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My first wife

"And when I liv'd I was your other wife;
And when you lov'd, you were my other husband."

I fancied myself married once. She was a beautiful woman, full of life and love, intelligence and daring, kindness and beauty. I did not have the patience and intelligence to continue that relationship. Instead I used every opportunity I had to corrupt it, cheapen it, to manipulate her and to utterly destroy not just that relationship but the dozens of others that had grown up in relation to it.

There will never be sufficient words or deeds that I could provide that would make up for my deficiencies with that beauteous woman. It will be the pain I carry with me to the grave, the thing that I cannot ask even God to forgive of me because I have not the heart to forgive myself.

My only recompense is indirect; I work hard to ensure that I do not take my current wife, another uniquely beautiful woman, in any way for granted. The two are inextricably linked. The end of the one relationship was the beginning of the second and lies and deceit marked those days.

I am the man I am today because of those days. Or am I the man I am today in spite of those days. It's hard to tell. I do know that not a day goes by that I don't recall some past blunder, some stupefying idiocy on my part that destroyed one relationship but set me on the path so something I cherish each and every day.

I can only hope that the other woman I loved, and still love to my dying breath, is not so burdened today from what I did to her so long ago. As much as the selfish part of me wants to be remembered the caring part of me hopes that she has forgotten me, forgotten the hardships I caused, and that she has become exceedingly happen in her life and loves.