she’d told him she was          out clubbing with  newly divorced and        wild-womanish  me (instead of with her new  boyfriend)  and that I was always picking up men.

Ha. I never went clubbing  with her, not one single time. And I’ve yet to go “pick up men.” Do I sound bitter? Yeah, I’m still offended!

But here  they  were  together,  in  front  of  me,  after she’d left her husband and married the new boyfriend.

I watched  them  cross  the  street,  and  the  woman turned slightly and beamed up at the man. It wasn’t the wife!

Her look-alike, yes. But not the same woman.

Why do  men  do  that?  Look  for  a  replica  of  the woman who left them?

Though women do it, too, where they’ve been left behind.

It’s a dynamic that, in most cases, should be healed rather than repeated.