A whole lot of years ago, on the same night that most of America was tuned in to finally find out who killed Laura Palmer on Twin Peaks, I heard my husband tell me for the first time that he didn't think he loved me anymore, that he wasn't sure, as a matter of fact, that he'd ever loved me. A whole lot of work later, a whole bunch of counseling under the bridge, a whole new perspective on his part, we put our marriage back together and began moving forward.
I don't think I would have had three children with him if I hadn't thought I was completely over that period of time, don't think I would have donated twenty years of my life to the cause, didn't think that the scars would run this deep.
But I'm finding out that they do. There are a lot of episodes in our marriage that will always cause me angst, always make me wonder what the hell we were thinking, but in hindsight this will forever be the one that sticks out the most. Because I think on some level I've always been angry at myself for not seeing it coming, angry at him for doing it, and, in the past year, even angrier to be going through it again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...
No woman should have to listen to the same man telling her twice in one lifetime that he doesn't love her anymore. Twice in one blow-out argument would be bad enough, but those are hard words to hear. And hearing them more than once doesn't make it any easier. Quite the opposite.
This all spun through my head a week or two ago, and was triggered by something I saw on Yahoo! of all places. It was an article about how people going through a divorce are very often at different stages in the grieving process, because the one who wants out has been thinking about it for so long. Since this was pretty much our story, it caught my eye. The line that skewered my heart went something like this: "You know all those nights when I was laying wide awake and told you that I just couldn't sleep? I was really thinking about how much I hate you."
I'm as ready as I can be for this divorce to be final, but I'm fully expecting to feel a kick in the head when I actually see it in writing, or, as I've recently thought about it "on my permanent record". Much like herpes (and thanks for that visual, laurie), it will always be there. You can run through a long string of boyfriends and no one can prove it, but a legal ex is a whole other story. It will never go away entirely. We will always have kids. We will have graduations and weddings and grandchildren. We will always, on some level, be intertwined. I'm okay - more than okay actually - about us not being together. There is no hope of a reconciliation. We're both way beyond that. And it's better this way. I think we get along a lot better in small doses.
And we're getting along quite well. Really almost too smoothly. He's certainly stepped up to the plate as far as kids and money and just general kindness. I guess we'll see what happens when it's final. I'm cynical enough to think that a lot may come to light once he thinks I can't get back at him or make his life miserable. It would be nice to be wrong. But I'm not putting any money on it.
All of this has kind of been crashing in on me in the last few weeks, as I've hoped every day that I would come home to something legal and definitive in the mail. I'll be a lot better when it's done, but for now I'm jumping out of my skin. How I can be so stressed about something that I think is ultimately- and already - the right thing is beyond me. But until it's done...I'll keep stressing.
Just sign the paperwork, Mr. Nice Sweet Judge. I'd like to take back that whoop-ass comment.