La Douleur Exquise (For My Sake)


Author’s Note: This piece was written sometime ago (almost 6 months ago) and I had just gotten around to publishing it. The photos used are not mine.

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I had always wondered what happened all those months ago when he had changed…what made him change. He was no longer the person I knew during those first few months into the relationship. It was a sign, perhaps, that this LDR journey would not last but I refused to acknowledge it.

I said yes when he proposed albeit informally; I wanted him in my life. I continued to persevere and placed my all into making it work even if time and again he casually shrugged off all of my efforts. He was crass, insensitive, regardless of my feelings for him. What should’ve been the wake-up call for me months ago should’ve been the end of everything.

But I love him and was willing to tolerate that slight.

Heart still in tatters, I moved on, telling myself that I should be understanding, more forgiving, more thankful that he and I still communicate despite the red lights flashing. He was no longer interested in me as person…just my looks, it seems.

I still held on. It was a decision that was influenced by his surprise video calls and unexpected serenades. I would instantly melt, for crying out loud! However, our texts and communication grew scarcer, with me always initiating a conversation, inquiring how his side of the world is doing. I never get a response right away even when I see that he is online. Mostly he would reply the day after but with only a few words. I tried to give him a day or two for him to try initiate a talk with me but it didn’t work. It broke my heart to see this relationship crumbling into bits. But like a person in love, I still held on despite signs telling me the opposite.


I should’ve let him go when we had turned one and mocked my efforts to greet him. Prior to that, I sent him pictures of me making a countdown to our special day. On the day of our first, I had sacrificed sleep to buy mini cupcakes spelling an “I love you”. I was hoping for a Skype call—even if it would just be for 5 minutes. Yet, the celebration I was hoping for did not happen. To top it off, he just laughed at the photo of the mini cupcakes. It was like being slapped in the face.

I realized that I was not a priority. Never a priority. I was not in that priority list. He made that clear when I asked him what he envisions himself 5 years from now. In that vision, I wasn’t in it despite what we had discussed in those early days. In his life, I do not exist. No one knows of my existence. Here I was, shouting to the world that he’s my man, but I…I was but a shadow in his.

I’ve had enough. I’m tired of all the chasing. My heart is exhausted from breaking apart time and again. My heart could only tolerate so much.

Even if it pains me to do so, even if it hurts I have to let this go. Let him go. For his sake.

For my sake.

La Douleur Exquise is a French term that describes the heart-wrenching pain of wanting someone you can’t have. It gets at the emotional level of being the one whose love is unreciprocated.


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8 thoughts on “La Douleur Exquise (For My Sake)

  1. ….would you believe me if I said I did the same thing. I wasn’t aware of it. I had to shutout the awareness of how I was treating her. Asking myself now I don’t understand how I could have hurt her… I’d give anything to have what I took for granted. Why couldn’t I see that then? Would I even be able to maintain that appreciation if she were to take me back or am I destined to use and abuse. I need her… but I broke her in spite of needing her..why can’t I control myself?

    Liked by 1 person

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