Jun 10, 2008


Dear Joe,
Just call me Glenn. I am working as a network engineer in one of the biggest petroleum companies in the Philippines. I became involved with a co-worker of mine, her name is Julie. Back then she had a boyfriend, and his name is Ted. But it appears their relationship was not going anywhere because she is not particularly proud of him, due to the fact that Ted is lazy and unambitious.
Julie and I started off as friends, and I became her confidante whenever she feels she needs to talk to someone about her disappointment with her boyfriend. She kept telling me that she would be the happiest girl in the world if Ted could be even half as hard-working as I am. I on the other hand also found her quite admirable. A product of an unwanted pregnancy, Julie refused to buckle to the pressure of being the only child of an unwed mother. She had to work hard just to get herself through high school and college. And now Julie has to work even doubly hard because aside from her mother, she's also supporting her uncles and their children.
This mutual admiration led to the two of us drawing closer to each other, until one night while prepping up for a project at my place, Julie and I were carried away by our growing feelings for each other. I was delighted to discover that I was her "first." Since then the two of us started a relationship unknown to Ted. They still continue on with theirs, though. I'm not the type of guy who would willingly share a girl with another man, but since Julie persistenly refused to break up with him, I thought I just had to settle with what I have in the meantime.
Then one day Julie learned that Ted had been cheating on her. She was so mad at him that she finally broke up the relationship, obviously to my advantage. But since then another facet of her personality started to manifest: Julie is extremely insecure. Most of the times she would nag me about other girls that I come in contact with at work and in my social life. The smallest of things have triggered nasty confrontations, since I am also not particularly tolerant to her tantrums. Julie is particularly jealous about a girl co-worker of ours, whom she knows I used to like a lot before we started our relationship.
All of these contributed to what turned out ot be an on-and-off relationship. Most of the times we're ok. Whenever we're not fighting, Julie is actually the sweetest, most thoughtful, caring and affectionate woman in the world. But whenever we fight, she turns into vicious tiger, a trait that I found so hard to accept.
Soon Julie was already asking me when are we going to get married. I wasn't able to give her a straight answer since, to be honest, I wasn't ready yet during that time. I know that I love her, but there are some things with myself and my career that I need to settle first before tying the knots.
But I do love my girlfriend. So I told Julie that we'll start the wedding preparations as soon as I complete a six month long overseas project that I have. She was clearly disappointed. She said a lot could happen in six months -- her insecurity getting the better of her again. Also, Julie doesn't want to go though the usual preparations of a formal church ceremony, and instead wanted a quick civil wedding -- to which I am strongly opposed. Almost two months later, just before I left, Julie was already breaking up with me. When I asked her why, she said it's because she accepted Ted's marriage proposal, though she empasized that she still loves me more than him.
I was shocked at the fact that it was so easy for her to just turn her back on me and decide to marry her ex-boyfriend just because I'm not ready for marriage yet. I felt like all those three years we spent with each other are about to go down the drain, and she didn't seem to care about all that time. That's when I realized that I loved her too much to just let her go without a fight.
The day after she told me of her plans of marrying Ted, I immediately rushed to the jewelry store to buy an engagement ring. But when I gave her the ring, she just broke down and cried. And it's not because of happiness. I was shocked beyond words when Julie told me that she's a month pregnant, and Ted is the father of the baby.
By the time you read this letter Julie and Ted would probably be married already. It took a great deal of courage but finally I have come to accept the reality that I have lost her. At first I can't understand what happened. When we were together, Julie was so passionate with her feelings for me. For three years, even though we fought a lot, it's like it's us against the world. Now whenever I look back at what happened, I can't seem to find the Julie that I came to know and love. It's like she turned into a completely different person.
Somebody once told me that Julie was never really in love with me. Rather, she was in love with my potential as a husband. If it's true, then I guess I wasted all those years loving a woman who's sole objective in life is to get married, regardless of who it is she's marrying. If I had known, I wouldn't have exerted all that effort trouble shooting a turbulent relationship. I have since learned to accept what happened, but sometimes I stop and think about Julie. I guess I still miss her. She is after all the woman that I loved the most.
Joe, thank you for this opportunity for me to share my experience with you. I wish you all the best, and also to your colleagues. God bless.
Joes Notes
Dear Glenn,
Sometimes it is so difficult to understand why people act the way they do. Our attitude and outlook in life are products of all our past experiences, good and bad, complexly intertwined in a way that make up for who we are.
Julie came from a broken family and this probably explains why she wanted to constantly feel secured in her relationships. She considered marriage as the perfect bond, the ultimate guarantee that she’ll have his man forever. Unfortunately, not all marriages end happily. There are couples who break apart and never reconcile their differences.
The thought of being away from you for six months gave Julie the shivers. She wanted to settle for a civil wedding so she could have peace of mind but you knew that was being too hasty. This, I believe was the turning point of your relationship. The event that has put it to its ultimate test. She misinterpreted your decision which gave her enough good reason to rekindle an old flame. Unluckily, this flame raged into a wild fire when she intimately found herself back in the arms of the man she once loved. She suddenly found herself in the situation her mother was in the day she unexpectedly found out that she was pregnant. She didn’t want to see another child growing up without a father so she opted for the only solution in sight--marriage.
It may not be a wise decision but she seems to have been left with no choice at all. She may have loved you but she wanted to be fair, too. She didn’t want you to answer for something you were not responsible for.
I know how hard it is to lose someone we love. But, sometimes we just can’t have it all. The bitter-sweet years you’ve shared with Julie ware probably, not in any way, a preparation for marriage. She must have seen in you and the ability to provide her the security she’s wanted in life. But, a part of her still belonged to Ted. The feelings that remained dormant were shaken by circumstance, brought back to life and came home to where it truly belonged.
Glen, you are bitter because you have given so much only to lose what you wanted to keep forever. I you really love Julie then pray that she may find happiness and fulfillment in the arms of Ted. Do not be sorry for the years you thought you have wasted for these were filled with moments you’ve shared with someone you love in a relationship you believed in. As it has always been said, we should embrace love as it comes knocking at our doors and willingly let go when it says goodbye. We shouldn’t regret that we have lost it but be thankful that for once in our lives it has dwelled in our hearts and made us happy.