Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Blog Post with No Name, Because I Couldn't Think of One

Three years ago today, I walked down an aisle with my parents by my side and got married.

I tried to write that sentence a dozen different times, beginning it "Three years ago today, I walked down an aisle with my parents by my side and married the man that I...." and then getting stuck. I want to write "loved," because I did love him, in a way. But not in the right way, which I suppose was our ultimate problem.

I was genuinely happy that day. It's one of the few moments I can point to and say definitively that yes, I was happy. Our families and dearest friends were there. We danced and drank and devoured the most delicious cake I've ever eaten. But in the months that followed, I knew something wasn't right. I found myself wondering, "Is this all there is to married life?" I felt like something was missing - some sort of excitement, or depth of emotion, or... something

I thought maybe my idea of what marriage should feel like was unrealistic, so I tried adjusting my expectations. I thought maybe we needed to get away and remember why we got married in the first place, so we went to Italy. I thought maybe I really just needed to find happiness in other areas of my life, so I started going out with my friends more. Except I could never quite adjust my expectations enough, and Italy was great but when we got home real life remained the same, and more and more I found myself looking forward to time with my friends as an escape from my failing relationship at home.

We got divorced last summer. I'm sorry that I hurt him. I certainly didn't mean to - when I said my vows, I never imagined that less than two years later I'd be breaking them. And I do regret not bringing my ex-husband into the conversation about my unhappiness earlier, though I'm still not sure how I could have done that. I spent a year trying to figure out exactly what was wrong, and by the time I put my finger on it I think the relationship was too far gone to fix. In some ways, it was broken from the start: we established unhealthy patterns early on, and I didn't understand what I really needed and wanted from a partner.

Today is a strange day for me. On the one hand, I haven't been dwelling on my marriage and divorce as much lately, and I don't feel the overwhelming sadness I thought I would today. But on the other hand, I do feel some grief for the relationship I imagined we would have and the plans we made together. I think that's normal, and even appropriate. A year ago I was drowning in the grief; I don't plan to do that today. I'm going to work in the morning, and I have dinner plans with a friend tonight. I'll probably cry a little at some point, because the end of a marriage is a sad thing, and then tomorrow I'll wake up and go about my life.

And it will all be fine.


Burgh Gourmand said...

It was really helpful for me to read this. Thanks for sharing, again, Erin.

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