I am going to do my best to avoid sounding whiney. It’s a cold grey day and I’m in a gloomy mood. I may not succeed. Consider yourself warned!
Last night a new friend (a fellow traveler) and I were talking about men we have loved, the ones who gotaway, and exes. We each opened up our laptops, our Facebook accounts, and our hearts for each other and showed pictures of the afore-mentioned men.
I am the kind of person who tries very hard not to harbor regrets; they are negative, unnecessary, and unhelpful. I will own up to mistakes I made. I will apologize to those I have wronged. I will try to fix errors, mend bridges, and make up for lost opportunities whenever possible.
I have never once regretted divorcing my husband. But seeing pictures of him, remarried to a woman 30 years his junior, even though she has her own issues, etc, really hurts. It pisses me off that I wasted all that time with him (let’s just check off my thirties as a lost decade, okay?) and that I am still traversing the world alone while he is remarried. It seems brutally unfair.
However, I try to be a kind and forgiving woman. I am grateful to my ex for fathering two beautiful daughters. The fifteen years I was with him was a hellish journey in which I learned to be a stronger person while overlooking his addiction problems with tobacco, alcohol, and pornography. I stayed faithful in my marriage vows while he cheated. I know I wasn’t perfect. I know I didn’t stand up for my children and their happiness, let alone my own. I lived in a state of denial. I tend to place the blame for this on Walt Disney and the American cliché happy-ending movies. I thought marriage was forever, and when I realized I’d condemned myself to a waking nightmare, I tried other ways of enriching my life – going back to college, riding horses, making friends. I got by. When I discovered that my husband was sexually involved with his teenage niece (those hillbilly jokes are actually based in truth! Who knew?) I finally had an iron-clad excuse to end the marriage.
That was seven years ago. Bygones are bygones. I don’t wish him ill, nor do I feel I should. Ending the relationship was a happy thing for me, because I had stopped loving this man a very long time before our divorce. I have never doubted the decision. But I often wonder if I will ever get my turn at true, adult love? People say that these things come when you stop looking, but that just makes me want to look harder!
It’s possible that I’ve only really been in love once. For five years I was very much in love with a man who had all the qualities that my ex did not. I had entered into that relationship just six months after the divorce. Maybe the pain and confusion I am feeling now, finally single for the last year and a half, is all delayed processing.
I hate to admit that I am one of those dreaded women who just cannot be happily single. That can’t be me, can it? As a writer, I treasure alone time. I love my family and friends, and I don’t feel like I have to have a man by my side at all times. But I blossomed in so many ways after my marriage ended – emotionally, physically, sexually, and spiritually – and I want to share that with someone. At present I am traveling. I am learning more about life, about the world and my place in it. Maybe it’s not the time to meet someone special. Maybe it is the time to grow into the person who will be ready for the man who finally deserves me.
It’s difficult to be alone. It’s difficult to have a heart and soul that longs for a partner in life and feels empty without someone to share everything with. But I know I have to learn to be strong. I have to believe that love will be waiting for me, finally, when I am truly ready for it.
There are times when I despair, feeling that it is all an illusion and that I have nothing left in this life to look forward to. And that if there are good things to be had, that they will ring hollow because I will have no one to share them with. I sometimes fear that God – or the Powers That Be, whatever one might call them – is a cruel jokester, setting me up for wanting something in my life that I will never ever have and then watching me chase my tail so he can sit and laugh at me.
But sometimes I think I am just not ready, and that I shouldn’t compare my situation to someone else’s and I need to have faith. In my strong moments I know that I will be a hundred times happier when I finally find someone who can be a true partner to me than to have settled for something that isn’t right for me. In my weak moments….. well, that’s another story.