In the wake of grieving over my beloved cat’s passing last weekend, I discovered through the grapevine that my former wife had gotten remarried in May. This year would have marked eight years since we got married. It also marks five years since we separated.
I can still recall six months after we had separated we had begun to talk again and even had dinner. After a few days, she wrote me a very long email telling me that she had taken me for granted as well as our marriage. She wanted me to come back and for us to continue. She was sorry for the mistakes she had made. It was a very emotional letter, and I could tell it came from a special place from her, being that she was not very emotional, at least in showing affection. Her language of love was money, gifts, and buying things while mine was affection, respect, and spending time together. I didn’t understand at the time how critical these differences were.
“But I bought you this,” I would often hear from her, “I don’t understand why you aren’t happy.”
I started the same conversation that I had memorized by now, “I appreciate the gift – I do – but I really want you to spend time with me.”
She sat puzzled – with a blank look on her face.
The letter brought me to tears. The apology was appreciated and deserved. Everything wasn’t her fault. I was to blame too. I had made mistakes as well.
I kicked around the idea for a few days. I wanted our marriage to work. I loved her dearly. But I knew there needed to be growth and change by both of us and within the marriage. I talked myself into it and then out of it – rinse and repeat. Finally, I had settled on an answer.
I stopped by the house we used to share that she now lived in and asked to discuss the letter. I told her I appreciated the letter and the apology and that I wanted to apologize too for the mistakes I made. I wanted to rebuild our marriage but I felt we needed to restart with growth and change. There had been so much damage in our marriage and relationship done by both of us. I felt like we needed to go through with the divorce and take about six months off and if we still felt this way, we could begin to date and relearn each other after we had worked through our own issues. After all, we hadn’t even discussed any of the issues in our marriage. I would be open to this and I..
“Look,” she said, interrupting me, “I just want to know if you want to do this or not – because if not – I’ve got guys lined up to date me and that’s the direction I want to go.”
My mouth hit the floor and the words hit me like a ton of fucking bricks. It took me a minute for the words to finally permeate every pore, every atom of my being. It was the single biggest gut punch I had ever felt in my life.
I realized the truth now. She hadn’t changed. Not one fucking bit. Nothing had changed.
“Ah, I get it now,” I said coolly, “You are just tired of being alone and you just want somebody. And, since we were married, you are giving me first dibs. I get it now.”
“No, no,” she replied hastily, “That’s not it at all!”
“No, I got it,” I snapped, “Do what you want. The answer is no.”
I walked out of the house and saw her one more time a few months later to pick up a few more items. That was almost four years ago.
Picture found in the public domain of the internet.