I heard this notion once that the men a woman loves, from her first love to the man she loves at her dying breath, all have this kinship amongst each other, something like a fraternity of sorts. Each of those men know that woman a little differently, maybe a lot differently, but they've all loved her, needed her, and wanted her at some point. Whether they hate each other or know nothing about the others in that fraternity, they all have an unspoken commonality. It's the same way with the women a man has loved, like it or not. The complex network of those you've loved, and those your loves have loved, is unbelievably interwoven.
Who are your fraternity brothers? Your sorority sisters? Have you ever stopped to think about the likenesses among the other people your significant other has loved? Maybe it seems pointless and counterproductive to some people, but when I stop to consider who the other women are, it gives me some sort of satisfied, respectful feeling. Whether those women hurt the men I've loved or whether the men I've loved hurt them, at one point, they were all that person wanted for some moment in their lives. They were each others' worlds, and when I think about how life has brought me here, to this moment, I have this unexplainable respect for how fast life moves. How did I get right here where I am now? How have those other people shaped the men I've loved, and how have I shaped the men who will one day find their own soul mates, the person I wasn't for them? It's interesting for me to think about, I guess. I've pictured so many possibilities for my future; envisioned distant, cloudy images of how things might unfold with one person or another, but at the end of the day, my own personal hopes and expectations have little impact on what actually unfolds. Moreover, I think all of those women I've got kinship with have a bigger influence on how my future turns out because they've all played a part in shaping the men I've loved, or do love, or will love. And that, to me, is a respectable, fascinating position to be in.