Life gets royally fucked up from time to time. That’s an unfortunate yet unavoidable certainty. Human beings make mistakes. We aren’t enlightened creatures who possess the answers to all of life’s trials, challenges, and tests. Humans are really good at fucking up even the simplest things. Love, for example. But that’s not really fair, is it? Love is just as easy as it is intrinsically complex. It is natural but muddy. Love is the central focus of my life, and I make just as many mistakes in love as anyone else does. Cleaning up the mess is humbling.
The only person living your life is you.
I married the wrong person. I tried to tell myself that was the right decision even as I knew in the back of my mind and in my heart that it was wrong. Some days I want to tell myself hindsight is 20 20 and other times I beat myself up for not taking action when I saw the signs of failure. When you’re in a situation, it’s a lot harder to see the outside no matter what your friends, family, and other loved ones think or feel. But at the end of the day, the only person living your life is you. So the next best thing to being an enlightened creature with all the answers is accepting your mistakes and cleaning up your fucked up messes. Breathe through the pain and start again. It doesn’t have to be so terrible. It doesn’t have to be endless pain, depression, anxiety, hurt, and an insurmountable trial that will tear you to shreds. It’s a lesson.
My husband was addicted to pornography, lacked focus, lacked emotion and empathy, and lacked direction. I attributed all of this to how he was raised, and maybe a bit to the stark contrast between us as people. If I could just show him how life could be with love and goals and meaningful interpersonal relationships, he would want it for himself. He always agreed with and went along with this sentiment, supplying his own excuses for why he behaved the way he did. My life experiences made me a bit ignorant to his. I didn’t understand why he wanted to be the way he was. He wanted an answer as much as I did, wanted things to be easy. We agreed to fight the battle together. We were as prepared as we could be for the battle. But the bottom line here is that I believed I could mend his shortcomings and make him into the person I wanted him to be. It’s a romantic notion to want to make someone else’s life better, but the truth of the matter is that that isn’t your life to control. And even if it was, sometimes problems run deeper than one person can see. Or in this case, the two of us.
Life can throw some fastball curveball death ball pitches, and no matter how good at the game you are, sometimes when you swing your hardest most focused swing you still miss. More often than not, in fact, that’s reality. Reality can be a real bitch. And I’ll get straight to the point here. Hubs and I informally separated after about 9 months of marriage, both of us too weak to overcome the issues that stood in our way. He couldn’t emote, he couldn’t remember the little things or the big things, I was rigid about what I needed from him. We stayed together in the same house, the same bed, but stopped doing things together. Sometimes we would have good times together and I would feel my hopes raise, but it was never long lived. But then we learned a new piece of information, vivid and damning. Hard truths always hit home.
My husband suffers with paranoid schizophrenia. The problems I wanted to fix with love and starry-eyed optimism ran much deeper than either of us realized. There was the reason he couldn’t emote. There was the reason he had such a hard time controlling himself. All the transgressions had a neat little category to go in, and when he said he was officially done trying to make things work with me, that he felt incapable of ever making me happy, I let him go. I didn’t want to fight against nature and the reality that neither of us were happy in this relationship. No one wants to fall into the stereotype and get married and divorced in their 20’s, but fighting in misery and hurt and hopelessness doesn’t work, either. It never will. As far as the end is concerned, it couldn’t have gone much better.
We are going to be best friends instead. I will help him with all the things I promised I would in marriage, and he will do the same for me. Passionate love isn’t for us, but the impact we have had on each other is invaluable. He has given me so much pain and hurt, he’s given me experiences I wouldn’t trade away for anything. So much good and so much bad in 5 short years of sharing our lives. I am grateful and humbled by the results of my actions and his, too. We have actions and consequences in this life, and when we pay attention and get lucky, we get lessons, too. I will always be learning. Always learning and growing in love. Love will always be everything in all its forms and shapes and applications.
When love ends, new love can begin.
I believe in my bones that that is for me as much as it is for my husband. Everything is going to be okay no matter how hard it is to start over again. But start over we shall.