My third marriage is ending. What does it matter what number it is. It feels the same to me. I’m heartbroken, devastated and grieving. The grief process is the same as with any other tragedy. I’ve lost my man and I’m not sure how I’m going to recover. But I am recovering.
I’ve put everything and more into my relationships. I’m not a flake running off to get married every hot minute. It’s quite the opposite. My first was thirteen years; the second was five and this past marriage fifteen. I devoted my life to family. Not just mine but there’s too. I treated my step kids like my own. The entire situation is horrible. And I’m really angry that my husband gave up on me and us. So now I have to move on. The difference is that I know more this time. I’m not thirty I’m fifty. It isn’t easier on the heart but I have more understanding and I have the ability to forgive.
He was my high school sweetheart and heartthrob. He was also a narcissist and a cheater. My second husband was a handsome businessman who looked good on paper but was a complete douche. My third was a charmer and a con artist. He is horrible at business and finance but handsome and romantic and I fell for him hard. I thought I had finally found my soul mate. He was my best friend.
A little history…
We met seventeen years ago at work. We were both married to other people. We even tried being couple friends. I didn’t think of him as anything else. But two years later my unhappy second marriage ended. I was moving out and getting my own place with my two teenage children and my friend told me he was thinking about leaving his wife. Imagine my surprise. He had never let on to me that he wanted anything more than friendship. I actually gave him some advice on how he could save his marriage. He convinced me of how horrible he had it and blah, blah, blah and then it was fireworks. In an instant I was in love with my best friend. He left his wife; we got married and lived….
Don’t get me wrong, for years it was great, I was so madly in love that I overlooked his faults and he overlooked mine. That’s what true love is right? In a way it was fun to be “the other woman.” My first husband cheated on me and in a sad, sick way I felt redemption.
My second husband made me feel sexy and wanted and even though we had lots of downs and very few ups we were good for each other. In reality though I made excuses for him. Worse though is that I enabled him. I knew he was not good with finances. We didn’t see eye to eye on anything to do with business. We worked together and we spent almost every moment of the day together. So, instead of fighting and risk losing him I gave in and let him handle all of our business decisions and all of our finances. The romance was still there and I told myself that I was happy. We did the best we could to make it work for fifteen years.
When you have no choice but to “let go”
Sometimes I feel guilty because I really checked out of reality in the end. I should probably have left him five years earlier. What’s really sad is that I loved him so much. I still love him. I probably always will but I can’t change him. In the very end he started treating me horribly. That’s what men do when they want you to leave. He drank way too much and so did I. He was mean and didn’t want me around him. He put blame on me and took no responsibility for himself. It was the blaming that was the final straw.
When he started throwing nasty accusations at me I started researching and reaching out to friends and family. Everyone had seen what was going on. No one can tell you though. I had to be ready to see it for myself. I had to let him go. I had to let him fall. I had to let him fail or succeed on his own. It was going to be tough love or no love. He chose no love.
Alone again, unnaturally…
So now I’m alone. I’ve been reading and watching classic movies. I’ve contacted old friends. I’ve taken long walks on the beach. I’ve gone to church. I’m deciding what to do with the rest of my life. I’m a divorced, single mom but my kids are grown now. There’s no custody battle. It’s just me. I’ve never been in this position before. I only have to worry about me.
It’s time I admit that the hopeless romantic in me is stronger than the sensible me. Seriously though, what did I really expect given my husband’s first marriage of eighteen years. I knew he wasn’t right for me but that crazy love overruled. The businesses that he ran with his first wife were disasters. Silly me blamed her. He cheated on her. I know this for a fact. It was with me. This was inevitable.
It was fun while it lasted. I was happy and I was in love. But before the end came there were years of denial. I believe that denial is our God given inner drug. I used it daily. Depression and anger came and went in waves that were so uncontrollable that you begin to believe you’ve gone crazy. I guess I’m in the acceptance stage of grief now because I feel that can acknowledge my share of I the blame for our failure.
Don’t misinterpret that for forgiving him. I don’t forgive him for making horrible business and financial decisions. I don’t forgive him for treating me like I had become a burden. I don’t forgive him for spending ridiculous amounts of money drinking and gambling. I don’t forgive him for anything.
I forgive myself. I love myself and I have faith in myself. I wake up in the morning and I’m happy. I fell for the wrong guy. Three times. Oh well. Divorce is just a number.