When I look at my life today, sans Husband #2, the argument can be made that my life is better. I have money in the bank, the house is devoid of business clutter, personal privacy is at an all time high as no clients come to our home, and there are no more long hours dedicated to life chained to a computer screen. I also don’t have Husband #2’s maudlin attitude towards daily living to contend with and I get to binge watch all the House of Cards episodes I want on the weekends.
Conversely, there are positive missing items. No longer do I have “the day after” breakfast meetings with Husband #2 where we conducted a post-mortem of the last client’s project. There’s no seasonal down time, no yearly Las Vegas trade show and convention, no creative freedom, and no Husband #2 around to share the day or take an impromptu drive through the countryside.
One might argue that my life is better under Scenario 1 or better under Scenario 2…
At least that’s the way Husband #2 saw things. There was better and there was worse. He’d ask me at the beginning of our relationship if I thought being with him was better than being with Husband #1. I don’t think I gave him the answer he wanted.
There was no better or worse in my mind.
There is only different.
I find it difficult (and unfair) to compare two husbands, two marriages, two lives. Husband #1 had good and bad traits. So does Husband #2. Would it have been kind or unkind to say that Husband #1 made me laugh more without the caveat that he also made me cry more? Or should I mention that Husband #2 had more construction skill than Husband #1 but lacked the humility to say when he didn’t know how to do something handy (which Husband #1 easily expressed)?
Which is better or worse?
There is no right or wrong in this situation, so I’ll stick with different.
Each man had his good and bad attributes. Trying to put them on a scale to determine which one was better is a fruitless endeavor.
Would I want to be measured and weighed in the same way?
I prefer to look at people as individuals with different life experiences, preferences, and habits. There is no such thing as a One and Only in my world. My warm, fuzzy, and somewhat vague answer to Husband #2 was “I chose you because I wanted to spend my life with you.”
My life is different because Husband #1 left in 2002. My life is different now because Husband #2 left in 2013. My life will be different in the future because something undetermined will happen between now and then that will change it yet again (like winning $500 million in the latest big PowerBall jackpot – wouldn’t that be an interesting event).
Separation and divorce are predicaments that make life different. Thinking pre-divorce is all bad fails to respect the good times that you had with that person. Husband #1 and I have kids together. We traveled the country. We went to school together. We laughed, struggled, and grew up side by side. Should I tuck that away in the “My Life Was Worse Then” camp?
Husband #2 and I struggled as well, with economic downturn, bad housing markets, and baggage from our prior relationships. But we traveled internationally and domestically, we built a home and business, we aged together, we experimented, and we enjoyed life. Does that all stop because he’s now gone?
Why should I compare? Why does there have to be a better or worse? Life is good no matter what happens because I choose to see it that way.