I am divorcing my best friend, and since we don’t feel like tearing our throats out, our close(and just close by association) loved ones seem to have taken the position of us (me) just taking the easy way out.
Let’s talk about the easy way. I am married, albeit living under separate roofs. The easy way would be to put this all behind us, ask him to move in with me and just call it a lesson learned. The easy way would be to ignore the fact that we have different wants and NEEDS from our lives. We have an amazing son together who occasionally asks awkward questions like “Why can’t we move back to our old home?” or “Why can’t Daddy live here?” In what universe is explaining to your 4 year old that his parents aren’t going to live together ever again anything other than completely awful?
My ex, is a wonderful, caring person. He has never cheated on me, has never hit me, and has actually stood by me during some pretty scary stuff. He was my best friend for years before anything ever happened between us so we are basically compatible. But those are not enough.
I was raised religious and so my moral code is loosely based on the Judeo Christian belief system, and marriage is the most important decision a Good Christian makes. I was on the fast track to hell; following my own path, not going to church, only seeing my family once or twice a year. When the nicest boy in my scary group of friends became my boyfriend, then fiancé a huge sigh of relief was heard through the Cross Family Halls. I would marry a nice, Catholic boy, with good, strong family lines, and who lived in a respectable neighborhood. Megan, the poor girl with the speckled past really found herself a winner, someone to help her grow up and realize how to much more successful you can be when you aren’t a walking sore thumb. Megan can finally be turned into someone to talk about without shame.
I tried. I really tried. I wanted so badly to be normal. I wanted to be a shining example of a life not fucked up. I wanted to show the world, my sisters, that no matter what life throws at you, there’s your happy ending waiting for you. Every sad childhood deserves to have their Prince/Princess swoop in and make your life better just by existing. The Ex, was 100% willing to get the title of Knight in Shining Armor. Socially awkward, only ever dated one girl in high school, who he never even kissed. Conquering the damaged girl was his key to life.
Marry and tame her, mold her to the perfect wife for the life you want, live up the standards you have been raised to want. His older brother had gone off the beaten path, and this was his chance to show his family he was a force to be recognized. He is truly grown, purposely choosing a harder life than he needs to have. Look how worthy he is. I feel it very important to mention what they say about a Knight with Shiny Armor. Intentions don’t always bring the results you hope.
Sure. When this was happening, there was the nerves and the excitement of dating someone new, especially when it was someone not new. I’m not saying that we didn’t want to date each other, but we both early on made conscious decisions to ignore the red flags telling us that we were not compatible relationship-wise long term. We loved each other, we got along great, so why wouldn’t we make a great couple? What 20 year olds don’t know better than anyone else?
The following is a hard concept for my family to grasp, and rightfully so since it is a hard concept to be living in. I married my best friend, not the love of my life. The love we feel for each other is incredibly real, and strong. It has carried us through a decade of craziness. If we were in the right relationships right here is where I would say “We have made it through so much together, it’s made our love that much stronger!” complete with starry eyed smiles. I can’t say that, it would be a lie.
I was raised by the bible and after school move specials. God is supposed to swoop in and bring the right person to you as soon as you’re done with high school and you get to live happily ever after. Being an adult has taught me the sad truth. I hope God exists, it’d be depressing to fully give in to the idea that we’re not special, and we don’t have some great purpose in our lives to either ignore or fulfill. We fit the equation. Neither one of us has done ::anything:: wrong to each other, and we get along fine, so why not just make it work. It’s a pleasant life, comfortable, uneventful, calm.
Calm. Passionless. Drama-less.
I cannot convince myself that I am just ordinary. I might sound self-deprecating at every turn, but I do not know how to not believe in my dreams. I do not know how to live a life where I just blend in like everyone else. I believe I am supposed to be important.
The life I dream of might not be the life you dream of, but since I’m the one that has to experience it, my opinion should come first right? I want to be an artist. Writer, painter, sculptor, whatever. I want to live a life where I know that everything in my life has come from passion and hard work. A house filled with laughter and music, and creativity. I don’t want a big house, or a lot of money, I actually think that would take away from my quality of life. I want comfortable, and bright, and noisy and happy. I want to be surrounded by people that can life my mood when I’m grumpy, just because they exist.
The life I’m walking away from is quiet. Peaceful. Predictable. If I were to stay married I would have constant companionship, and would eventually lead a very comfortable life. Eventually I will get to give up pursuits outside of the house and my time can be spent parenting and shopping. Career? As a hobby after the kids are raised and you’re bored. Quirky? Tone that shiz down, no one wants a spectacle. Become a lady, like bad books, watch horrible movies and have deep conversations about them. Your family is bad, lets make fun of their lifestyle and decisions (even though we can’t even imagine an afternoon in their shoes), aren’t you glad you’re better than them now? I’m not better than them. I am just like them, my dream life just looks different than theirs. And yours.
The easiest thing I could do is stay. If I stay married, I know exactly what my life will become. My friendship will disintegrate to distain. I’ll be talked into another physically demanding pregnancy where I feel alone and sick but afraid to slow down. Everything special and different about me will be shaved down to nothing. Eventually, I will cheat on him. I will never feel strong emotions of anything except shame and disgust. We will hate each other, and my children will never know what romantic love looks like. Just like their parents.
I am not staying. By us making the decision to divorce each other, we are NOT taking “The Easy Way Out”. We are realizing that our clumsy, childish definitions of love are flawed, and neither one of us deserve the love we can offer each other. Marriage means unconditional love. He cannot love me without a list of conformities to make me the right wife for him. I cannot love him without my own requirements for a happy life. We are the wrong people for each other.
We are the wrong people for each other. I want to spend my life with the right person for me. I want my son to know what real love looks like. I want to know what real love looks like. Butterflies forever.
Right now, my hope is still intact. Being a single mom feels right to me. The title fits me better than wife ever did. I have a bright pink, yellow and orange bedroom. I am excited to officially not be married anymore, to have my name changed for a fifth time in my life (Different story, different time). To shout out to the world I have looked myself in the eyes and said “Yes. I love myself. No change needed.” I dream of a knock on the door or my window and to have Mr. Right sweep me into his arms and kiss me so hard I’m dizzy. I smoke, I have bright pink hair and am completely flawed. I believe that there is someone out there who will see me exactly as I am and not say “I can fix that” but instead see me and go “Perfect.”
Failure is not an option. I will lead the life I want. We will be happy. My son will grow up loving his life and having a great family. Love will win. There will be no bad guy in our ever after, we will defeat the odds of unhappy endings, and we will all have the life we dream of.
Happily Ever After. Too bad in order to get it, we had to make the hardest decision ever.