He Loved Me First

He liked to brag that he loved me first. And he did.  His great love evoked my own love for him. No woman could resist his great proclamations of love.

His love was permanent, he said--forever and ever amen. He couldn't bear to "run out" on me, so he wanted me to die first--in his arms--so as to spare me the pain of separation. But he would camp out at my grave until he died. He would be praying for death, and it would come soon because no man can live once his heart is ripped out of him. He suggested "The man who loved Tina Rae Collins" as his epitaph. He hoped for the mansion next to mine in heaven if they wouldn't let us share.

I had the power of life or death over him. I had restarted his heart and I could stop it cold--just by failing to love him. I was his engine, and without me he could not move and was fit only for the junk yard. The most profound relationship or experience he had ever had was with me.

If he didn't love me, no man ever loved a woman. He called God as his witness and swore that he loved me. He felt that any man who knew me and even looked at another woman was not worthy of me. He  loved me like no man ever had and no man ever would again.

I was his "pearl of great price."  He promised to make me the envy of all women. He intended to keep expressing his love for me as long as he lived. His great brilliance, he said, was shown in the fact that he loved me. He wanted to tattoo my name on his private parts!

Now how could I resist such love? I couldn't. What woman could? So I loved him in return. I loved him truly, deeply, madly--just as he said he loved me.

But forever and ever amen is not as long as one might think. In fact, less than two years after the wedding, he was not only looking at other women but seeking their company.

He loved me first. But I loved him better. And I loved him last. He was wrong about loving me forever and ever amen. He was wrong about a lot of things. But one thing I hope he was right about. I hope no man ever loves me again like he loved me.

Tina Rae Collins
November 26, 2009