Friday, May 28, 2010

Deep Thoughts by Associate Girl

I wrote this a while ago, but it seems to go with the theme of the week - that is, listening to your instinct . . .

I would never disparage my ex-husband, and that is not the purpose here. But this is what I wish I knew all those years that I was trying (and not trying) to make it work.

Within a few months of our dating, certain of our interactions just didn't fell right. But other things about us did feel right and we had fun together. When issues came up, I felt like it was my responsibility to try and work through things. Relationships are give and take and work; this is a fundamental, indisputable truth.

The thing was, after every single fight, in order to have peace, I felt like I gave up a little bit of myself. Again, I thought this was just part of growing up. I couldn't expect to be the self-centered, only child forever. Plus, every single one of our couple friends had issues, including issues that seemed much worse than ours. Friendships and love lives ebb and flow. This is an indisputable truth too.

But the ebb just kept on its course, and we never found common ground again. We tried. We uprooted in the partial belief that uprooting to a new town, creating a new adventure just for ourselves, would bond us together and create new memories. It did, for the length of the road trip to the new town. Then we were just the same two people in a new town.

I struggled intensely with what I was supposed to do. Didn't I owe it to him after all this time to try and save us? Why was I having so much trouble reaching out to this struggling human being by my side? How was it he could not reach out to the struggling human being by his side? My stepmother sent me an article from Oprah Magazine that talked about the moment that couples knew their marriage was over. Such a concept never applied to us. We had events that should have caused me to walk out the door, or him to walk out the door, but that's not how it went. The signs were there all the time. We just walked around them.

There was no big decision. It was not that one day I said I was leaving him. In what is my most shameful and regretful behavior ever, I gradually cut him out of my emotions and my life so that when I actually walked out the door, I had already been gone for a very long time, as had he. We were like ghosts inhabiting a long since gone relationship.

So, this is what I share with you - Despite all the good times you manage to have and the life you are able to create and show to the outside world, if your heart is questioning the life you are leading to such a degree that you are wondering if you are living the life you were meant to lead, you owe it to yourself to not judge that instinct. And you owe it to everyone else in your life to listen to your instincts (maybe not whims, but instincts).

I think of the wasted time. My counselor says that at least I take with me some lovely memories, but I don't really. Very early on in our relationship we decided that "These Are The Days" by 10,000 Maniacs was our song. I heard it this morning driving to work. I didn't look back with happiness or even sadness. I thought about how beautiful the song is and how it never applied, and how much of myself I gave to a lost cause.

But I also look back and congratulate myself for taking my life back, for giving my ex-husband his life back too, and for following my heart when it was telling me to leap (even when my head and many any resources were telling me things to the contrary).


  1. Good for you!!
    Someone should've given you my list when you were 14 :O)

  2. So beautifully put, lady. I really am happy for you that things took such a positive turn in your life.