Today is my 11 year wedding anniversary.
I’ve been married to 1 man for over a decade. That’s one-third of my life.
1 year ago I realized that things were falling apart in my marriage. It didn’t start one year ago. I just realized it then.
10 years ago, I went against my instinct and got married to a man-boy too immature to deal with what a marriage really was. (Not that I was SO much more mature or anything.)
Strange that I can barely remember much from the last decade. I get bits and pieces when I think back. Most of it is frustration because humans are programmed to respond to and remember the bad more than the good. I know there were many good times in my marriage. But given my current state of mind, I’m not inclined to want to remember them either.
They (you know, the proverbial THEY) say that humans will experience at least three great loves in their life times.
- The first great love is the love you think you should have. Your fairy tale love, the one you read about in romance books. The one your parents tell you about. The one you hope might give you the white picket fence dream. Usually it’s to someone you’ve known in school or your early career path. And yet, there’s something deep down that tells you…maybe not? But you ignore it because you’re getting your heart’s desire! It’s the love of the inexperienced and lonely.
- The second great love is destructive, toxic. It is drama filled, border-line addictive. Not necessarily violent or soap opera worthy but it is a relationship that is not healthy for you. Could be an online relationship or a secret affair. A girl/boyfriend gone wrong but you can’t seem to get enough of them, no matter how many times they’ve hurt you. The drama excites you and you get a thrill off it. You crave them. *Insert “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga here*
- The third great love comes at you like a stray cat. It comes up to you, all innocent and cute and you pet it until it goes away. The it comes again and maybe you feed it a little. Then you let it in your house and suddenly, it’s there on your lap purring and you’re okay with that. Natural as breathing. What the hell just happened? It is a love that comes from someone unexpected; someone you maybe weren’t even looking for. And yet, they seem to fit you as if they’d always been there. They get you like no one else ever has. The give you space and yet appreciate your flaws and admire your experience. They make you laugh, enhance you as a person and you find that you want to do the same for them. They are like the sun coming out after a terrible storm. (Wow. Maybe the third love really IS an animal.)
I’ve experienced all three of these and I have learned a lot about myself and relationships from them. I’m glad for these experiences because it’s made me a better mom and person, someone wiser. I can look at both sides of love now and give honest opinions about it. Not that they’ll be listened to because everyone has to experience their own life. But I have them.
I don’t think I’ll give any advice right now because I fear it’ll be slightly skewed. This was more of an affirmation that I’ve Been There and Done That and I Know My Shit. Because I survived 11 years with one man.
The next step on this journey is to identify what’s wrong with me and fix myself so that if I ever do decide to get into a serious relationship again, I won’t bring the same problems with me.
I do have one silver lining: I can use all this in my stories. Yep. There ya go.