Some Lies We Tell Ourselves
How we can only see what we want to see
I’ll admit, I am writing from a place of pure speculation in terms of what others see and think. I believe I am aware of the times I chose to ignore the facts in front of me and focus on what I wanted to see and believe. This is especially true when it comes to the wonderful world of online dating.
John Adams said:
Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
And the dictionary defines a fact as: a thing that is indisputably the case.
After I met my estranged husband’s girlfriend for the second time last week, I couldn’t help but wonder how an attractive, educated woman who seems intelligent has become seriously involved with a man who is factually a recovering drug addict and left his wife because she had a stroke.
I was married to that man for 28 years so I’m familiar with his superior talent for bullshit. He was addicted to drugs for a good part of our relationship so I know how well denial works in an addict’s life.
Again, I’m speculating, but I think he just doesn't see himself as that guy; the one who was addicted and chose not to stay with his wife because she became disabled. That being the case, I would further conjecture that it was easy to present himself to prospective girlfriends as completely sober and magnanimous. It’s conceivable and quite likely he spun the story about the end of his marriage in some creative way that painted him in a much better light without regard for those stubborn facts.
The current girlfriend met me last March when I was being pushed in a wheelchair by my sons at an event she was attending with my husband. I couldn’t help but wonder how my appearance as a disabled woman jived with the story she had been told.
Having met a few dozen men online myself, I know I have consciously looked past things that should have been instant deal breakers such as alcoholism. In that case, I checked a lot of other boxes about him such as good looks, education, career, home and family. I was a fool and let myself fall in love with that guy. It was not a surprise when it ended in heartbreak with him relapsing out of a short lived stint with sobriety. He passed away after we broke up from liver failure.
Maybe its the paucity of quality single men out there that helps us to stay focused only on the rosy facts about who is in front of us, and take a blind eye to the not so pretty facts. I would also speculate that our current stage of being single and its causes color our view.