Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Forever Love

I have had a few friends reach out to me over the past few months asking some questions about my marriage and relating it to their own. I have been telling them that I would write about it to sit back and be patient. It’s been a couple of months for some, weeks for others, and merely days with one. It’s not that I have been too busy, although I truly am non-stop these days. Perhaps part of it is reliving the past that I have trouble doing. Finding the right words is another reason. Most of all, I don’t want someone relying on ME for advice as to whether they should stay in their marriage or not. I will go ahead and spew forth a few perils of wisdom, okay; advice is really the key word I should use.

I married a great man in 2001. He was perfect from the get go with Jake who was 2 at the time. He moved from NY to TX to start our family. We were the best of friends from day one. According to our friends, we were the perfect couple. What people see on the outside is not obviously the same behind closed doors. When we decided to divorce in 2007, we remained best friends. We looked at all of the options before splitting; in the end we went our separate ways. When I had to find a new place to live, he actually went with me. He reassured me that he could help fix things in some of the houses we looked at. It even went as far as possibly living across the street from each other at homes that were both for sale. In the end, he thought it was a bad idea for us. It shocked all of our friends and our families. Out of everyone, they never thought it would be he and I to divorce.

We were perfect. We just weren’t happy. Now you can ask, is anyone happy? Or what truly is happy? These questions are different for each individual and not as a couple. We lived like roommates. We never stopped loving the kids. We never stopped loving each other. As much as we tried counseling, date nights, church, sex, none of it helped. We didn’t want to prevent the other one from truly finding that one person that is your soul mate...because of my unhappiness and longing for my needs to be taken care of I had an affair. There, I said it. I know you wanted to ask. It was rough. The guilt ate at me. The day Doug found out, I fell apart. We cried, we yelled, we were silent, but at the end of the day we took the kids to see Spiderman 3. What??? Who does that? An extraordinary man does. You ask then why did I let him go? Who would want me after that? Even if he did, my “needs” weren’t being met and I know I wasn’t meeting his. We discussed our options to try to work it out as a couple, or just for the kids, or for financial reasons, or out of fear of being alone. None of these are good options, but were entertained for some sake I cannot recall at this time. The days thereafter I’m not going to tell you were easy. I can probably tell you they were crazy more than anything. In the end the attorney commented on our case being the “easiest she has ever seen.” We had split everything and moved into separate homes by the time we filed papers. Doug showed up on the day our divorce went before a judge to be finalized. He didn’t have to be there, but showed up for moral support. At the end we walked to our cars. We stood outside of his car and I said, “Thanks for being here. I’m sorry for everything I put you through.” The floodgates opened and I sobbed. He grabbed me and hugged me tight. He said, “It’s just a piece of paper. It’s OK. We’re OK. We’re still friends. I love you.” I told him that I loved him as I hugged back. I slowly walked to my car and drove away.

Since then we have had good times and bad times as all friends do. We just took the boys to the movies last night to see “Night at the museum 2.” He’s the first person I call in the middle of the day when I’m having a bad day and want to vent.

If you’re asking why we don’t try to get back together or if I miss him….it depends on the day or even the time of day. In the end, I know nothing would change and we would end up right back where we started. The heart can endure so much pain.

I tell you this information for reference and guidance only. Sometimes you feel like no one is going through what you’re going through. You think no one will understand. You probably find yourself at a loss and then you start to question and doubt yourself. You begin to lose yourself worth. You begin to make excuses. I told you the above information to let you know that you are not alone.

Here’s what I have to say about it. You can stop reading if you think I have rambled on long enough. I never asked you to read this anyway. If you want to judge me, fine. You won’t be the same. I will tell you that you have not walked a single inch in my shoes. You have not endured the pain that I have had to endure, or the torment that I have experienced. This is just a small slice of the story. I’m human. We all make mistakes. We all have skeletons. You are no better than the person standing next to you. You can judge me, but I know that you only suffer from your own insecurities and this just makes you feel bigger and better than me. I digress. Whatever the reason is in your current relationship, take a step outside of the relationship and look in. Disengage for a quick second. You married the person standing in front of you for a reason. What was that reason? Write it down. Take a trip down memory lane. I find that most of my married friends disengage a few years after they marry. The person standing before your eyes is still the same person. Marriage shouldn’t change anything. I know that some people truly change and you may have probable cause at that time. Whatever the reason may be, don’t just walk away because you think the grass is greener on the other side. It’s greener til the flood comes, then it’s just a mess. Look, all I can say is give it your best shot. Not just the old college try, because some of you strived for that 70 average just to continue on. Truly fight for what you want. Give it your all. If it still doesn’t work out in the end, you can at least say you tried. You’re not a failure. A failure is someone who gives up without putting in a single drop of sweat. Success is the result of blood, sweat, and tears regardless of the outcome. Now go work your magic.

Give love a chance.

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