I have spent the last few months of painful singleness observing the relationships of those around me (I have always loved watching people, but I find myself especially focusing on relationships lately). I have learned several things, some of which make getting divorced at age 25 easier for me, and some make it harder…and some do both.
One of these things is how much my ex husband was totally not the kind of man I want, the kind of man I’ve always wanted…and I don’t know why I thought that was ok. I guess because I loved him.
Last week I was at a Lyme disease support group with one of my closest friends (who also has Lyme) and her husband. As I sat there I watched him rub her back, touch her hand, and sit closer to her; during the discussion several times he chimed in with his experiences with her illness, a joke or two, and even asked a few questions. All I could think about was how my ex husband would never have done any of those things. IF I managed to drag him to the meeting at all (and that’s a big “if”!) he would have sat in the corner, playing games on his phone, without saying a word to anyone. Then he would have begged to leave until I gave in and left early even though I really wanted to stay.
I want that. I want the kind of guy who cares enough about me and my health to go to appointments with me, to go to support groups, to ask questions; the kind of guy who is emotionally present enough to be able to express how he feels about me being sick. I want those sweet little touches, the hand on my back, the hand that always finds mine.
In a way this makes getting divorced easier, because now I have the opportunity to find that kind of guy; and in a way it makes it harder because it forces me to realize exactly how unhappy I was and how much I was missing out on in my marriage.
Another thing I have learned is that there is real beauty in being one’s own person, in having one’s choices affect no one else but you. For this reason getting divorced when I did may turn out to be the best thing that has ever happened to me. I have spent the last 5 years worrying about what HE needed or wanted, how it would affect HIM if I enrolled in such and such grad school or whether HE wanted to move to X city where such and such grad school was located, how we would manage to pay for HIS legal bills rather than my tuition…right down to what HE wanted for dinner and what color bedspread HE would like on the bed. Now, for the first time in my adult life (and really my entire life) I can do what I want, go where I want, eat whatever I want for dinner, and buy whichever damn bedspread I like best, without even stopping to think about what anyone else wants. That’s pretty awesome.
This makes the divorce easier (for obvious reasons), but it also scares me…I don’t want to get too good at being alone.
I want a man who loves kids, period. Today while I was working I was observing this guy (the cousin of the kids I nanny); he is 25, really really cute, and was at the beach with his family and a friend (with coolers full of beer and plenty of adults to talk to)…yet he spent all afternoon playing with a 9 year old little girl because she idolizes him. They played ball, swam in the ocean, chased each other around the beach, for hours. Not once did he complain, or try to ditch her to hang out with his friend…he just played, and honestly enjoyed himself. I want that.
This makes divorce a little easier because I know my ex (I keep having to backspace because I forget the “ex” part :[ ) husband and that is so not him. He doesn’t like kids, he thinks they’re annoying…and only agreed to have them because he knew it was a deal breaker for me.
I had plenty of time to think about these things today; I had to work, and since my bosses are on vacation at the beach, that meant a beach day for me too (rough, I know). The problem was that their entire extended family, as well as a lot of their friends, were at the beach too…this meant I spent the day surrounded by quite a few women my age. This sucks because all of these women are a) absolutely gorgeous (this entire freaking family is gorgeous, men included!) b) they are all sporting nice sized diamonds from their handsome, attentive husbands who all have good jobs and c) they all have babies. Meanwhile, I’m 25, almost divorced, lonely as #$%@, self conscious about my illness ravaged body, desperately anxious to be a mom, and sitting in the corner virtually invisible earning my measly pay check which will barely cover my bills. Suck.
That sounds like a pretty silly thing to be worried about, I know, but it really does upset me. It’s hard to watch other people have exactly what you want while you’re unhappy. It actually makes me kind of angry…why couldn’t my ex husband just be a decent freaking husband? Why couldn’t he be there for me and love me like I needed him to? Why did he let the addiction take over his (and my) life like he did? * I do know the answers to all of these questions, but situations like today make me feel like those answers just aren’t acceptable, like it’s not fair.
Note: The antibiotics induced depression is most definitely back, so…sorry, you’ll just have to deal with my dismal moping for a while. :[