The Boyfriend is away, working on a minesite. Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of my first marriage. I am sad. These things are not connected.
I wonder whether my exhusband will even remember the date. Neither of us did last year. We divorced very fast, at his instigation, as soon the legal time of separation had passed. I naively hoped that we might still be friends, both for our children’s sake and for our own. But of course that can’t happen. One part of the equation can’t accept calmly that the other wants them around for only certain qualities, not when the second part was the one who left the marriage. There is no nice way to say “I don’t love you any more” and no valid reasons will ever sound like anything but excuses.
I spent over half of my adult life with this man. He saw me sick, depressed, vibrantly alive and laughing. He held my hand whilst our children were born, shared my sick sense of humour, talked with me for hours on long road trips. He ate anything I ever made for him, built walls and concreted patios and listened to me recite poetry to him. We healed arguments in the marriage bed, went running together and were throroughly hedonistic in the right circumstances.
He yelled and swore, stomped around, went out with the boys way too frequently. He found my pregnant body offputting, my health irritating and my habits annoying. He didn’t like cuddling because my body gave off too much heat, resented any noise that impacted on his sleep and told me he loved me twice in our marriage.
I cried, got up in the middle of the night to read, slipped extra calories in his food. I didn’t wear makeup, avoided tight, clingy clothes and high heels. I withdrew into silence, actively showed my dislike of his family and gave my children a too relaxed upbringing.
We stopped having sex, stopped touching, stopped communicating. It wasn’t all my fault; it never is.
Would I do it all again? Oh, yes. He was worth all the while.