The End is Just the Beginning (Intro Part 2)

The end. I don’t want to write about my marriage as a negative part of my life. I don’t even want to write about the end as a negative event. I consider my marriage a success. We were married for 18 years and it was actually better in the end than it was in the beginning. How many can say that? I wasn’t a happily married woman most of the time, especially the first half. I didn’t accept my role as mom and wife very well. I always wanted to be some place else. I was always dreaming of the future, of getting away. My marriage eventually fell apart to the point that we briefly separated in 2003 or 2004. We never lived apart. But we kept separate bedroom for some time. I don’t think it was long before we were back together, and we never didn’t continue our sexual relationship. In fact, having a bit of autonomy made sex really hot. We eventually resumed our roles and moved back into the same bedroom. No one in our lives was none the wiser.

Things went fairly well after that. I wanted to bail a few times but that wasn’t so unusual. Our biggest issue had always been sex. I didn’t want it. I mean, not so scheduled. It took all the choice out of it. In fact I never felt like I had much of a choice. Sure, I could have said no, but the alternative was a bitchy husband. But what that did was cause resentment. At some point I decided to accept that sex was my contribution to a happy marriage. We all want a happy marriage, right? So I actually quit complaining about my marriage for the most part, had sex from a loving place, and did my best to be a good wife. As long as I was happy, we were good. My husband was dedicated to our family. I was always the one running.

Then a few years ago my best friend stopped talking to me. Just boom, out of what appeared to be no where. I was devastated. He was my sounding board. I felt safe enough to tell him all my crazy. I had a huge hole when he left. My husband actually stepped up and let me grieve the loss. He joked that he never thought he would have to help me through a breakup. It meant the world to me that he considered my feelings and not just any discomfort he had during my friendship. He got bumped to best friend status, first time in our long relationship. In all those years I felt like he didn’t get to have access to the real me. He could never accept the real me, I was sure. And I am sure I was right in that belief. I firmly believe I am not meant for monogamy. I had a very hard time being faithful. I may not have ventured out often physically, but I did emotionally. I tended to get my emotional needs met outside of our marriage.

The last year of our marriage I started learning about polyamory. I felt this was where I would have been if I was starting over. But here I was, in a monogamous marriage. You are probably thinking that I cheated and destroyed our marriage. Nope. Well, not directly. He would say that my cheating DID destroy the marriage and that is valid. But at this time I talked to my husband and we decided to open it up and share another lover. We were solid. What harm could come?

One day he asked for a divorce. He went from being obsessed with shopping vintage motor homes to asking for a divorce. Obviously some sort of midlife crisis. But looking back, I did a lot of damage to our marriage. And honestly, ending it was the best for both of us. It just didn’t happen to end in the midst of a bunch of fighting. Within a few weeks we filed. That was the end and yet the beginning.
Anyone on my facebook page knows I didn’t handle it well. I kept it under wraps until I couldn’t contain it anymore and then I puked my entire load of dirty laundry onto my page for all to see. It was negative. I was hurt. I felt betrayed. I was a stay at home mom for 17 years. I didn’t have a back up plan. I didn’t have anything I wanted to do as a career. I was so lost and hurt.

And I have to say, life didn’t get much easier until he finally could afford to move out, late that summer, about 2 ½ months later. Then everything changed. Everything! We didn’t have to see each other every morning. We didn’t have to interact any more than either of us wanted. It was such a welcome change. I didn’t have to fight with anyone. Exhail.

And then it got really quiet. The weekend he moved out, he also had the kids. So I was in a home all alone for the first time ever. Seriously. We never did anything alone. I never had the house to myself for more than a rare few hours. I was a bit of a mess. I remember crying a lot. That is when I created my list. This is cut and pasted from my actual journal entry my first weekend alone:

So when will I start actively dating? What am I waiting to see in myself to put my profile back up online? And what am I looking for in a long term relationship compared to a short term casual relationship?

For me for short term dating:
I would like to see me enjoying my time alone, rather than dreading it

For me for long term dating:
I would like my divorce final
I would like to see me enjoying my time alone, rather than dreading it

What I want in a short term mate:
Sexually compatible
Wants to spend time with me when possible and looks forward to it

What I want in a long term mate:
Sexually compatible
Wants to spend time with me when possible
Gives me space
Not possessive of me, ok with sharing me but knows I am primarily with him
Passionate about something
Feminist
Progressive in politics
Supportive of my freedom, desires, exploration of life after marriage

I survived that first weekend. When the second weekend approached, the anxiety started to build. It was Labor Day weekend. That Thursday the anxiety was bringing me to tears on a regular basis. I was emailing with an old friend of mine. He stopped me and virtually slapped me. He said something like, “Michelle, I would give my left nut for your weekend. You can do anything you want. You could go to a strange city and just walk around if you wanted. From my understanding, you’re not in financial ruins, you have a roof over your head, you have nothing to really be anxious about.” He was right. His “slap” snapped me out of it completely. I stopped crying and I had a wonderful weekend, a lot of the time being with myself. I was ok. I enjoyed my alone time. That was quick! Thanks to a good friend setting me straight, because that is what a good friend does, I had conquered my fear of being alone. I was ready! My end was my beginning.

Now that I have you sort of caught up, let me explain how I intend to use this blog. I will not use this blog to bash my ex husband. If you meet me in real life, I will tell you he is a fine man. We all just do the best we can. He did what was actually best for both of us.

I am exploring a lot of new things in my life. I want to post as things arise, but I also need to go back and cover a lot of the journey so far. I want my journey to make sense, so it is like you are on the journey with me. Yet I don’t hold on to stories well. So what I am saying is, I have no fucking clue how to do that. But I hope you bear with me as I figure it out.

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