Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. Ironically, this week has marked the sixth month since I filed for divorce from my wife of eight years. Legally speaking, though I have not gotten the final judgment yet, I'm a free man, but in reality I am just as much a prisoner as I was before I filed for divorce, just in a different way.
Forget what you may or may not know about the dissolution of my marriage. Forget the way you feel about it, and forget that I am now able to find some one else if I choose.
The thing I want you to remember is that I loved my wife dearly, and I still do. I built my life around her, not because it was easy, but because I felt I was meant to be with her. I felt that I had a future with her, and that our lives would be spent at one another's side.
Despite the sadness I some times felt because of her, the loneliness that I sometimes felt when near her, I feel those things more keenly now than I did when I was with her. She made me feel complete, and I miss her.
I was never good at being romantic, nor was I ever truly able to celebrate my love for her on Valentine's Day or our anniversary, because I was and continue to be forever in debt with out any money. I've always done my best to meet our needs first, but some how, the little things always got lost in the shuffle.
That's not to say I didn't show her my love. Perhaps I didn't send her flowers on a regular basis, but she could count on me to get things done for her. Perhaps I didn't whisper "sweet nothings" in her ears, but I would bend over backwards to get anything she needed. Perhaps we didn't have many romantic getaways together, but when we did, I was not frugal. When our son was born, I did not leave her side, not even to eat.
Why then shouldn't I mourn the loss of my marriage?
Though I was the one that filed the paperwork, she and I both will tell you that she had ended our marriage already. Truly we were just living together, sharing the same bed, and raising our son together as opposed to living as husband and wife. We both knew it, though we tried going through the motions, trying to make the best of it, mostly for the other's sake.
For years I've wondered what I did wrong or what was I missing that caused the things to work out the way they did. Yes, that's right for those of you that don't know, years, though I've only been away from her for 10 months now. I'm not going to delve down that path, but needless to say my leaving for Detroit wasn't the blow that ended our marriage, it was more the acknowledgment of the end we both knew had already occurred. I couldn't put an exact date on it if I tried, but our marriage had already been over by the time I packed up my car and drove back here to Detroit last year.
It's over. It really is over.
I'm afraid to admit to myself that I'm right back in the same place that I found myself ten years ago: alone, and without any prospect of that changing. The worst part is that as much as I might want to find someone else to be with, I'm not even sure I want to, and that saddens me further.
I've always been a believer in the romantic belief that love is truly all you need. It was always my intention to be the best damned husband I could be, and the best man I could be. What do I do? What do I feel when that just isn't good enough?
Eight years is a long time to put into a marriage, into a relationship, and to watch helplessly as it falls apart... I'm not sure I can put myself through that again. I'm not sure I can trust someone else like that again.
And yet, my one true fear in this life is dying alone.
I wish that I had some expression to express the sadness and depression I feel. I wish that I knew some mysterious or enigmatic phrase to express the loss and grief within me.
But my words fail me.