A few weeks ago, a dear friend of mine earnestly asked me, “Does it bother you that someday, some one is going to get a better version of David?”
I confidently replied, “No, not at all because he’ll never find a better version of me.”
She immediately nodded her head in agreement and I took that doozy to therapy that day. My shrink took it a step further, stating, “And you’ll get a better version of someone else.”
Another close friend of mine more recently inquired, in research for his writing project, “If your ex husband wanted to work things out would you? Also do you ever truly miss him regardless of the BS? Be honest 100 percent. Or are you just over it?”
I responded honestly and curtly, “I would not and I miss him all the time.” My friend wanted to take it a step further asking in what way I miss him and if I could ever consider being his friend. I politely asked him if we could talk about it another time and here I am, talking about it another time…
The truth is David and I already tried “working things out” and I was still trying the day he decided that he was done. David plainly said during one of our counseling sessions one afternoon that he was going to shut off his emotions and not burden anyone with them any longer – he wasn’t going to talk about his problems to anyone. I was flabbergasted at his ludicrous solution to say the least. Shaking with uncontrollable tears, I beseeched, “Isn’t that why we’re here? How can you just stop? That’s like saying you’re giving up?!” He, of course, could never admit that that was exactly what he was doing – giving up. He tried to mind fuck me into believing that we could have a “happy” marriage if he just didn’t communicate! And I, sadly, almost bought it!
During the couple of months that my marriage was quickly perishing, my closest friends and I would mull over the details, analyzing every little conversation and absurd incident. One hard to swallow conclusion we came to was that David wanted me to be the one to finally say the words, to end it first. I didn’t want to believe that he was beating around the bush for days, that him saying, “I’m just not quite sure if we’re good for each other anymore” actually meant, “I want to get a divorce.”
As far as missing David, I think I have always missed him in some shape or form since our relationship developed from four, passionately beautiful days and nights we spent together in the city that never sleeps to a seven-month long distance stint to us moving into our first Brooklyn apartment together and finally, to this moment as I type: Yes I absolutely miss him all the time. I don’t like to dwell on this feeling much as it makes this separation/divorce ultimately more difficult than it already is and moving on and letting go of the past is the healthiest action I can take for myself.
It is difficult for me to speak about the countless positive moments that David and I shared, the ones that enabled me into believing that things would get better. I tend to talk more about all of the bullshit than I do about the good memories because it’s the good memories that tear me apart, that, ashamedly, make me yearn for that life a little bit again. It’s the loving moments that squeeze the tears from my eyes like someone is eagerly popping a giant water balloon. I’m human and it’s only natural – I have to remind myself that if I didn’t have these yearnings, only then I should worry. Do I miss having the warmth of David’s arm securely wrapped around me at night, his body tightly aligned against my back? If I think about it, yes, I do. Do I miss having him hold my hand, kiss the back of my neck and tell me that he loves me with the utmost sincerity in his chocolate brown eyes? How could I not?
It’s all the bullshit, for lack of better terms, that I must focus on in regards to David, however, to avoid having what I deem a weak moment. Focusing on all of the good is what kept me around for as long I was around and willing to forgive knowing full well that we would go through the same bullshit the following week. I guess one could say it was hope that kept me coming back – the hope that maybe, just maybe, this time, things would actually change for the better.
History repeats itself, though, and in David’s case, it began repeating itself every other week. In personal regard, I was living the life of my mother – accepting empty, thoughtless apologies from a damaged, selfish addict whose careless actions were the result of hopelessly projecting his inner madness on the closest person to him, the person he loved the most.
And as basic human emotions go, it’s comforting to imagine that someday, someone else’s better version may get the pleasure of spooning me, holding my hand, kissing me and loving me.
David awkwardly tried the “friends” thing a mere couple of weeks after our decision to divorce was made. He would ask me if I wanted to “grab a drink” and text me cute snapshots of my cats. I told him then, I told his brother on New Year’s Day and I will tell them both again, “We are not friends nor will we ever be.” This behavior is a glaringly obvious tribute to his lack of maturity and while I understand this simple fact, it still has the ability to royally piss me off. No, I will not go sit at a bar with the alcoholic I just spent the last three years of my life loving harder than any man before – to say the absolute least!
I know it’s customary to say “never say never” but friends with exes is something I’m actually good at, if I do say so myself. In other words, I’ve always made an honest effort to remain civil and friendly with the few that came before David. Friends with an ex-husband is a completely different situation and none of my relationships prior to David were this intense. I married the guy for Christ’s sake! Need I say more?
The dark, early morning hours of July 29th, 2013, as we drove northbound on the 101, I patiently listened to David take about ten drawn out minutes to describe in every possible way, excluding any mention of the word divorce, that our relationship was over. As we descended upon our freeway exit, I responded with the first ounce of true confidence I could recall feeling in years, “I know I gave this marriage my absolute all and I will not lose sleep at night with the fear that I did not and I can say for certain that I want a divorce.”
Just like that, a three year and twenty-day tumultuous, rollercoaster of a relationship was over in less than sixty seconds. As tragically sorrowful as that lonely situation was, there was a gloriously liberating feeling that alarmed my senses after I sealed our fate with that seemingly dirty word. David quickly responded, “I agree.” I had finally given him what he wanted but was too much of a coward to state his self. Inside I morosely chuckled at his concurrence as we continued our short drive to the apartment where we would sleep in separate bedrooms from that night forward. It may have taken a little time but I can sincerely say I am living happily ever after.