happy anniversary

June 27th.  Were I still married, this would have been my 13th wedding anniversary.

All day I have tried to ignore the symbolism of this day.  All day I have tried to keep my head down and just work, work, work through it.  All day I have just tried to make it to bedtime and another day.

I tried very hard today, as I do every day, to forget. To forget about the dreams dashed, sacrificed or surrendered.  To forget about the parts of myself lost along the way.  To forget about all those times that I reached for him and my hand closed on nothing but air. To forget how empty and artificial my life seemed to me.  To forget how it felt to be an afterthought, always.  To forget about my fear that it is, just possibly, too late to truly have the life I’d imagined.

But I can’t.

Today, I find myself unable to turn away from the carnage that was my marriage.  I keep looking back at it, part-amazed, part-disgusted, part-heartbroken, as it recedes further into the distance of my past.

I have spent many summers in tears.  Something about summertime always brought our problems to the forefront… maybe it was the golden possibilities never realized.  All the concerts never attended, moonlight walks never taken, romantic evening dinners never shared…. Maybe it was those things that left me deflated, acutely aware of my gilded cage that allowed me a glimpse of the world outside, but no access to it.  I could see that people — other people — did those things, but we did not.

I once had a long conversation with a guy I was dating about what we missed about being married.  We ultimately agreed that we didn’t actually miss all that much about our marriages, but we did miss — very, very much so — the hopes and optimism that had accompanied those marriages.  We wondered aloud whether the giddy promise of new love could ever be as good in our 40’s as it was in our 20’s.  We wondered if we could ever enter another relationship with such earnest certainty in its very rightness.  We wondered if anyone could ever convince us again that we are truly special. We wondered if anyone would ever really try.

I held it in all day, this grief and loss and fear.  This evening I loaded the dishwasher and did the laundry and kissed my girls to bed.  And then I let the tears come.  I’m not sure if I cried for myself or for my ex or for all the time irretrievably spent on a marriage too weak to survive.  I honestly don’t know.  I just know that it’s summertime and I still haven’t stopped crying and I’m beginning to wonder if I ever will.

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2 Comments

Filed under divorce, healing, love, personal growth, relationships, sadness, single mom

2 responses to “happy anniversary

  1. P,
    May I offer a hug, perhaps a glass of wine? And a long talk on the back porch? You need it.

    I spent a lot of time last night with “what if” thoughts. (my own anniversary was this month, too) Not just around Edward, but everything (what if I hadn’t gone to grad school, what if I had left my marriage years earlier, what if I had fought harder to make it work) and I realized that this kind of thought quickly overwhelms and never is helpful. You are where you are.

    And frankly, from my perspective, you’re doing a fabulous job of being there. You’ve created a loving, nurturing home for your girls, you’ve shown them that love and life aren’t about accepting what you have, but striving to make your life all that you want it to be. You’ve shown them that “ok” isn’t good enough. That love and passion are important. What empowering messages to send to them!

    I think our marriages were similar in many ways. Your description of longing for those summer nights with romance and love is beautiful. And attainable. I think by our mid thirties, forties, we’ve spent so much time doing so much for so many other people, it is time to take care of ourselves, nurture our spirits, and I hope you’ve found someone who can help you do that. And if it isn’t him, it will be someone else down the road, because that passion and spark, and hope and promise of all the love and good energy from a good relationship is most definitely not just for those in the twenty-something set. If anything, isn’t it better at this age? Perhaps harder to find, but all the more precious for the finding. And we can appreciate it in an unselfish way – think back to your own Edward. You felt all those things, and despite the ending, are able to see all the good that came from it. All the self awareness and growth and potential. That is perspective you wouldn’t have had at twenty. At twenty we’re all too busy figuring out how to play house. 😉

    I hope at the end of a very good cry, you realized what we all see in your writing, that the time in your marriage wasn’t wasted, or ill spent, it was what you needed at the time to help you realize what you really want and need from your own life and for your girls.

    I hope today is brighter, better. And that at least once this summer, the moonlight walk and romantic dinner are yours for the taking 🙂

    xo,
    c.

    • Cate, Thanks for the pep talk and the vote of confidence! The hug, the glass of wine, and the back porch talk would have been perfect. This week is does not allow for any “taking care of me time,” which I suspect you can very much relate to at this point.. 🙂

      You’re absolutely right about it being better now. I am discovering that that is true even when it doesn’t work out, just as you pointed out. I have begun to approach every relationship as a opportunity to truly learn about myself and how I relate to other people, so that I can do better each time and maybe, someday, get it right.

      I have no idea whether I will get that moonlight walk or romantic dinner this summer. The verdict is still out. But the summer isn’t over, either…. 🙂

      Good luck with your move!

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