It struck me just this week, that this month would have been my fifth wedding anniversary – we had been together ten years at that point. Five years since I joined in matrimony to the woman I thought was to be my first and only love, the only woman I would wake up to for the rest of my life, the only woman I would ever be intimate with. Yet our paper anniversary was to be the only one we celebrated.
Before the advent of our cotton anniversary, the marriage was at an end. Just 18 months into our marriage she would commence an emotional affair with a man she met online. He lives in another country and they would not meet until about a year after they first made contact. Though we would not file for divorce for another 8-9 months in which time I would rekindle a long-distance friendship (and crush) with Miss X, my now ex-wife went into a psychiatric hospital for four weeks and we would begin couples counselling when she came out.
I remember the session where we decided it was over: it was actually something like a week before our second anniversary. That night, despite saying it was over, my ex-wife cried all over me and said she couldn’t bear the thought of never seeing me again. Later on, she would ask if I thought “we” were doing the right thing. I came to believe I would never be with anyone again on two grounds.
- Nobody had ever wanted me (my ex-wife said she’d never been in love with me) so nobody ever would
- The mixed messages I received from my ex-wife and from Miss X were harrowing and I felt at that point, fairly typical of how women act. I was in a right state and didn’t want to be with anyone for a while
I could never have guessed that any of this had happened in the five years since I said “I do”. Despite all that happened, the breakdowns, the anti-depressants, the near suicide, I wouldn’t change one last second of it. I wouldn’t change the self-discovery, I wouldn’t change the therapy, I wouldn’t change the amazing people I met dating some of whom I am still in contact with now: Little Red, Miss Outdoors, Bookworm, Ubergeek, Indiechick, Mischief and of course Mirror Image. I wouldn’t change the self-employment, the hard graft and the sense of achievement. I wouldn’t change learning to put a value on myself and not putting myself second for a woman again nor put up with feeling my desires and needs are irrelevant. I wouldn’t change a moment of it.
What I probably imagined was that my ex-wife and I would have had a fresh start somewhere new, both of us would have good jobs and we would be as strong as we had been for the last 15 years. 15 years, wow time flies! But you know what they say – life is what happens when you had other plans.