"I guess I'll never see the light. I get the blues every night since I fell for you," sings Gladys Knight back in the 60's. That was when I met my husband, from whom I'm divorcing in just a matter of weeks.
I want to say that I never wanted this to happen, that I wanted to stay married the rest of my life to the love of my life. Don't we all? Today I mourn a broken relationship more than the separation from my spouse.
It didn't happen over night. Our sacred pact was destroyed by little pebbles that were thrown into our relationships over the years. These little situations and occasions ended up loading down our hearts until neither one of us could move without weighing the down the other. And slowly, oh so slowly, those pebbles broke the back of our relationship and marriage.
I personally wanted us to remain a couple until the children were raised. And we did. But so many of those years were unhappy ones for me. My husband and I had nothing to talk about other than our children. There were many meals we sat down to eat either at home or in a restaurant, and we absolutely had nothing to say to one another.
If we could just hang in there for a few more years, I thought, the kids would not be damaged. But we had five children who were in the home from 1968 to 2006, so those few more years became decades until finally after nearly 42 years, we separated.
And even waiting that long to announce the dissolution of our marriage to our children did cause our children sorrow, especially our youngest, newly out of high school. He lost not only the couple who had been his parents, but also his home where he had lived all his life. Today neither I nor my ex-husband live in that city, so he is like a man without a home now. His father lives with his sister in Nevada, and I live alone in one room and bathroom, sharing the rest of the house with a variety of people.
I also can't help but feel guilt that my unhappiness in our marriage carried over into my disposition as a mother. For so many years, I was unhappy and overburdened. My frustrations and melancholy came through when I talked to my children on a daily basis. We were not your All American Family, although that was also something this young newly wed nearly 45 years ago thought we would be.
Additionally we weren't bad people. We were church-going folks who valued family and community. We did not have addiction problems. We both worked hard, and sometimes our work became our escape, I think, from each other, and thus our children, as well.
I don't think I'll ever marry again. I was made to be a quiet person who finds peace in a solitary life with not too many deadlines or stress. My ex wants to marry again, to have a new partner who will be with him for the rest of his life. He continues to look. I continue to try to forgive myself and him, to see a future with new and exciting possibilities.
I write tonight because I hurt. I hurt because I'm burying a relationship that was supposed to last into our heavenly days. We would have been laid to rest side by side just as we had spent the many decades before in our double bed. Now we're about to be singles again, no longer a couple.
We'll see one another at family events like our son's wedding this summer. Maybe we'll even have a dance or old time's sake. But when the cake is all gone and our son and his new wife leave for their honeymoon, we will each go our own way into our new lives, not perfect lives, but better ones than if we had stayed together for all eternity.
My congrats to all those whose marriages do make it. My sympathy to those who are fearful about leaving dead marriages. If you do muster the courage to end something that is rotting your lives, walk away.
It won't be easy, but sometimes that's the only way to save yourselves.