I’m almost a month into my marriage with my husband. I know it’s not a big deal, but I am really trying to cherish every single moment that we have together. Our story probably isn’t unique, but to me it is. Last year I thought I was going to have to wait eight years before we would be able to be together.
When husband moved down in February of 2013 so that we could be together (he had remained in his home state after moving away years ago from our neighborhood), I thought our life was about to begin. We just clicked on so many levels. We were making plans for marriage, we spent every moment together. I was so in love with him and kicking my own ass that I chased after his brother for so many years and never really saw him.
We had an arrangement with his ex-wife so that we got the kids during their spring break, six weeks of summer, and during their winter break. After we dropped his kids off with their mom at the end of summer, depression set in on my husband. He really missed his kids. He became distant and aloof. One morning I sent him an e-mail from work and told him that I knew something was going on. He kept trying to deny it but then eventually told me that he was moving back, ten hours away, to be with his kids again. He said he didn’t realize that it would be so difficult for him to be away from them. While I understood his position, I was devastated. I thought my heart had been ripped from my chest. All of our plans were for no reason. Everything we had done had been for nothing. I cried an ocean of tears. I begged him to at least stay with me until he had the money to actually move (he had planned on moving out and staying with his brother, but I couldn’t let him go like that) …. and in the end he agreed.
Watching someone leave you and grieving the entire time, is like a terminal sadness that invades your soul. But I couldn’t stand the thought of him living 30 minutes away from me while he prepared to move back to the state where his children lived. I needed to see him. The thought of not seeing him was enough to make me feel sick.
The day after Thanksgiving he and his mom moved back. I left the house that morning and went to volunteer at the soup kitchen. I could handle a lot of things, but watching him pack his stuff and leave my life was not one of those things. By the time I got home and opened the front door, it was like a punch to the gut. My living room was empty of his things, our bedroom was empty of his things. His closet was bare. My life was less. Once again I had been witness to another man leaving me because I just wasn’t good enough. He didn’t cheat on me, but he still left, and I didn’t know what I was going to do.
Eventually I started dating again. I went through a month or so of pure slutness. I slept with a few people that I didn’t really know because I just didn’t care. Then I ended up hating myself more and eventually stopped. After that I met a guy that was just as broken as I was. I will call him Country (because he was very very country). We talked and dated for a while. I spent the weekends at his house that I didn’t have my daughter. I would drive down and pick him up and he would stay the weekends with me in the city. Eventually he moved in with me and got a job in the city. We got along well enough. He was a nice distraction from my depression. I thought about husband constantly. We sent a text to each other every now and then just to check in with one another. He started working up there and doing whatever and whoever he was doing. Life continued on, but I felt like I had a huge hole in my soul from his absence. In June of 2014 I woke up one morning and picked up my phone and the first thing that showed up on my Facebook was his relationship status having changed. I felt a knife go through my heart. He had told me when he left that he didn’t want to date anyone or be serious with anybody. While I knew that kind of stuff wasn’t going to last, it still hurt like hell to see him with someone else. I was with someone else, but it wasn’t my decision to end our relationship; it had been his choice.
There were three separate occasions that I flew up to spend the weekend with him and his mom and kids. I found that no matter what I was doing, if the opportunity presented itself, I did whatever I had to do to just spend a few days with him. That Christmas him and the kids came down and stayed with his brother, and I spent time with all of them. I remember one night he and I fell asleep on the pull-out couch together, and I lay there with tears streaming down my face as I watched him sleep. I knew that I would never love another man the way that I love him. He was everything to me.
Husband and the kids came down again in March 2015. I spent four days over there at his brothers house – not every night, but most of my time. Whenever we were together, it was as if nothing had ever happened. We laughed, we joked, we held hands, we talked about anything and everything. Towards the end of his vacation here, he started to dread going back up north. During the year and a half that we had been apart, he had turned to drinking at night until he passed out in the bed. There were several times that he would call me or me call him while he was drunk off his ass. He would always tell me how much he loved me and missed me. It broke my heart to hear it, but it was nice to know that he was thinking about me. The relationship he had been in didn’t last very long. He quickly grew bored with her and eventually ended things. The day he left to head back up north, he called me a few hours into the trip and said he had talked to his kids and they were okay with him moving back down here to be with me. I felt my heart stop. I couldn’t believe he was going to come back. I had told him months and months before that if he ever decided to come back, I didn’t care what I was doing or who I was with, I would always choose him.
But first I had to end things with Country ….. and I hated hurting people. I’ve never been good at hurting other people. I had a few months to figure out how I was going to do this.