When my ex-husband and I first fell in love, he was really happy with me. When I took the time to point out my flaws he would shut me down, insisting he was happy with me just the way I was. And just like that old Billy Joel song, Just The Way You Are, which happened to be a hit when we were first hitting the sheets, I thought his acceptance of me was very romantic. But considering that Billy Joel dumped his wife right after the song came out, leaving her for a newer, younger model, I should have been suspicious from the start.
Sadly, I was not. And after much trepidation on my part and much reassurance on his, I finally decided to take my husband at his word. I got comfortable and settled in to what looked like happily-ever-after with a man I had decided I could trust completely. I let down my guard and let my freak flag fly. “He likes me, he really likes me!” I told my family and friends. I could be myself; live my life without altering my behaviors to suit a man. Everything felt so right.
And then, wham! All of the sudden he really didn’t seem to like me anymore. He liked the idea of me, his fantasy version of the perfect me as seen through his eyes. But the real me? Not so much. I was confused by his about-face and his behavior left me wondering where I’d gone wrong. I’d trusted him; taken him at his word and had come to find that his word meant absolutely nothing. He had become, in effect, a love flip-flopper.
He loved me, he loved me not. One day he was for me and the next he was opposed to everything he had said he liked the day before. A love flip-flopper. Changing his view without viable reasons for doing so. In his mind there was cut and dried evidence to support the wide swings of his emotional pendulum, and he had absolutely no problem voicing them loudly and without cessation. In his mind I had seemingly morphed from a first prize to a consolation prize and he was not happy with his winnings.
If he had been running for office, the office of Chief Husband, let’s say, I might have voted for him initially (let’s face it, I did), but after his love flip-flopping I never would have voted him in a second time (which I didn’t). Because flip-flopping is a messy business. It falsifies all claims you had to your previous opinions and it makes you look like a real idiot. And let’s face it, love flip- flopping erodes trust faster than you can say, “I love you just the way you are.” Trust me.