Written on 08.07.2015

Today would have been my 5th wedding anniversary. But, it’s not. Instead, my life is completely different than it was just a year ago, and all the years before that as well. It is no where near perfect but I am now on the right track. Although at times I was stressed out, beat down and felt pretty close to hopeless; I stayed persistent with my goals and I’m now on the train home from my job at a super cool company that is going to help my dreams come true.
At some point in 2013 I realized that I was a one man show when it came to making a life I wanted to live. Of course, I had a man by my side, to speak generously but honestly… I still have a hard time figuring out the dynamic of our relationship. I always wanted more for both of us and when I talked about it he would agree but then nothing would happen. I would take all the necessary steps to get where I or we wanted to go and sadly come out on the other side realizing he’d never done a thing to contribute toward our goals. It’s taken me a little less than one year to get where I should have been 2 years ago. He just could never step outside his comfort zone and now I can say with complete truthfulness that I’m thankful for this. I’ve always had trouble deciding what I WANT… And he showed me what I don’t want; a mediocre, small, boring life. I now know with complete certainty that I want to learn, grow, travel, explore, experience, accomplish, become wiser and stronger and more understanding. I want depth and meaning and I want someone to share all that with. And now, I do.
Once, I get off this train I will walk to my apartment and then drive over to spend the weekend with my boyfriend who is the icing on all the cakes. I have found what I have always craved; the kind of love that is undeniable, pure, full of respect and good intentions and unwavering. He makes me feel so special and lucky and just simply loved. I fucking adore him. Do you know what it feels like to truly adore someone? It’s so fucking gratifying. I simply can’t get enough of him. I just want to be close to him and kiss him endlessly. Falling asleep next to him is so deeply comforting and opening up my eyes at the beginning of a new day with him by side is rewarding; like, I must be doing something right to have the pleasure of waking up next to this amazing, generous, understanding, thoughtful, loving man.
I was always skeptical of the idea of soulmates… I mean, I wanted it to be real but I knew that it wasn’t logical. He’s made me believe… Not because he believes or anything like that, I honestly don’t even know if he does. But I do believe now, and it’s because I believe he’s my soulmate. No matter how different we are we just fit together, like puzzle pieces. He is what I was missing out of life, what I had been searching for when I didn’t even realize I was searching. He is my reward for enduring my life until now. It sounds completely ridiculous but that’s just what it feels like to be in love with him. The past doesn’t matter because he’s here now; my modern day knight in shining armor. Which in this case his armor would be a polo and khakis or what I like to call his “Bruce Springsteen jeans” and a Spartan Race t-shirt, depending on the day you might catch him on.
Whenever something goes wrong and I’m stressed out or upset at something he did or said he always finds a way to remind me that I’m his first priority and that he just wants me to be happy and then he actively tries to make me happy. He is constantly thinking about my happiness and that is truly enough for me; its fucking heartwarming.
Shortly after my separation I ran into someone who was close with my ex and I (she married my ex’s best friend on August 4th… Our dating anniversary, lol). We were in the middle of the local liquor store and I was actually headed to my former apartment to pick up some things and hang out for a while since my ex was away for a few days. But first; I had to stop at the liquor store to get ingredients I needed for a Thanksgiving Day cocktail I was going to make. My arms are full of wine bottles and brandy and we proceeded to have the most uncomfortable conversation I’ve ever had in my entire life. It was just like a broken record of the curtesy “so… How are you?” and a lot of head nodding and what not. This girl and I could not be more different. She was religious, girly, and kind of went along with whatever her boyfriend said… I’m not any of those things. Then, after a few rounds of the most awkward how-are-you’s in the history of the friggen Galaxy she very awkwardly and absentmindedly (as usual) asked me if I was happy. Point blank… Just: “so… Are you… Happy?” Yes, in the middle of a busy liquor store like 2 days before Thanksgiving and less than a month from when my divorce was final… What. The. Fuck. I was baffled. Dumbfounded. This was stupid, even for her! I felt like saying “Yes. I’m fucking ecstatic! I’m 29, divorced, childless, and living with my parents in the town I’ve been trying to get the fuck out of for the past 10 years! I’m soooooooo fucking happy!”. I wasn’t miserable by any means but just the fact that she would ask made my skin crawl and irked me to my very soul.
But, the truth is that I had already started dating my boyfriend at that time and I was smitten with him… And against my intentions I was already falling for him. So, in reality I wasn’t unhappy, I just thought it was a completely thoughtless thing to ask. People do that, though. People are just ignorant to any type of etiquette when it comes to divorce. They feel like they need to feel sorry for you and apologize and ask “what happened?!?!”. And I understand the curiosity but at the same time you need to remember that it’s none of your business and that if its ended its for the best. No one goes through a divorce over burnt toast, you know what I mean? (I think I might use that reason the next time someone asks me what happened. I’ll shrug and say “welp, he burnt my toast one day and that was that”).
The moral of the story is that when you are going through a break up it might feel like your life is over and yes, a part of your life is definitely over but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s what you make of it. Just brace yourself for the unnecessary pity, unwanted apologies, thoughtless questions and tactless remarks. Most importantly; be prepared to let something good into your life. I was scared and wasn’t looking to get into a relationship for at least a year and I honestly believe that would have been the biggest mistake of my life.
In conclusion I would like to truthfully answer that awkward, thoughtless, invasive question that was posed to me in the local liquor store back in November: Yes, I am happy. I’m happy with my choices. I’m happy that I’m divorced. I am simply happy in the purest way.

I. Am. Happy.
xo

-M.

The “C” Word

 

Realizing I have not posted anything since December I wonder where I should even begin. I have been writing but I have been keeping it all to myself for a couple different reasons. The number one reason I have been keeping it to myself is that I have been keeping a secret.

You see; I started dating a guy that I work with. So scandalous, I know. He is 4 and ½ years younger than me, my co-worker, and a truly good person. So, you can imagine my hesitation after the things I have been through over the past year. The divorce, and the seemingly great guys that turned out to be not great at all. I was terrified that he was going to hurt me or worse; that I would hurt him and that would have destroyed me. So, I laid all my cards out on the table. I told him my issues, told him I was planning to move away, told him I didn’t want to hurt him and didn’t expect us to get serious. He listened and understood and that was the beginning of the greatest experience of my life. We spent time together, got to know each other, had fun together and became friends. We had so much in common that I was not expecting; music, beer, running, and then our feelings for each other. But, we’ll get to all that later. Basically, I was just so fucking busy between getting to know him, closing the previous chapter of my life, and trying to pull my life back together.

Divorce is a bitch. Not only are you breaking up with the person that was supposed to be there for you always but you lose friends. It’s natural and inevitable. As much as my ex-husband and I are good with each other it is much more difficult for our friends to deal with us being in the same room post break up. I don’t expect that I will ever be in the same room with all of those people I called my friends for the last ten years ever again. It is sad but I don’t blame anyone. It’s uncomfortable and honestly I don’t think it would be good for my psychological wellbeing. Mostly because I don’t want to put myself in the position of ever falling back into the toxic, draining, unhealthy relationship I had with him and them ever again. Trust me, I blame myself. I should have fucking known better. To be completely honest, I did know. I knew the whole time that the relationship was toxic and continued with it because 1. I loved him and cared about him and 2. I needed to punish myself. Why? I haven’t completely worked that out yet – I’ll keep you posted.

Why I needed so badly to write now is that I’m going through another very scary experience and it could turn out to be life changing and writing helps me sort out my feelings and process things. Now, this next part may be a little TMI for the immature so please use your discretion. I went to my doctor for my annual checkup and part of the checkup was the oh-so-beloved Pap smear. Although I have never had an abnormal Pap smear it always seems to ensue with a small nagging worry in the back of my mind until I get the phone call saying “all clear!”. Welp, that did not happen this time.

Thursday afternoon I received a voicemail from a blocked phone number. I listened to the message and it was an extremely awkward message left by the nurse practitioner that performed my Pap smear. Something didn’t sit right with me. It was too late to call her back so I called the office first thing the next morning. The woman who answered looked me up and sounded like she was going to give me the results until she saw what the results actually were. She then said the nurse practitioner wouldn’t be back in the office until Monday and asked if I wanted to wait until then or have someone else call me back. Are you fucking kidding me? After all of this awkwardness you think I’m going to wait until Monday to hear what the fuck is wrong with me?! I asked that someone call me back that day.

Another nurse called me back. I missed it. After sitting at my desk and staring at my phone all day I got up to go to the bathroom around lunch time; thinking that there is no way someone will call me at lunch. Of course she did. So, I called back immediately and finally got someone on the phone that was qualified to tell me my fate. “You’re Pap came back abnormal” she said, “You will need to get a biopsy” she said. “What is this for?” I didn’t understand why I needed a biopsy. I was confused. “You have possibly cancerous cells in your cervix.”

The good news is that what they found is “low grade” (whatever the fuck that means) and that if it is cancer they probably found it very early on. The bad news is that I am on the latter part of my 29th year with no children yet so cervical cancer or any kind of cancer is terrifying to me, not because of the cancer part but because I know it will complicate having children. Do I want children? Yes. Very much so. This is especially terrifying to me because infertility has been a running fear of mine for quite some time. It’s funny because I’m literally not afraid to have cancer; I’m just afraid to be infertile. Although, I would love to and plan to adopt I have always longed to be pregnant.

Anyway, that is what is going on with me these days. I’m going to try my best not to worry myself too much and lucky for me I have a great support system. I just feel like I have met my quota with how much support I have gotten since my break up. I hate to put my family and friends though any more worry. Which is probably why I am writing this here although I have not told my family or many of my friends.

-M.

Mr. Four Seasons, Part 3

Mr. Four Seasons, Part 3

 

Dear Mr. Four Seasons,

Much time has passed since our magical weekend in New England (from Maine, to Portsmouth, NH and then finally Boston). In such a short time you managed to con me into trusting you as well as begin to form feelings for you. I will admit, I sometimes fall hard and fast; this was certainly one of those times. I was honest with you and you pursued me anyway. You knew that I was going through a divorce but it wasn’t a messy one and I was not in shambles despite my failed marriage. You said that you liked that, that it said a lot about me, it showed that I was strong, stable, and it made me more attractive to you. You are a smart enough guy, you know that despite how strong I seemed on the outside that I was still in a very vulnerable position. For you to do what you did is shameful. I hope that you live with that shame every day – no matter what your reasoning may be.

What did you do that was so terrible? You painted this beautiful, magnificent, hopeful picture of a potential romantic relationship with you – a new, fresh, wonderful beginning for me. You painted that fucking picture and put it right in front of me and you let it sit there for a couple days… then maybe a week while you were supposedly in South Africa doing some charity thing (which I very highly doubt, by the way, people that do charity have to have at least an ounce of compassion for others which you clearly do not). Then, you took said beautiful, magnificent, hopeful picture of a potential romantic relationship with you and you very slowly started to paint over it; until it was like it was never even there at all. Leaving me to question everything – am I that stupid? Did that really happen? How did I not see this coming? How did I let this happen to me? How could he?

Shortly after you returned from your supposed trip to South Africa I realized you weren’t responding to my texts. I was surprised after a couple days because you said that you would call me when you returned but 3 days after your return I still had not heard from you. As time ticked by I started to get anxious that maybe you were too good to be true after all. So, I simply messaged you on Facebook just in case you weren’t getting my texts for whatever reason (which, by the way, was highly likely because I was legitimately having issues with my phone at the time). I very much disliked the feeling that I was being a “basic” needy girl. Fuck that. I don’t need anyone. I’ve learned that from my failed marriage. I have good people in my life that deserve my time and attention – I am not chasing anyone so, fuck you for making me feel this way. Anyway, I reached out – you replied and told me you were in MI and didn’t have great service, “hopefully that is all that it is”. Yup, instill that hope back in me – like you didn’t already know that you were about to blow me off completely. Good job. You are really great at being a dick. Good for you, man. Good. For. You.

So, a few more days go by and still I hear nothing from you. It’s bullshit because you offered up the “I’ll call you’s and the “see you in Chicago” and all the fucking future talk. That was ALL you. So, again, fuck you. Eventually, I talk myself into just calling you; thinking and hoping there is a simple explanation for not hearing from you. You don’t pick up. I send you a quick text just saying to call me when you have a chance – again, hoping that you were just busy or it wasn’t a good time to talk. More days go by. I talk to my best friend and she offers up the information that some of your friends felt that things were moving too fast and that I was coming on too strong. Fuck that. I understand that some things I did could be misinterpreted that way but let’s be fair and honest – it was mostly you. If it came down to it, you were the one that could be accused of coming on “too strong”. Otherwise, I would not have been confused when I didn’t hear from you. I wouldn’t have thought that there was something there if there wasn’t. I am not stupid and I am not crazy but this bullshit was starting to piss me off. Be a man – tell me if you are not into me anymore, tell me that you don’t want to get involved because of the divorce or whatever your excuse may be, tell me you changed your mind – tell me something. Man up, grow some balls, and tell me the fucking truth. How hard can it be – a text message, a 5 minute or less phone call. I didn’t even get that and it’s so fucking disrespectful that I can’t even fathom what your mother or family in general would think if they knew that you did what you did. They would be embarrassed – and you should be, too.

Have some respect for yourself and more importantly – for me, because clearly I am the better person in the situation. I sent you texts stating a small portion of how I felt about what you were doing but you still have not had the decency to tell me why you decided to just stop talking to me – no warning, no reason. So, I hope that you knew exactly what you were doing and I hope that it hovered over you all day and all night, and I hope that it still does. I hope that you think about me often and I hope that it makes you sad and embarrassed and regretful. I hope that you are so full of regret and shame that it never fully leaves your mind; the thought of me and what you pulled on me is always running in the background of your mind. Guilt. You should feel guilt. You should feel guilt because you made me feel like I was crazy, that I had imagined what happened between us, and by just abruptly disappearing from correspondence you were conjuring my inner crazy-girl. Every woman has it – the inner craziness that certain guys can summon out of you. But, my sleazy friend, I would not stoop to your level, I would not give you the satisfaction – you are not that important. You may think you are because I have written too much about you but in the grand scheme of things you were just a story. Just some dumb guy that fucked up his chance to potentially be happy with an awesome girl. I will find someone else – I am not worried about that in the least. You, on the other hand, you need to work out you issues because clearly the whole story about how you are “picky” and that is why you are still single is highly unlikely. Look in the mirror. Go to a therapist – you have some shit to figure out.

 

I have to say; I wrote this a couple months ago and I was unsure at the time but, reading it now is gratifying. So, for once and for all: Fuck you, Mr. Four Seasons. I am certain I dodged a bullet with you so thank you for that and thank you for instilling doubt in my mind because it is making me all the more “picky” when it comes to my next relationship. Ad trust me, I know what I need now and what I want and your smug, pompous, “privledged” ass is SO not what I want or need in my life. So, go fuck yourself you fucking scum bag. J

 

-M.

Mr. Four Seasons, Part 2

I’m going to try to give you the short version of Day #2 with Mr. Four Seasons because so much was said and so much happened. It’s all important to me but I am hoping that I can get my point across without reliving every single moment of Day #2 because this is the day that I let my guard down.

While I was home getting ready to go into Boston to meet Mr. Four Seasons he kept texting me. We both had wanted to take a nap and I was about to head in to meet him at the hotel so we could take a quick nap before we went out to meet up with his friends. And no, “nap” is not code for sex or anything like that. We were both exhausted and really needed sleep, especially me. Then, he texts me that his friends are blowing up his phone demanding that he meet them right now at the 21st Amendment on Bowdoin Street. He called me again, he wanted to make sure I was coming but told me not to rush. He was excited to see me again.

When I went to leave my sister and niece were just walking through the door; I was already running late but I had to at least say ‘Hi’. So, I stopped and talked to them for a few minutes and my sister kept looking at me funny. She later told me that she could tell that something was up with me – something good. So, by the time I left my parents’ house I was about an hour behind schedule and when I got into my car I had a text from Mr. Four Seasons saying that his phone was running really low on battery and it might die. I called him to try to let him know I was on my way but his phone had already died, apparently.

So, I drove an hour into Boston all by myself and parked and then walked to the bar all by myself. This is something I normally would not do. I get really anxious and nervous and usually would find some excuse to not show up. But, I was feeling good about it even though I was a little worried that I would get to the bar and they wouldn’t be there. The 21st Amendment is this tiny bar right next to the Massachusetts State House and I had about a 5-7 minute walk from where I parked underneath the Boston Commons. When I get there a just run up the stairs and walked through the door without hesitation… like ripping off a band-aid because I was really worried that they had left because they had been waiting for me for so long. They were still there *relief*. I walked through the door and they are all sitting there at the bar, only one of them is facing me. He smiles but doesn’t say anything.

“Heyyyy!” I say loud enough so they will all hear me.

Mr. Four Seasons turns around and jumps out of his chair immediately and starts apologizing and hugging me and ushering me over to sit in the chair he was just sitting in.

“My phone died! I’ve been in panic mode for the last hour thinking that you are going to hate me! I kept telling Sarah that you weren’t going to show up because you couldn’t get ahold of me. They all kept telling me that you weren’t going to show up and they were trying to get me to leave but thank god we didn’t.”

I bought all of this at the time but looking back I find it rather suspicious. There was a phone charger there. Sarah was charging her phone there and they both have the same iphone. Also, Sarah had just asked me for my phone number a couple hours earlier so she had it in her phone. If it was such a big deal, why didn’t they just call me from her phone? Or why didn’t he charge his phone? At the time I just didn’t think anything of it because I had no reason not to trust them at that point.

We had a couple drinks there and then we headed toward Faneuil Hall. Mr. 4S and I held hands and I remember taking note that he didn’t change how he acted around me in front of his friends. He was still very affectionate and to be honest he seemed like he was really into me. Like, following me around like a little puppy, very eager, very excited to be around me. When we got to Faneuil we stopped and watched some street performers and then decide to go to a “divey” bar on the next street over. At the bar Mr. 4S and I are sharing our beers and really only talking to one another. We walked away from the group a couple times to talk. He said something to me during that time that is going to be forever burnt in my mind. I asked him this very simple, meaningless, question:

“If you could travel anywhere right now, where would you go?” I want to point out that this is exactly how I worded this question… I was not leading him to give me this response, I was not even expecting a response remotely like this:

“If I could go anywhere right now I would take you to Australia, I loved it there and I would love to take you there. I mean, that’s where we are going to have our destination wedding, anyway.” [Con-Man smile].

I looked up at him, looked in his eyes and I still didn’t see it. I still did not catch on. To be honest, the marriage topic had been thrown around a lot between the two of us and I was not completely innocent in the matter but I thought that this was all in good fun. I knew or thought that we were just joking around. My best friend had texted me at some point and asked if we were having a good time together and I texted her back a picture of us and said “Next stop: Tiffany’s!” and Mr. 4S and I laughed about it. I thought it was clear that I was joking… but, maybe it wasn’t clear. Maybe he started to think I was serious at some point. Maybe he stopped thinking I was funny and started thinking I was a complete lunatic.

I have turned into a very authentic version of myself. I am very aware that I am not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and that is ok because I only want to share my time with people that are completely worthy of it. During this weekend with Mr. Four Seasons I was my most authentic self and I felt comfortable. I never felt like I had to act a certain way around him and when I said things that may have shocked others he was always on the same level as me. It almost seemed like we were made for each other. He was a good combination of man and kid, meaning he was responsible but he still knew how to have a good time and goof around. As the night progressed we held hands and danced and just had a really good time. Around midnight we headed back to his hotel where I spent the night. I am going to be very vague here because I feel that what happened behind closed doors will always be ours. What was said and what transpired meant a great deal to me and the conversation that we had in that hotel can forever stay between myself and Mr. Four Seasons. What I will tell you is that there were promises made, not promises I asked for, promises that were offered from him to me. I felt and believed that we would see each other again and continue talking indefinitely because of his voluntary words and actions.

We fell asleep holding hands and I was smitten. Just smitten. Like I had said before, I kept reeling myself back in and telling myself to get ahold of myself during all of this but by the end of the second night I had fallen, despite my best judgment but he had proven himself. There was no reason for me to believe that his words weren’t true because so far everything had panned out and had been even better than expected.

When I woke up the following morning I reminded myself that there was still a chance that this was all a dream. He could boot me out the door at any moment and all of this romance and connection could pop like a bubble and cease to exist. That didn’t happen. He asked me to go get coffee with him and told me how much time we had left together and he seemed a little sad about it. We walked out onto the street holding hands. We walked all around the city and when we would disconnect he would reach for me again. It felt like we fit together.

We stopped to get coffee and sat down next to a group of elderly couples.

“I could sit here and listen to them all day.” Mr. 4S said after sitting there for a few minutes. I agreed and then we started talking about our lives, our families, and how we grew up. As time ticked away we both started to get quiet.

“I’m kind of sad that you’re leaving today, I wish you could at least stay until tomorrow.” I told him. He had to fly home to Chicago, just to fly out with his mom in the morning. They were going to do some charity thing in South Africa for a week.

“It’s going to be okay… I promise.” He told me. He said it quietly. I couldn’t tell if it was sadness I heard in his voice or if I had just imagined it.

We sat listening to the old couples next to us, or at least I was listening to them. They were talking about how many children and grandchildren they had, so I asked:

“How many kids do you want to have?”

“What?” he was surprised, I laughed.

“You heard me…So, how many?”

“I don’t know, like, 12. Maybe, 13.” We both laughed.

“No one has ever asked me that before.” He said. I was surprised. I thought that this was a pretty normal question. Especially after everything we had discussed over the weekend. It’s not like I was asking how many children we were going to have together. I think I just wanted to know that he wanted to have children because if he didn’t there would have be no point in pursuing any kind of relationship with him. I just don’t want to waste any more time on another wrong guy.

A few minutes later we got up to head back to the hotel and my car and I realized that he never really answered my question.

“So, really, how many kids do you think you want?”

“Probably three.” he said.

“That’s what I thought.”

“Why? Because of my family?” he asked. He was the oldest of three; one brother, one sister.

“Yeah.” I said. “I want 3 or 4 I think.” I told him.

Between these serious conversations we were having a lot of fun. We have the same sense of humor and were laughing a lot. I remember at one point having this whole pretend conversation with the angry father trying to rally his children behind us. I had made a comment about it and I didn’t even have to explain to him what I was doing or talking about, he just picked it right up and went with it. I’ve never had anyone be able to do that before.

We walked through the public garden and he wanted to walk me all the way to my car but I knew we were cutting it close on time so I told him to just go back to the hotel and get ready to head to the airport. He asked me a few times if I was sure I didn’t leave anything in the hotel. It seemed like he wanted me to come with him but I didn’t want to drag out the good bye and I felt 100 percent confident that I would see him again, and soon.

We kissed and hugged in the garden and it was so very cute. I’m at least a foot shorter than him so I was on my tip toes and he was holding me close. He told me that he would text me or call me when he got home later that night. He looked down at me and kissed me one last time and said “Until Chicago…”

To be continued…

-M.

The Big ‘D’

I started writing this the second week of August, things have progressed but before I fill you in on the progression I wanted to share this with you.

 

Today I write to you from my parents’ home, the home in which I grew up, the home that I have left and returned to too many times for my pride to survive, the home in which I told my parents that I was engaged. As I sit here on the bed that has been mine since I was a teenager there are also two other objects in the room staring me in the face; haunting me, mocking me, killing me. To my left is a crib. The crib is there for my niece; she is the first and only grandchild in our immediate family. She is almost 14 months and she is probably my favorite person in the entire world (my sister; a very close second). My niece being so wonderful is a blessing and curse for me; given my current state. Her crib; a constant reminder of what I do not have, what I want So Fucking Bad, and what I will not have anytime soon… a baby, it’s a baby that I want (if it was not clear). Why can’t I have a baby, you ask? That brings me to the second object in this room that is currently staring me in the face; haunting me, mocking me, killing me. It’s an obnoxiously pink Tommy Hilfiger suitcase in which I threw some clothes, make up, and hair products on this past Monday night when I finally decided that I had had enough. This suitcase was a gift that was given to me by my then boyfriend (turned fiancé, turned husband) on our first Christmas together when I was barely 6 months into being 21 and 6 months into our relationship. We went crazy that Christmas; spent obscene amounts of money on frivolous things for one another. The suitcase was for a vacation we were planning to take about 3 months later. This is the part where you expect me to say “sigh, those were the days when things were great… and then it went to shit.” But that is not the case here. It was shit. We fought ALL the fucking time. He was a drunk, irresponsible, inconsiderate, asshole. He would get beyond wasted almost every time we would “party” with friends which then entailed him embarrassing me in ways nobody should have to endure (example: telling me my hair looked bad loudly in front of friends and strangers, he didn’t like my shirt, hitting on other girls while I literally stood right next to him, and of course just being a drunk mess). This went on for about a year or maybe two. I would break up with him and go home and the next day he wouldn’t remember what had happened and I would be so worried about him I would just pretend nothing did happen. I never got one apology after one of these incidents… not a single fucking text message saying “M, I’m so sorry about embarrassing the fuck out of you in front of all of our friends, again, for the 1 millionth time. Thank you so much for putting up with my drunk-asshole-bullshit.” Let me clear this up – I never even got a simple “I’m sorry”. Finally, I had enough. I told him that I love him but the drinking needs to stop or I am gone. So, to my surprise, he stopped drinking. For a year. During The Year Of Sobriety we were wonderful, me and him. But, his friends fucking hated me with a passion. They thought I stole their friend away from them, broke up their group and they were horrible to me for the most part. All because he quit drinking. Assholes. (Eventually those assholes learned to love me, but during that time they were straight up assholes.)

Please keep in mind; while his friends were complete and utter assholes to me, he did not stick up for me. Not once. This should have been yet another red flag that this was not the right relationship for me. The thing was, at the time I was in my very early twenties which had followed a very tumultuous teenagerhood that left me weak, vulnerable, and with incredibly low self-esteem. I needed someone to love and more importantly someone who needed me. He certainly did. He had absolutely no one in his life that was stable enough to lean on. Although I was weak in some ways, I was strong in others. I am resilient, patient, and forgiving. These sound like positive qualities but sometimes they cause more damage than good. So, The Year Of Sobriety came and went and I was so in love with the man that quit drinking (for me? Possibly.) A few days after his sober anniversary his mother was getting remarried. During the wedding he gets up to make a speech; to everyone’s surprise. Next thing you know he is saying “I want to ask my girlfriend something… she’s put up with a lot of… crap from me…” and then he kneels down next to me. I go into full girl-getting-proposed-to-mode. Hands over my face, laughing, crying, hugging, putting that ring on my finger as fast as humanly possible. I even forgot to say “Yes”. When you’re a girl like me (or rather, the girl I was then) the second you get a ring on your finger is the second you feel that you are finally valid, you are loved, you are worth something. Before that, I felt that I was worth nothing. The proposal was not ideal, but it was nice… it always bothered me that he didn’t have anything better to say than “she put up with a lot of my crap”… like, really? Red flag #… I lost count.

So, I am 22 and engaged. I’m a hairdresser… at a fucking mall in New Hampshire. I’m working full time, and going to school at a community college 45 minutes away from home. I’m broke, he’s broke, we’re both still living with our parents and we’re planning a wedding. Smart. I look back at the girl I was then and it makes me sad. I’m sad for that girl and sad that I was that girl. I hated being a bride. And it’s not until now that I understand why. I hated it because I was not getting what I wanted deep down inside because I didn’t know myself enough at that time to even know what I wanted. Your wedding is supposed to scream – You. Like, you go to your friend’s wedding and you say “Oh, this is SO Jill!” or “Yeah, this is totally all Jack”… you know what I mean? My wedding had cool aspects but it did not come together the way I had dreamt it up in my head. If I were ever given the chance to do it over again, it would look very, very different. It was mediocre, fun, but mediocre. My life was mediocre and that began to weigh on me. I don’t fear a lot of things in life… I’ve made it a point not to be a person who is scared of things because I find it very unattractive and off putting in others. Like, when someone is like “Oh my god! There’s a spider in here?!?! Oh my God!! Oh MY God!!!”(queue the screaming and jumping.) It’s like, really? Get the fuck over it and move the fuck on. Anyway, the point is this: the thing I fear most in life is mediocrity. And as time went on from the moment we got engaged I started to change. I started to grow and learn and I really got to know myself and I started looking at my life and our relationship and realizing how unfulfilling, plain, and unbalanced it was. We did whatever HE wanted to do but when it came to the things I wanted to do it was “too much”. We were always hanging out with his friends, every holiday with his family, all our vacation time spent traveling to visit his family. Eventually, I got tired of it and asked if we could start spending more time with my people and doing my things. He said yes, he always says yes… but then it never actually happens. I have used the phrase “actions speak louder than words” on him more times than I can count. To this day it has not sunk in.

This past Thursday was our 4th wedding anniversary. He texted me in the morning and asked if it would be alright to call me that night, I said “yes, of course.” When he calls he wishes me a happy anniversary and I still am not quite sure how to take that or how I feel about that. We are separated, I am 90% sure that we are headed for the big ‘D’ and what? Wishing me a happy anniversary is going to fix it? I just don’t get what goes through his head. I know that he loves me but other than that I never understood that man. I tried but he never shares and he usually comes off as being aloof or rude. We continue to have a very awkward and meaningless conversation for a few minutes and then he asks if I will come over to our apartment and talk with him over the weekend; I agree. Now, when I told a couple people that I would be going over there they were sure that he was going to beg and plead for me to come back. I scoffed and said “Never.” I was right. We talked about a lot of things, I continued explaining why I think our marriage has failed and the reasons why we are not compatible. Then he says something that will always stick with me; this moment was profound; he said “Well, I just hope that you come back here after all of this”, he means that he hopes that I come back to our apartment and pick up our relationship where we left off. I was taken aback and told myself that this was my moment to be 100% honest with him, forget about his feelings and start to put my feelings and my well-being first. I asked him; “Why? Why would I come back here? What have you done that would make me come back?” and he just looked at me for a moment and then said “Well, I just hope you change your mind.” This sent me spinning in my mind; he still was not planning to do anything or say anything to try to get me to stay, he just fucking hoped that I would fucking change my mind on my own. Fuck that. That is not how a relationship works. It is two fucking sided, it takes work from both sides and it has NEVER fucking been that way with us. So, I looked at him, dead in the eyes, from across the room with my brand new tattoo on my back that I kept covered up so he couldn’t see it and I said “Just so you know I am applying for jobs in Chicago, North Carolina, Virginia, and Philadelphia. I am leaving here whether you come with me or not.” He looked a little shocked and then the subject changed and he was asking me what I wanted to take with me to my parents’ house and basically ushered me out the door.

It is over. I can’t even begin to tell you how many opportunities I had given this man to step up to the plate, how many second chances I have given, how many times I had forgiven him, how many times he had broken my heart. But, he did try. Once in a while he would really try and all though I usually had to throw a tantrum of some kind to get him to try I would hold on to that and he would always become a better person for trying and I would love him a little bit more but I would love myself a little bit less. I was always hiding myself from him. I hid that I wrote and that I wanted to go out and have fun, I hid my personality and my dreams because he didn’t like it when I showed these things, it irritated him. He loved me, loves me. I believe that but I know with everything in my mind, body, and soul that he will never love me the way I want and need to be loved. The big question now is will anybody love me that way?

 

-M.