Yesterday would have been my fifteenth wedding anniversary, and yesterday also marked the fifth year of my divorce. Yes, I was married and divorced on the same day and no, this wasn’t planned. What has been intentional every April 13th since 2001, was my sending the following message: “Happy Anniversary – My heart will never be the same.” And, ironically, no matter the year this sentiment has proven true.
I remember vividly, our first anniversary, where we spent hours lying on our new carpet in our new house giggling with excitement, planning the rest of our lives. My heart was almost bursting with excitement and fearlessness.
On our third anniversary, we spent it rubbing my growing belly; my heart was literally in a state of awe at how much love I felt for this new addition to our family and also gratitude toward my husband for giving me the opportunity to be a mother. And then came our sixth, where we were whimsical and anxious as to how we would tell our three-year-old that he was going to get two new baby brothers.
Our eighth anniversary came with crying, praying, and rejoicing that our son didn’t have cancer. And our ninth was spent separated by floors; he had moved to the basement to think, and I had begun searching for an attorney to protect my heart and my sons.
And on our tenth, our divorce was final.
But I didn’t stop sending the message because it was still true. Year eleven meant my heart was angry and bitter; year twelve, my heart was a mess, filled with mixed feelings; I thought I might truly care for another man (or at least I cared very much that I wanted to sleep with him) but I had a conflicted heart.
Thirteen was weird; both single and presumably lonely, my ex and I took our kids to a water park for a weekend where we reminisced about the love and memories we shared. Last year, I began a new relationship and so did he and we seemed to have found peace and comfort in our roles as co-parents. This year, before I got to send my usual message, he sent me this: “Just wanted to tell you what we (he and his new girlfriend) told the boys last night that we bought a new house and will be moving in three weeks.”
Talk about a sucker punch. The whole day I spent feeling so empty. I was like the tendrils of a lost jelly fish, just wading around in the dark water, isolated and stuck.
The worst part for me was that I didn’t know why. And it feels awful when you are a mature, professional mother extraordinaire and you don’t know what the hell is going on. My first thought was: “They aren’t even married; what if she kicks him out? Where will my boys spend those two nights a week with their father?” Clearly I laughed at the ridiculousness of this notion; marriage doesn’t mean someone won’t leave. But it does make it a hell of a lot harder. I fear that I will never find someone to share my heart with again.
I am not jealous; I am envious. I miss my heart; I want to silence my mind, I want to return to the tightness my heart knows when waiting for a loved one to walk through the door; I want to feel the flutter of my heart after one passionate kiss; I want to feel full and content when lying my head upon his heart. I want to forget about the man who broke mine and instead find the one who will do his damnedest to keep it unbroken.