The other day we were sitting on the front steps of the porch. Sommer turned to me and asked, “Mommy, is it raining?” I thought about that question as the rain fell around us. I thought about the many times my marriage was falling apart. Like Sommer, I could feel and see the obvious, but instead of recognizing what was happening I continued to ask myself, “Is this really happening to me?”
I stayed in my marriage for 16 years. I took my vows very seriously and every time the storms came I weathered them. After every infidelity I told myself two very conflicting things: 1. That it wasn’t going to deter me from trying to save my marriage. 2. That the next time would be the last time. Every woman who is in the middle of an unhealthy marriage knows that it’s more comfortable to change your expectations than your life. So, I settled for less and less and as the years went by I became comfortable sitting in the rain.
A few weeks back a good friend told me that I’d never looked happier. She said that she was waiting for the day her husband leaves so that she could be happy too. I understand her completely because for me, back then, there would have never been a next/last time. I did everything I could and kept my promise to never give up. I earned my way out of this marriage when he left us. And, I’m glad it was he who walked out.
When my ex walked out the door it tore my world apart. But it didn’t tear me apart. I realize today that it hurt so badly because he was walking out with 16 years of my dreams that I could never get back. Yeah, every woman who gets left for another woman suffers and yes, we all say we gave him everything. The reality is, we’re wrong. I didn’t give him everything because when he walked out the door, he didn’t walk out with my heart. He left it trampled, broken, and nearly lifeless, but he left it. THANK GOD.
After 16 years of commitment to one man I am finally what I never thought I’d be. I’m divorced. Like many other women before me, and unfortunately, many others to come, I survived it. I like to think I’m pretty much intact, but that’s what this sitting on my porch is for, to help me make some sense out of this experience. That, and writing. I could end with a cliche about rain, but I won’t. I will end by saying this: if it’s falling from the clouds and its wet, honey, it is definitely raining. Get some cover.