I have been at war with myself this past month. I don’t know why. There’s nothing special about the month of July, and yet for some reason, I have been having nonstop epiphanies and realizations, which are combating undesirable memories. So, what do I mean when I say I’ve been at war with myself? I mean I’m currently in the biggest internal tug-of-war within memory.
Something inside me just won’t leave me alone. It’s more than my ‘inner voice.’ I’m tempted to say it’s God, even though I don’t believe in God. But something inside me just won’t stop telling me, “Fix this. Fix this.” Not only that, but like I said, I’ve been bombarded with epiphanies and realizations, and it’s not normal for me to get so many within … a decade, let alone a single month. Every time I think I’ve had a huge epiphany, just a couple days later, I get one even bigger. And now, I’ve realized something so heavy and massive, there’s no way it can be topped. It’s like everything I realized, after so much deep-thinking, culminated into this single entity.
Again, I don’t believe in God, but I just plain cannot explain what’s inside me, pushing me so hard this past month to make changes regarding how I perceive … my ex-wife.
Our situation settled in the sand, didn’t it? I hated her, she hated me, and it was never going to improve beyond that, right?
Well, whatever’s going on with my mind lately …, it disagrees.
Here’s what it all came to. One simple sentence: Remember who you married.
Ever think about cheating? I don’t mean have you ever considered doing it, I mean have you ever thought about the subject itself, of cheating in a relationship? I believe cheating in a marriage is different than cheating in an ordinary relationship. Everyone thinks of cheating as sleeping with someone they shouldn’t, but I think it extends past that. Cheating is doing anything in a relationship that betrays what your spouse wants from you, betrays the sanctity of your relationship, and most of all, betrays the very purpose of your relationship.
I chose to marry my wife. I chose to give my life to her. I made vows, and I always took those vows seriously. And I still cheated. I still betrayed my vows. I never slept with someone else, but I still betrayed our marriage. How? Because I gave up on it so damned easily.
It started around the final month of our marriage, when I noticed traits my wife had that disturbed me. I’ve mentioned them on this blog many times over, but I refuse to state them again here now, or probably ever. Just take my word for it: I started noticing things about her that bothered me immensely.
Then, it boiled over when my wife said we should get divorced, and I found her reasons for saying that to be asinine. We’d never so much as yelled at the other, let alone threw objects, or said the meanest things we could think of just to hurt the other’s feelings … like most people do in tumultuous relationships. My wife said we should get divorced after our biggest argument ever, but still, it had not escalated to anyone’s idea of a full-on fight. So, to seek divorce over this was unforgivable in my mind. This is what she wanted to abandon her vows for? This is why she’s willing to make our family broken, and give our daughter an unstable childhood regardless who has custody?
My view of my wife changed drastically, and rapidly. I no longer saw her as the person I married, I saw her as … well, I don’t want to describe it again.
For my view to change like that… That’s not love, and that’s certainly not lifetime commitment. Regardless if our marriage was going to end inevitably, a true husband doesn’t forget who he married so quickly. A true husband doesn’t flip his perception of his wife on a dime. A true husband doesn’t forget everything about the girl he fell in love with.
I believed my new perspective was the true perspective, and that the person I fell in love with was just a figment of my imagination. That’s how I justified my change of heart.
And even if the person I fell in love with was just my imagination, and the real woman was a terrible person and I just didn’t realize it before, that would STILL be no excuse to have such a drastic change of heart so easily.
Don’t get me wrong, she did the same. She gave up easily, she forgot who I am and still doesn’t remember. But sharing the blame doesn’t make it any more justified for either of us. The point is, I still had vows to keep.
Like I said earlier, marriage is not just some relationship. Marriage is a lifetime commitment. I’m not saying you can never change your perspective of your spouse as new truths reveal themselves, I’m just saying it shouldn’t be so easy or quick.
There’s more to this, still…
The more you give your heart away, the less value your heart has.
It’s no coincidence that 2nd marriages fail more often than 1st, and the more you have, the more likely the next one will fail. This is no coincidence. The more you give your heart away, the less value it has. It’s the same way with sex. The more sexual partners you have, the less special it is with the next. Sex is the most intimate act a person can do with another person. It’s more important than society will admit.
Everything in life works this way. The more you have, the less value it carries. Star Wars was most special to its fans when there were only 3 movies, but now there are 11 and counting. Take anything, literally anything. No matter how valuable it is, it loses value if there’s plenty to go around. That’s why limited editions of … anything … is always multitudes more expensive than standard issue.
Your heart works the same way. Your body, and the intimacy you can feel with your body, works the same way.
I gave my life to my wife. For this reason, I can’t allow myself to do that again. Whether it worked out or not, it doesn’t change the fact that she is the person I gave my life to. If I married someone else after her, well then, I didn’t really give my life to her, did I? See what I mean by how things get cheapened when there’s more of them?
So, what I’m trying to get at with these last few paragraphs is simply this: I wasn’t a true husband up until the bitter end, and therefore, I still owe that debt. Additionally, I refuse to marry again, because it wouldn’t mean anything anymore, and also, nothing in the world can change who the mother of my child is. I’ve seen what having stepparents does to a child, I’ve seen what it does to the couples themselves. They never seem to notice for themselves, but I can always see it in their faces – they never stop being disappointed.
Most people replace their failed marriage with someone they settled for.
But I still have a hell of a dilemma, don’t I? My ex-wife is still, you know, my ex … and also, there are all the selfish, heartless things she’s done and is still doing up to this very day. Do I let that go? Do I keep fighting back?
That’s what I’m still at war with myself about. But without a doubt, the better side is winning.
Unfortunately, I have to keep fighting back, or my daughter will lose her father. But yes, I can let these things go. And that’s where I come to the conclusion of this post…
I married that woman for a reason. She was not my first love, she wasn’t even my second, or my longest relationship. But she’s the only one I married, and that’s no accident. With others, I didn’t propose after literally years went by. With my wife, I asked her to marry me after just 2 months together. That’s no accident. I saw something in her none of the others had. And more importantly…
I saw something in her no other woman will ever have.
I can’t articulate what those things are, so don’t ask me to try. You can’t articulate why you want to give your life to someone, but there is always a reason. (The first time you give your life away, that is.) It’s for a reason that cannot be explained.
And I have remembered who I married.
How did I remember? Well, I was starting to have this exact epiphany, but it needed help. Long ago, when my wife and I separated, I removed every trace of her on social media, except one place, but on my personal devices, I didn’t remove any trace of her at all. I never knew why. Frankly, I still don’t know why. I can only guess that something deep within me knew I would need those memories again.
So, as I was starting to have this epiphany, I finally made the conscious choice to find these memories on my devices. I didn’t know where they’d be, but I knew they were somewhere. Then, I found them. I found pictures and videos alike, all of which took me right back to that time when I was falling in love with her. For months I asked myself, “What the hell was I thinking in marrying her?” I got my answer.
Pictures and videos have a way of taking you back in time, where you can remember exactly what you were thinking. And I remembered. I remembered it well. That girl I married, that beautiful bride… I do believe she’s still in there somewhere. It’s buried under anger and pain, just like it was with me, but she’s in there somewhere.
Look, I’m not saying I can get her back. I don’t think I can. Her mind is quite made up, and nothing will ever change that. In fact, I’m not even saying I’m going to try to get her back. What I’m saying is: I still made a vow, and I must be loyal to that vow regardless if she wants me to. It has to be a distant, impersonal kind of loyalty, but loyalty nonetheless, at least until enough time has passed where my debt has been paid. Plus, she’s the mother of my child, which builds upon the obligation.
I owe it to her to remember who I married. For the sake of my vows, and for the sake of our daughter, I owe her that much. I abandoned our marriage, in my mind, just as quickly as she abandoned it physically. That’s not what a true husband would do. We may not ever be together again, but I know for a fact we can be friends again. At minimum, I should never have allowed myself to be less than her friend after we separated.
She’s a very lovable person. Neither of us changed… We made our hearts run and hide.
If you’re struggling in your marriage right now, man or woman, the first thing you have to do is just remember them. Don’t ever forget who you fell in love with. Don’t change who they are in your mind. I’m not saying all problems can be resolved, but what I am saying is that more often than not, you just need to remember who melted your heart, and that is always the best starting point.