Let’s face it… Dogs and children are the best character judges, at least in my humble opinion.
I spend a great deal of time thinking and writing about my first husband, because he has had the greatest impact on my life. I have known him over twenty years, we have three children, and my financial future is still tied to him.
The other “blip” on the highway of my life, my second husband yields less conversation. As BFF says, it doesn’t count. Simple as that. It wasn’t a mistake; it is simply an experience that took you closer to the place where you are ultimately supposed to be. One of my favorite movie quotes, which I am about to misquote speaks about the end not being here if things aren’t right.
Anyway, back to the “blip”. I have watched the dogs mourn over the loss of my mom almost two weeks ago. The little one goes downstairs to visit her room, and scratches outside of the closed door. A frequent visitor to her room, she seems utterly confused about where Mom is, so she walks to the laundry room, hoping to find her there. No such luck.The older dog, watches for her by the stairs. Clearly, they are experiencing some sort of doggie mourning. Where did the lady go who claimed that she hated dogs, but who snuck us yummy things under the table when she thought no one was looking.
The “blip” on the other hand, was in my home for a year, and in our lives for about 5 years. During that time, we acquired both dogs, both rescues, one as a gift, one from the shelter. One would think that he would have made enough of an impact on them, that they might have “mourned” him in the same way that they mourn my mom. I cannot help but wonder why that is. Part of me thinks that is is hilarious that the dogs are better judges of men than I am; the other part is pretty sad about that. If only I could have the doggies approve future dates. Hmmm.
So, why is it that I have so little to say about this man? In spite of not writing much about him, I have spent a great deal of time thinking about what made me make that decision to marry again. I have very clear memories of the night before the wedding. I was speaking with BFF, and I think she sensed my lack of excitement. It was something on the schedule, like a dentist appointment. I thought he was my friend. I thought I was planning well for the sake of my children. I thought that by having a man in the house, I would have a greater sense of security. I thought about everything but what would make me happy. I failed to think about the fact that I would have to get into bed every night and face the follies of my decision to remarry.
I failed to think carefully enough about all the times that I cringed at some of his behaviors. I cringe at his manners. In inadvertently avoided sharing my friends and events with him, because I wanted the security of having him there, but wanted to keep my own life. It has taken me years to admit that, and it is no way to live. I don’t speak about it because I am angry at myself for not having the faith in myself to think that I could manage without a man. My lack of faith in myself led me to weigh those options, look at the results, and still make the wrong choice. I was willing to trade my own happiness for what I perceived to be the easy way out. I thought I made a choice that I could live with, when in reality, the night that he smacked me, I knew it was my way out of the horrible choice that I had made.
He laughed at my sleep rituals. He thought it was funny that I needed to sleep with a body pillow to align my back. He didn’t think it was so funny, when that body pillow ended up between us like the Berlin Wall, as he called it.
My rituals these days are different. I sleep any which way I want to; It is my bed. My sister takes Ambien to avoid her husband at night. She makes a choice every single day. I want my choices to be different, healthy choices, and next time, if there is a next time, I am definitely listening to the dogs.