The last several weeks have given me an important opportunity. I’ve had the opportunity for the very first time to look back at my marriage that ended almost two years ago with a fresh set of eyes and a brand new perspective.
I saw a post earlier today that said it perfectly. I don’t know who the original author or creator of it is or I would give them credit. I found the post on a friend and fellow blogger’s Facebook Page Lessons from the End of a Marriage.
The words above resonate with me in a new way that I hadn’t understood before. I knew my ex was broken, that he had his demons who literally kept him awake at night and kept him masking his brokeness through self medication and a facade he never took off. I knew I always felt responsible for his happiness, dancing a thousand steps a minute trying to make sure he was comfortable, that he was not upset, that he was happy or at least as happy as he would allow himself. I feel I spent the last half of our marriage trying my hardest to save him from himself. Turns out, I never had a choice in the matter. He was bound and determined to self destruct and thank goodness I had the smarts to get out when I did.
I’m in a fantastic relationship now with a man who isn’t broken and doesn’t need me to fix him. The relationship that is unfolding with The Gentleman is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. The Gentleman is confident and caring, he is a provider and a protector. I feel safe with him, he feels like home to me and we both feel like we bring the same amount to the relationship – no one is giving more than the other, we are easy and simple with each other and it’s flipping fabulous. We are falling so deeply and completely for one another that you couldn’t slap the smiles off of our faces.
With my ex there were always secrets. There were always things we couldn’t talk about because they made him uncomfortable or would embarrass him. There were always things I couldn’t tell other people for fear they might cause him to become upset. There were always things to hide. I am appalled looking back at how normal that became. How is it possible that I allowed myself to be such a victim with him and allow him so much power over my happiness? How did I fool myself into thinking I was happy in something other than complete honestly and communication? How did I allow myself to get hoodwinked into twenty years in a marriage that was based on deception and half truths? How did I not recognize him for the downright dirty scoundrel criminal he is? The more important question is WHY? Why did I not value myself enough to expect better from my partner? Why did I care so little about my own happiness?
The Gentleman is an open book. What I see is what I get, he talks openly and honestly and we have had many, many open conversations and have gone deep dive into our pasts and the things that have made us tick, lessons learned, mistakes made – the good, the bad, and the sometimes ugly. We are reveling in this peeling back of the layers of one another and falling deeper into what we find there. The Gentleman is a man of virtue and self-respect who has a singular direction on his moral compass.
If I’m honest, a small part of me is waiting for the other boot to drop, for him to peel off the mask and show me who he really is underneath and I will have to decide if it’s a deal breaker or not. I know deep down that these are the thoughts of a wounded heart, not a real indication of the man he is. My heart is still limping into the trust arena and it needs more time to allow him to prove he is all he is showing me and more….the even better kind of more.
I have to remind myself to slow down….a lot. I have to remind myself that this is the best, most fun part of a new relationship and by pumping any level of negativity or doubt into this time I’m not only doing a disservice to myself, I’m doing a disservice to us as a new couple falling in love. I have such a hard time getting out of my own way and just letting myself feel the joy and happiness. This brain won’t shut off and that wounded heart has a loud internal monologue.
But I’m working on quieting the noise so I can more fully enjoy the stillness. Because the stillness with The Gentleman is pretty great and I don’t want to miss a moment of it.