Here is what’s important to know -my husband knows all that I’m about to say. He’s well aware and a ok with it. Now with that out of the way I’ll continue.
Love is strange. In my life I can say I’ve been in love twice and both items were very different. I’ve had lots of opportunities to fall in love and held back for one reason or another. The first time was with my first husband. He was older and I had known him nearly my whole life. There is a long story that I may perhaps write someday if for no other reason than it is kinda like a cancer in that if I don’t tell that story it will kill me. Today isn’t that day. Today though I am writing to let people know that there is hope.
My first husband we are gonna call Caleb for no other reason than I can’t use his real name here and someone I knew once told me he looked like a Caleb. He was my everything. I was so wrapped up in him for fifteen years that no one else really stood a chance to be much of anything to me. He was possessive, controlling, manipulative, and jealous. He was also charming, romantic, smart, witty, and hilarious. We dated and broke up and dated and broke up. He’d move away and come home and it was this roller coaster of emotions. My life was like a soap opera. We were married young and that’s not what our main issue was, our main problem was he was an addict. He fought and lost the battle with addiction so many times I can’t even count them all. When high he was violent, loud, friendly, accusing, the spectrum was truly impressive. In one night he’d range from crying because he was so sorry our lives were like they were to slamming my head into a wall because he thought I was having an affair with a man that said hello to me once. I divorced him and remarried him. I married the same man twice. He went to a handful of rehabs and each time he’d come clean he’d admit so many betrayals that NA told me to forgive and forget but can one ever really forget? He’d do so good for a bit and than fail again. We lost everything. He made excellent money as an RN and I still didn’t have money to buy diapers for our children. I lived in constant worry and anguish that he’d overdose, kill someone innocent while driving, kill someone period. I watched this man that had so much potential wither up like a dead flower. He was the walking dead. He lost seventy pounds in nine months at one point.
Once again, I lived that for so long that I could write a novel about that life. People who have never loved someone who is an addict have no idea. It’s really an art form. You tiptoe. You hope. You pray. You cry. You cling to every crumb of happy. You try to remember who they were before and try to let go of that person at the same time.
The love I had for Caleb though, woe. I couldn’t see anything but what made him happy, which was increasingly hard to do as time went on. Eventually I let go. It took years for me to let go completely but I did. I think the healing process for this sort of thing is two steps forward and one back. It takes a very long time. Sometimes you think it’s over and you’re all better and then you watch a movie, hear a song, or dream a dream and find yourself struggling again.
My husband now we will call David because that’s his name. He asked me out all through high school. He flirted relentlessly. I denied him every advance. We were friends and nothing more. I ran into him here and there after high school. There is no other explanation than devine intervention for our marriage. There are ups and downs like in every marriage but there is no roller coaster. I’m not white knuckling my life. He’s coming home. His girlfriend isn’t getting pregnant because there is no girlfriend. Although he leaves his dirty dishes and socks everywhere he’s a good man. The love is different and that’s not a bad thing. I swore I’d never get married again. I swore to myself I’d stay single the rest of my life. I broke those promises.
So here is a tidbit for those of you who are single over the holidays, Enjoy it. It’s a whole season of life to enjoy.
Here’s a tidbit for those of you who are divorced, you may never find what you had but that’s a good thing. What you had didn’t work for a reason.
Here’s a tidbit for those of you who love an addict, choose the life you want to live and live it. Don’t wait around, don’t mess around, do what you want to do. The holidays can be hard because you see all these people living supposedly normal happy lives. Nothing hurt me more when I was married to my ex husband. Watching my friends and family be happy with each other thinking I’d never have that.
And those that are looking at happily married folks thinking they’ll never have that, you really never know what can happen. Just keep hoping and healing.