Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Til death do us part?
When I got married, even though I knew in my heart of hearts it was wrong, a mistake, even a tragic mistake, I did it whole heartedly. I didn't trust him, I knew he was probably bipolar, deeply wounded, shut down and closed off. I never loved him with a passion, that's for sure. Even so, I meant to stay with him, no matter what. I thought he would take care of me, since he had money. But as it ended up, I took care of him. Oh my.
I soldiered through a few years bravely, or so I thought. Well, not so bravely since I had a two year affair as well as indulging myself in other liaisons as the opportunity arose. People have asked how it was he didn't know or even suspect my nefarious activities. We were not close in any way. I didn't even have to sneak around. Very sad.
When it became clear that I was not going to be able to stay in the marriage, he agreed to couples counseling. We spent many months in the office of one of the smartest, most upbeat, clear-headed and good-hearted therapists I've ever known (and I've seen plenty of them). Still, the marriage could not be saved. Finally we separated. Within less than a year we were legally divorced.
But the story does not end there, no. We stayed in touch for a number of years. Even after I moved to DC, any time I was in SF, we got together for a walk and talk. I even tried, a few years ago, to get back together with him. Why, oh why did I think that was a good idea? Of course it was a disaster, but at least I realized my folly sooner rather than later. Good lord. Since that ill conceived attempt, we are at last completely out of touch. I haven't heard from him in a few years and I'm good with that. What a relief.
I have done rituals of release, I have lectured myself repeatedly, I have prayed to be at last free of my marriage. We divorced 17 years ago! And yet, I still dream about him and in the dreams we are married. Sometimes I still refer to him as "my husband," rather than "my ex" or something more suitable. It's really quite discouraging. Will I never be able to let go? Is there something I have missed, or is the phrase "I do" binding - at least internally - into perpetuity? For heaven's sake! What gives?