Marriage and Relationships – Does happily ever after truly exist?

 

It is April 27, 2017, 3 days from now, April 30th would have been Marvin Osman’s 54th birthday. He passed away on August 12th, 2016.

It not only changed our lives forever but made me realize a few things about the marriage and relationship we had as husband and wife.

These thoughts also played through my mind when I found out today that the person I got involved with during our separation was possibly getting divorced.  I was petty, cruel, selfish and didn’t care about anyone or anything at that time, not even my own self. That relationship ended over a year ago but the feelings of being a part of the betrayal between a couple won’t go away no matter how much forgiveness I ask from the universe so it will continue to be with me probably for the rest of my life.  I asked her to forgive me when it ended and she told me “…I hope you find peace and happiness”  She is a good person, a good woman who deserves so much better.  I prayed for her today.

Marvin and I actually met in 1994 at a private vocational school we were both attending the same class.  I didn’t like him.  He was brash, cocky and arrogant. He considered himself a “ladies” man and couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t interested.  About half way through the program he left and never came back.

Then 3 years later I was working for a car rental company and the floor manager told us one day that the new branch manager and team moving into our building was coming up to visit the floor. I was a corporate reservations specialist and dealt mainly with insurance companies and their rentals.  I was getting ready to head out with another specialist to the smoke hole for our break when this big group came walking in.  The president, vice-president, division manager, branch manager and the new team.  I was passing by when I saw him and knew he looked familiar.  So I stopped and asked him his name.  He looked really perplexed why I just interrupted the president of our company’s presentation. I was so focused on getting to my cigarette break with my friend, I was oblivious to everything going on. He gave me his name and I just kind of shrugged like oh okay then left.  My floor manager had a talk with me after my break because she was so embarrassed.  Oh well everyone survived my social blunder and that’s how things started between us.

He spent the next month trying to figure out my name and it turned into a game with our section because it was mainly single women.  No one would tell him.  He was persistent and I finally broke down one day when we were on a smoke break and reminded him of where we first met.  That’s when he remembered.  He asked me out shortly thereafter.  Three weeks after our first date we were engaged and three months later we went to Vegas and got married.  Even now almost 20 years later it doesn’t seem real.

One day you’re just moving along and the next thing you know there is someone who means so much to you that you want to spend the rest of your life with them.

That sums up every relationship I’ve ever been in.  One day we meet, start talking then we are together every single moment that can be squeezed out of time.  It became this intoxicating, overwhelming, powerful, passionate thing that had a mind of its own.  No one was in control of it and no one could contain it.  Until it finally burned out on its own.

The reality of the relationship started settling in somewhere along the way and they would realize that I wasn’t what they hoped I would be, that I wouldn’t change who I was for them or they got in way over their heads and weren’t ready for forever.  It has always been funny to me that not once in any relationship did I ever mention forever, they always did that on their own and then regretted it later.

I could never see why they were expecting some sort of change?  I liked them perfectly fine the way they were, flaws, faults and behavior quirks all of it. Sometimes those were the things that attracted me to them in the first place.  Some were awkward and shy like me but for some reason their egos would get this boost from the relationship making me no longer appealing to them.  Yet I was still the same person from beginning to end.

I never expected anything from them except companionship.  Just be there with me until it was time to let go.  There was once this guy who would tell me that he felt like I had put a spell on him and he didn’t know what to do so he had to stop seeing me.  He did and then kept coming back saying the same thing.  I finally had to end it because it was just becoming a ridiculous waste of time.  And they say women are crazy?

So as I was sitting there today going back over some journal entries I made last year I came upon a letter I wrote to Marvin shortly before what would have been our 19th wedding anniversary.   I spent from 2013 to 2016 mourning the death of my marriage and thought that I was finally moving past it when he suddenly left us.  I wasn’t over my grief yet and now I would never get answers to things that happened between us.  I wasn’t going to get the closure that I was seeking.

This is only a small part of what I wrote:

“October 11, 2016 …Despite finding out some things that I didn’t know about our marriage, I was angry and upset but do know it wasn’t all your fault, we both failed at being husband & wife.  We didn’t know how to fix it and gave up along the way.  It was easier to give up than face our own faults and shortcomings.  The only regret I have is that I never stood up to you when the cruelty of your words or actions came at me.  I should have stood firmer and maybe things would have changed.  I know this but don’t know if you did.  I’ll never know that and that’s the hard part.  We didn’t know how to communicate our feelings to each other.  We didn’t know how to tell each other what we wanted.

Now I face daily challenges that I haven’t faced in over two years, being a mom again…managing and maintaining a house instead of an apartment.  All the while trying to move through the mourning and grief for a person that brought me so much pain that I cried myself to sleep every night for 7 years.  A person that I longed to be with during our marriage but was shut out by him over 7 years ago.  I still kept that hope that it would get better.  I kept it until I finally had to face the fact that the marriage had died and it wasn’t going to be revived. I had to let go.  I have to let go now but struggling. 

I don’t know if you can hear me but I did love you.  You asked me to marry you and become your wife.  It was all I ever wanted, to be a wife and mom.  I almost had that but it wasn’t meant to be.  I’m sorry for the hurt I caused you by being with another person.  I never meant to hurt you.  I was hurting and lashed out when you quit paying attention to me and stopped caring, it wasn’t right and nothing I ever did afterward would make up for the trust that was broken and no longer there.  I hope your soul found peace and happiness. I hope you found her, the woman you were in love with all those years and that you get to spend eternity with her.  I will do my best to raise our family and keep them going in the direction we wanted them to go.  I can only hope they do better in their relationships than we did.”  

“…All those times you helped me, I didn’t forget, I was struggling to find a way to give it back to you.  I didn’t want to be a burden to you any longer.  I felt so bad about it that fueled the anxiety and depression even more.  Even now, those thoughts keep popping up in my mind, despite the fact that you are not here.  I’m struggling to let things go.”

“…So tomorrow is another day.  Another day to keep moving forward.  Another day to start over.  I can only hope and pray that I will manage through all this.  I’ve started losing the hope that there is someone else out there for me.  I feel like that it was not meant to be for me.  That’s okay.  I was born alone into this world and I will die the same way.  We are all the same when it comes to our own mortality.  Some are luckier than others because they found that special someone to share their life with.  Some of us will not have that same fortune.  I can only stand back and watch with envy those that get to share their life with someone else.”

“…your death changed me.  It helped me realize the importance of communication.  It made me think about who I want in my life and the impossible standards they will have to meet which helped me realize that I may be alone.  You made me realize the importance of knowing when to let go if it’s not working.  I don’t think there is anyone out there that can ever meet these expectations and I’m not willing to bend or at least not yet.  So I will have to face being alone if that’s what it comes to.  That’s ok and I can accept that.  It’s on my own terms.”

“…you made me realize the importance of telling our children that we love them.  They know you loved them and I won’t let them forget that.”

“…things will get better with time.  I have to learn patience which is hard for me.  It requires self-discipline and self-control over my thoughts and actions.  I know I can be better.  I know that things don’t last forever and I should stop every once and awhile, smell the roses, feel the wind on my face, listen to the birds chirping and feel the warmth of the sun because that’s all we have, small moments that carry us throughout our life…” 

“…moments that become a part of who we are or who we want to be.  You will always be a part of my life.  I won’t forget you.”

After looking through the letter I wrote to him and the countless other letters to the people that filtered in and out of my life.  I finally realized that it’s okay to be alone.  It gives me time to grow and learn as a person.  It’s good to know what your boundaries and limits are to develop them so they can keep you safe.

The men that came into and out of my life weren’t all bad, the only bad part was not knowing what we really wanted from each other.  We should have been forthright from the beginning, it would have saved us from the frustration, heartache and tears that inevitably happened.

So is there a happily ever after out there waiting for me? I don’t know.

I’ve made so many mistakes when it came to relationships that I sometimes feel that it is better if I stay alone so no one else will get hurt.

All I can do is get up each day, feel the warmth of the sunrise, take a deep breath in and out, take in the sounds of everything coming to life around me and keep moving forward.

Keep moving forward with the same hope, faith and belief that’s carried me this far.

The same hope, faith and belief that keeps my heart, open, guarded but open to the possibility of finding love because without love there’s no humanity, without humanity then what’s the point?

Thank you for stopping by.

Have a good weekend!

Suzanne

 

 

 

 

 

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