It’s easy to get lost in a marriage, even when you know it’s not working anymore, because you just get in the habit of being married. I think Paul Simon had it right when he sang, “You’re just a habit, like saccharine” and when I heard this lyric the other day it really got me thinking. At the end, when I broke all ties and dropped my ex-husband like the bad habit he was, I thought that would be that. But it seems old habits really do die hard and as I stop and think it over, I’ve come to realize that I’m habitually hanging on to several of them and I don’t like it one bit.
I’m still in the habit of feeling blue on gray days which I never did before I met him. And I’m still in the habit of planning an early exit strategy from parties which was his M.O. no matter the occasion. The difference now is that I am usually among the last to leave rather than the first, but it still bothers me that even the ghost of this tendency has somehow stuck to me.
I got in the habit of cooking for one while we were still together, after he had descended into the hell of preferring meat and potatoes to anything else and evenings glued to the television and fantasies of younger, thinner women over spending time with me. He always was a bit of a loner and unfortunately, I find that those loner tendencies of his have rubbed off on me a little, even though he has long-since gone and this frustrates me to no end, as I’ve always been such a gregarious soul.
I still sleep on the same side of the bed as I did when we were together, even though I’ve heard that it’s much healthier to sleep in the middle when you don’t really need to pick a side anymore. I‘ve gotten in the habit of talking to myself just to hear the sound of a human voice rolling around my big old, empty house and sometimes I even hear myself repeating the peculiar articles of speech he favored and an echo of our former life lands squarely in my heart evoking memories of happier times.
When this happens, I have flashes of the good him which up until now has been quite rare; I’ve been holding on to the world’s biggest grudge forever. But it’s just easier that way, because to remember the good times is to acknowledge that they ever existed at all. And those thoughts lead to thoughts of forgiveness which, after all the years of basking in the glory of un-forgiveness, seems like an impossible place to go. But then I wonder; is this un-forgiveness just another in the list of bad habits I’ve acquired over the years? If so, maybe it’s just one more habit I really need to break.