Friday, April 5, 2013

Day 30 {31 Days of Grace}: On the time I SHOULD'VE gotten a restraining order...

...a little while after that strange phone call, who strolls in- but John!?

Needless to say, I was shocked.  My parents still lived in the same town he did, so I would hear about him and his "goings-on" from time to time (not that I cared, they just felt the need to tell me). It was because of this that I knew he'd been scheduled to get married the previous month.

He was NOT wearing a ring.

Remember when I said I kind of chased after John for awhile after we broke up?
Well he'd already moved on and started dating a co-worker, Toni*.  She told him how terrible I was to him and how she was so sad to see him hurt, yada, yada, yada.

I hadn't been shocked to find out they were getting married.  Although, with his ex Quinn (whom he almost proposed to), me, and now Toni, he wasn't having such a great record with marriage attempts.

To make a long story short, I sat and talked with John in my office that day for quite awhile once I was off the clock.  It was a mutually polite conversation, but I thought that's all it was.
I did learn that he had a new job and was now living in the area, but it didn't worry me (much).

I went home and told E about this; while he wasn't crazy about it, neither of us thought it was a big deal.

A few weeks later, I'd been invited to a girls night out in downtown Raleigh.  It was an event that had many of us sharing a hotel room for the evening rather than driving home.  I NEVER do girls' nights out, but for some reason, I did this one. BIG MISTAKE!

Somehow, John and his friend ended up at one of the same clubs where we spent most of the evening on our GNO.  I tried to avoid him at first, but after awhile, I thought I should try and clear the air.

I was honest and told him I thought it was odd to be running into him a second time so soon.
I was a little unsettled to find out he'd gone into one of my previous bank branches only to be given directions and a phone number to my new one (how he even knew I worked for that bank, I still don't know).
I was even more unsettled when he asked me if I still lived off "Such and Such" road! Again, this was public information, but why did he care where I lived??
Things were getting a little weird!

During the course of talking this night, he admitted he'd made a mistake letting me go.  He told me why he and Toni didn't work out.
He apologized for pressuring me to finish college and get married.
At one point, he put his arm around my waist, pulled me into him and said into my ear, 
"I didn't care where we lived or where we worked.  I only wanted to be where with you, wherever that was!"

This is when I knew I needed to get away from him - and FAST! He'd already gotten too much information out of me; he knew which hotel I was staying at that night, what my plans were for the rest of the night, etc.
Even after we left, I was a bit shaken. 

Standing on the balcony of our hotel room, I saw John and his friend walk through the parking lot.
He was looking for me!
While he did spot me, I refused to let him come upstairs.
There were some words exchanged over the balcony but they finally left.

The whole experience was enough to really shake up my world.
While it didn't ruin or even negatively affect my relationship with E, it made me doubt it.  I'm ashamed to admit that!

When I took my vows with E, I was very serious. I'd made absolutely sure of that before I said "I Do."  Going into the wedding and the marriage, divorce was simply not an option.  I always thought it would be better to call off the wedding with people sitting in the church pews than to get a divorce a few years later.

But John was making me question myself.
John was a serious romantic; he knew how to get to me.  I had always loved that he was so romantic.
And to be honest, E isn't like that at all.  I love him tremendously for other reasons; I can't say I've never wished he were more romantic.

It was hard to hear John say he still loved me and felt like he'd made a mistake.
It was like forcing me to go back in time; I questioned those choices I'd made so many years earlier. After all, E and I had dated for more than 3 years before we got married.  So at this point, John and I had been apart for at least 5 years (and maybe more).

And not to glaze over the details, but I really have to. This could get insanely long.
John showed up a few more times; it came to a point where I called E to leave work and come over to my office.  His appearance and request to John that "we need to talk - OUTSIDE!" was all it took to put an end to the visits.

Honestly, I wonder why I didn't get a restraining order?!

As much as I'd love to tell you that was the last time I saw, John - it wasn't.

A year or two later when I was newly expecting with Sweetpea, John showed up again.  This time on the front steps of the church we'd been attending.

We'd bought a house and moved to a neighboring town; gotten an unlisted phone number; I'd gotten yet another position with the bank; and here we were again.
It was enough for E to say we weren't ever going back to that church.

It happens to be the church we have been attending again for the last year or so - but only because we know there is no chance of John coming back there.

He attends (and is a member of) the church my parents go to in that same small town where we both were born and raised.
He married someone I went to youth group with; they adopted a child together; he seems happy.  I wouldn't wish ill-will towards him, but honestly, I still don't care to see him.

We never go to church there either; for obvious reasons but also E wants to keep John away from our kids and vice versa.

Just this past fall, I went on a women's weekend conference with my Mom and her church.  John's wife also happened to be going.
Lucky for me {sarcasm}, I showed up to the church early and as I waited for my Mom and everyone else to arrive, guess who got there first? John and his wife and son.

And would you believe he practically followed me around the parking lot trying to engage me in conversation? It was clear to me (and anyone else listening) I did NOT want to talk to him! He kept asking about my kids and was I excited to be getting away for the weekend, etc, etc.
I just kept thinking, "Dude! Take a hint!"

Can you blame E for never wanting to see or be around John again?
I mean, put yourself in his shoes!
He'd never told a girl he loved her before me; he knew I had way more relationship experience than he did.  I'm sure he never expected to have to deal with my ex-fiance so many times the first year we were married.

And here's the thing:
I don't want, expect, or need an apology from John.  I'm sure my husband would say the same thing.
However, I think John owes my husband an apology.
You don't infringe on someone's marriage (during the first year especially) and NOT apologize for it.
John knows what he did was wrong and he needs to admit it - at least in my opinion.

What do you think?

I think I'm not going to finish my story in one more post! But we'll see...

* not her real name

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