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Is It Raining?

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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.

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  • Glenn Contrarian

    I’m happy to hear your story – and that you’re trying to learn positive lessons from your experience. Just don’t harden your heart too much, because there really is such a thing as true love. I know that sounds trite, but that’s what I’ve got. We’re just under 20 years together, and it was the second time around for both of us, and she had one son from her prior marriage. We still act like lovestruck teenagers in public and private even with the changes of our bodies over the years. To this day I can’t believe how incredibly lucky I am.

    I’m not saying all that to brag, but to encourage you to not give up on love. It’s out there – but I’d leave you a few pieces of advice: don’t settle for just anybody! Be friends first and make sure he’s as good as he seems at first, because men and women tend to make certain mistakes – men marry women assuming that the woman will never change (but they always change!), and women marry men assuming that the man will change for the better (but men never really change).

    That, and I give newlyweds this advice – I tell the groom that whatever he does, don’t stop courting her, because that’s the number one mistake husbands make. If he always courts her just like before they were married – flowers, dates, trips, walks in the park, etc. – it will keep her loving him, and it will keep him from having a wandering eye. Then I tell the bride that whatever she does, don’t let him stop courting you – for the very same reasons I gave the husband!

    i know all this sounds silly and probably not what you wanted to hear when you’re still hurting, but please don’t give up on love – just make sure that whoever he is, that he’s worth your love!