Friday, August 21, 2015

Turning 40: Marriage

It was early October when a tornado entered my life. 20 years in the same constant relationship and then poof, gone. I had no clue who he was or what was happening at that precise moment. Literally, my husband's head was spinning so fast it snapped from his neck and took off somewhere. I don't dare to look for it. It seems that the domestic life was not for him. He wanted to be alone. Midlife crisis? Male menopause? PTSD (USMC combat veteran)?
I had no clue; but it was BAD. All I could think of was our son and using all of my strength to wrap him up in a force field. I was going to use a hurricane as metaphor but there was no eye of the storm. Not one bit. It was chaos all over the place...strewn to pieces.
Thank God for friends, neighbors, and psychotropic drugs.
Being in my 40s, I realized you can't control what people choose to do but you can make choices. You want to be alone? Fine. Before he could blink, we were divorced. Snap.
Now what?
Out of curiosity, I signed up for Ugh. In less than five minutes I had 27 hits! Notifications about winking and emails....OMG. STOP! I terminated the account. Maybe I need to be alone as well.
When I had to break the news to our son, well, I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I didn't expect him to yell at me...he wouldn't let me finish what I was about to say. His face convulsed and he screamed "I don't want to hear words like change or new!!!" I can hear myself apologizing to him over and over again while he stormed upstairs into his room. I was a mess. I called my neighbor across the street and he came running to take our son over to his house. Needless to say, I enrolled him in therapy. I had "graduated" from mine and thought it would be great for him too. It was.
On my own, I learned to caulk my bathroom tub, install plumbing under my sink, patch ceilings and walls, redo stairs, and it felt GREAT! I was moving forward and I had this new book, no not a chapter, but a book with blank pages that needed to be filled.
One day, Vincent, who also graduated from therapy, said to me. "Mom, they are raising tuition at school again!" "Why are we giving the school that money when you can teach me. You're a teacher!"
He was right. Dead right. My brain raced with the opportunities that it would entail. Freedom from time constraints, social politics, homework, the list goes on and on. We can travel! Anywhere!!
I even started looking into traveling in a camper all over the US homeschooling (big movement if you didn't know).
My ex and I struggled a bit with the weekend child custody thing. There were times he would invite me to join them, but I stuck to my guns and said no. I have a new life now, go and enjoy yours.

Then, he had a lobotomy. He wanted me back. We attended couples counseling and I began to realize that I was part of the problem too. I was not treating him like a husband but as a child and in return I didn't feel like a woman but a mom to two kids. We had strayed...disconnected...lost our paths. We were fighting a lot and not listening. When we tried to begin a conversation that was genuine and nice, it was construed the wrong way because of so many years of bickering. The therapist guided us and we saw the potential of making this work. And for the first time, when he looked at me, he saw me. My worth. It caught my breath. Is this really happening? Sometimes things just need to crumble into so many pieces so that you can't fix it, but start over with a new set of eyes. That love you have when you first get married is so cliche. This is real. This is much deeper, much more mature.
Will we remarry? Not right now. I like the way things are in this chapter. It's kind of fun!

I can't believe it. He SEES me and I'm happy.

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