As usual, going about my daily routine of searching through the Internet for silly things to read or comment on when I joined a chat about old movies shot in the Commonwealth. I’m sure this came up because of the Oscars and “Lincoln” with some scenes and extras in this fair city. Being in the south, people starting talking about those good old movies that were made in the area. I made a brief statement about my wife working on one of them.
I got a surprise comment back from a name that said he had worked on the same movie and what was my wife’s name. When I replied with her former name he said he knew her.
Security blast! This was a harmless chat room I had enjoyed reading before, but the name of this person was not recognizable. This could be a real person from my wife’s past or some kind of phishing or maybe just some convict with nothing else to do.
Then I get a message from this stranger who says he had checked my profile and was sorry she had passed away. So where do I go from here?
So I send a connection to a story from my blog about her to fill in some of the details. Now remember I have no idea who this person is. His name was never spoken to me.
Another message came back with references I did recognize. Details of times I had heard about and tried to forget were remembered and revived.
Still not knowing anything about this name, I checked his profile and found no other references that would solve the mystery of the ex-boyfriend. I do have some since of what she went through during those years but do not know or really want to know how deep her relationship was with this guy.
I’ve written before about meeting my ex-wife and her current husband and how awkward that was. It was probably more awkward for him. I didn’t know if he was her second husband and didn’t ask. As I shook his hand and introduced myself to him I tried to think of the introduction from his side.
So here I was in that position. Studies say couples should not talk about previous loves, but it happens. When another person who has spent meaningful time with an individual, something will spark that memory and must be dealt with.
This communication did remind me of my own insecurities. Learned at a fairly early age I learned there were no guarantees to a relationship, even with contracts and ceremonies. My wife of 25 years did have opportunities and time to wander if she desired. Maybe she did and maybe she didn't, but she was always attentive to me when I needed her and I rewarded her with that freedom.
My wife had always tried to block out the past relationships for both of us. I recognized the importance of forgetting bad images for her so I locked away any reference to a previous life. In the long run it cut me off from family and friends.
I could pry and find out more details from this stranger about a previous love who became my wife, but what good would that do? We all have histories to drag along as baggage and yet we move on.