Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Why so surprised?

It wasn't only Girl's post that got me thinking about my divorce today. I sold my house. The house that I bought even though my ex said we shouldn't. Couldn't. I knew that we had to. That if I didn't make it possible for us to purchase that property, that I would have nothing. And I was correct. That little house has been the smartest thing I did in my adult life, and I'm proud of the investment and sad to see it go all at the same time.

Upon cleaning out said little house, I found a bag of letters. I used to keep things like that. Now I don't. The bag of letters was from my ex. Not wanting to read them all, I just poked through a few and started tossing them. One that I happened to open though astonished me. It was intended to be a love letter. Reading it today, almost 10 years later, I felt as though I was being pushed under water all over again.

The things he loved about me were the things that were drowning me.


My wife is amazing.
She takes care of her husband beyond the call of duty.
She takes care of her household impeccably.
She takes notice of others' animals in need and seeks to remedy that need.
She expresses her muse for $1 that she pays at the door.
She goes to work to help pay for the household.
She doesn't boast or brag about all of this.
She admits to nothing.
She goes the extra 10 miles.
I am overwhelmed at the amount of love she has bestowed on me.
I am her husband & the most I can offer is this linen paper & a few words to let her know how much I cherish her.
You exceed my every wish I could have had in a soul mate. Thank you for choosing life with me. You have made it very rich.

Okay. So you think this is a sweet letter? To a drowning woman it said this:

My wife is amazing.
She does everything for her husband because he can or will not do it himself.
She pays all the bills for the household because he can or will not do it himself.
She takes in stray dogs to fill the void of love she feels from the person with whom she lives and the children she does not have.
She sings her heart out at an open mic every week hoping that she will find a kindred spirit or at least someone to play music with.
She goes to work because she is the only one with a steady job.
She doesn't boast about all of this because she has no one to talk to and can't admit to the mistake she's made in getting into this marriage.
She admits to nothing because she signed on for this in a marriage ceremony and it's her own damn fault for being a moron.
She goes the extra 10 miles just to catch up from where he drug everything backwards into debt and disaster.
He can't believe she agreed to marry him.
He stole this linen paper out of her stationary drawer. It was the back piece to a monogrammed set that she loved to write her grandfather on.
She exceeds every wish because she hasn't run away yet. Life with her is very rich because she works her ass off at 3 jobs just to make sure they have enough money to get by.

Bitter much? Of course I was. I married a man with great potential. A very kind man. A man that everyone liked (except my parents). As the years moved on, I kept waiting for him to grow up, start meeting that potential, and it never happened.

I'll never forget seeing a former mutual friend of ours about a year after our split. She said, "Brian and I really got Ex straightened out. We have really helped him put together a plan and he is going to go places with his life now."

I just smiled with clenched teeth and replied, "That's great for you. You have accomplished what I couldn't touch in 13 years then. Congratulations and let me know how that works out in about 6 months." Perhaps this is another reason that I'm not still friends with that couple. You think?

What I got tired of hearing the most (read: assvice for any of you with friends going through a divorce) was, "But I thought you guys were doing fine." Well of course you did. Why on God's green earth would I go around talking about how shitty my life was and how I hated my marriage? It wasn't like I had discovered blogging yet. Ha.

Your circle of friends and acquaintances don't want for your marriage to end. It screws with their dinner parties, their game nights, their outings, whatever. No matter how unhappy you are, people will always be surprised and disappointed that you are splitting.

This is the guilt that I still carry. The guilt that I let everyone down. The guilt that I put on such a show for so long.

Then again, maybe people just weren't listening. Lord knows I wrote enough songs about it.