Tuesday, 04 May 2010
Two months ago, I agreed to stop fighting for my marriage. At the time, I thought I’d fall apart.
When Mike first said he wanted a divorce, last October, I had a bit of a breakdown. It took a couple of days, but one morning I started to cry and couldn’t stop for the next five hours. I texted Mike to come home so that he could take care of Cavanaugh and/or me. I told him I didn’t think I could survive a divorce, that I wasn’t sure I’d live through it.
He hung around and gave me time. Though I thought we were still working on the marriage, I believe he was done back then, that the attempts at dating or just bridging the chasm between us were out of obligation and kindness. I am grateful for that.
Even though I felt blindsided two months ago, I had already processed some level of loss, the fears about what would happen if the marriage was really over.
Happily, most of the fears were just those awful demons that dance around in our heads. The sky is not falling. The sun still rises too early in the morning. And I get through many days with less than five minutes of tears, some days with none at all.
No one could have gotten me to believe I would feel this okay just sixty days in to a new life I didn’t think I wanted. That’s not true. I thought often about wanting a life without Mike.
But I’d get scared. Or I’d think about our vows and my parents divorce and how I swore I would never get one. The biggest thing though was that I kept asking myself if I loved him. And the answer was always yes.
I still do love him. But I was asking the wrong question. I believe now that love is not enough, not even close.
Mike and I fought so hard to stay together. We fought with each other, against other people. We compromised ourselves until neither of us had the life we wanted. Bud did I love him? Yep.
And I grew up on romance novels, still am happily entertained by schlocky romantic comedies (okay, not right now, but I will be again). I was so invested in believing that love conquers all. One of my favorite scenes from Princess Bride is when Wesley and Princess Buttercup are reunited after tumbling down a steep and long hill.
Wesley: “Can you move at all?”
Princess Buttercup: “Move. You’re alive. If you want I can fly.”
Wesley: “I told you I would always come for you. Why didn’t you wait for me?”
Princess Buttercup: “Well, you were dead.”
Wesley: “Death can not stop true love. All it can do is delay it for awhile.”
Princess Buttercup: “I will never doubt again.”
Man, did I buy that idea. I didn’t want to doubt Mike or our love. And how different could a farm boy and a princess be? If they could make it, with all that Mike and I had in common, of course we could.
But I wasn’t considering all that we didn’t have in common and how hard we were having to fight to try to stay together. He said over and over, “It shouldn’t be this hard.”
I didn’t want it to be that hard either, but I thought that even if it was hard, as long as we loved each other, we should keep fighting. Does that sound as crazy to you as it does to me? Because it wasn’t just fighting for our relationship, it was fighting each other over who got what they wanted, who got let down, who felt guilty.
So, sixty days after Mike said he still loved me but he didn’t want to be married to me anymore, I feel relief most days. Negotiating who we’re going to be to each other now and if we’ll actually be able to pull off a friendship is challenging. But most days, there’s not fighting.
I had no idea how tired I was of fighting. No matter how much love there was, or how good our intentions, it just shouldn’t have been that hard.
Where do you stand on the love conquers all/love is not question? How has it played out in your life?
Post from MamaTRUE