35. Marriage

I love you
I’ll always love you.
I was once just me,
but now we are one,
even apart
we can’t be completely undone.

I’m never going to get married again.  Once was enough.  To be honest, I’m not sure when or if Galen and I will ever actually be divorced.  At this point in time we have been separated as long as we were together.  Maybe we will end up estranged…I don’t care how it ends up.  October 22, 2005 we were married.  The original split occurred in 2011 and the Whirlwind that ensued has been the most difficult period of time in my life.

I had no doubts when I married him.  I married a little boy as well, his son.  It was a package deal, a grown man and a one and a half year old…and it opened up my life to a joy I will never regret.  I have always wanted to be a mom, I never imagined I wouldn’t be…motherhood just turned out to be something different than I imagined for myself, and that is alright.

I was judged by people I considered friends for staying even when it became toxic.  My best friends told me that “Step parents were replaceable…” and society seems to confirm that…but I don’t agree.  And even if just in the background, I will never regret that opportunity I had to be in the foreground.  As a woman about to be thirty nine years old, coming to terms with the fact that my ticking clock has expired and that ideal life I had imagined I would have as I grew up…the falling in love and getting married and having three kids by the time I was 24 raising them next door to my parents in Eglon….it has taken me some time to accept, but I accept it all.  With gratitude.

“If we are to ever work,”  I said to him, “We have to agree, a line in the sand, the past was ugly.  It was wonderful until our pasts came into our lives.  We were too kids too busy running to ever stop and look back, but when we thought we arrived…that past was waiting on our doorstep, and our go-too coping mechanisms were toxic to one another.  Our monsters clashed, my addict and your anger…my numb, and your rage…our pasts caught up to our present and we were two kids who cracked under the pressure of it.”  I said.  “I don’t wish to relive the past nor do I need to bring it up.  I can give us a clean slate today, we can start over, but I cannot handle your memory loss and denial of it…I can’t handle reliving it when you tell me you don’t remember, and then having to console your disbelief or emotional turmoil when it reopens this wound I have come to terms with and have peace with.  I do not hold any ill will for the nightmare of what it was, I just cannot relive it over and over….I need to walk forward….”  I said to him.

Reliving it over and over has kept me trapped mid process.  As I imagine being in love with someone that reminds you of what you are capable of has done to him.  We all deserve freedom and the opportunity to see ourselves through to the other side.

His voice…the same voice that can cause me comfort is capable of making my stomach shrivel, as I imagine mine is to him.  He was always afraid of my voice, and of what I would say, but I don’t need to say anything more than what is in this blog post.  “Are we agreeing that we need to be done…?”  He said.  “I think that this trying to go back and believing we can start over is only causing us to continue to hurt one another.”

“I agree.”  I said.

“I will always love my wife.”  He said.

“And I will always love my husband.”  I agreed.

It is…OK.  It is…not easy.  It is…. a lot of different things I don’t need to find words for.


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