Funny, what inspired my thought on this was a question I heard on Family Fued, which I will get to in a moment. Forgive me for what may be just a jumble of thoughts that come pouring out all at once, by no means am I a writer and when I do have an inspiring thought I’m generally busy. So I’ll do my best to keep you with me!
I met my wife when she was 16 and I was 20. She dated my friend and I ended up dating her friend, 18 by the way. We all hung out all the time, went to shows,clubs, downtown Orlando. We just had a lot of good times. Her friend and I were an on again off again kind of couple and after a couple years we packed up our belongings and decided we were moving to Minneapolis where another friend lived. The next day we were on the road…except for my girlfriend as we were “off” at the time.
This is when I got to know her, my friends girlfriend, and no it’s not as bad as it sounds. We managed to find a place a couple days after we got there and we all got jobs almost immediately, except her. I worked the 3-11 shift at a place called Annie’s parlor in uptown Minneapolis. Everyone else worked days so she and I would hang out during the day. We became friends, real, true friends. There was nothing else happening there but our friendship did grow stronger. After 4 or 5 months we grew homesick and decided to head back. We had no apartment so she moved in with her grandmother, her boyfriend back home and I was just kind of winging it… her grandmother had a spare room so I moved in and we all started back again. Hanging out doing our thing, even my ex and I got back together.
After a few months they broke up and my girlfriend and I were on our way out as well. I decided to get away again for a couple weeks and took a trip to Virginia where I was from. Got a bus ticket and my soon to be wife dropped me off at the station. It’s like she knew I wasn’t coming back, I hadn’t planned it but I think she could tell. We hugged bye and I remember it felt so nice to hold her. We had remained very close and still had never hugged before. On the bus I was, miserable, I missed her and riding on a greyhound didn’t help. I would call her every day and we would talk for at least 2 hours at a time. I knew I had feelings for her before, I just repressed them. Now these feelings were something else, I knew it, I was in love with her. After a near 3 hour talk one night I thought about telling her, I had thought the whole conversation about it. I couldn’t do it. We said our goodnight, and after a few minutes I had to call her back. I know she knew what I wanted to say, and I fumbled with my words and was afraid at what I may hear but finally I told her. It was such a weight lifted, to have it out there, and to hear she felt the same. We talked for another hour that night.
I had told her before that I decided to stay in Virginia. So I had to go back to get my things and told her she should come visit, which I then told her she should pack more. It was my intentions of never letting go of her now. You always hear the question “how do you know when you’re in love?” . Of course the answer is, you just do. I knew for sure, she made me feel like I never had before. It was a crazy couple months that we endured together with some things beyond our control happening with the friends we were living with. We were free spirits and kind of used to moving around and making due. We found an apartment and that’s when I knew, we had only been dating a few months but I knew that I wanted to spend my life with her. I was so nervous to ask her to marry me, but I couldn’t go on any longer. We were married in 1995. We went every where together, hiked trails, went to book stores, just enjoyed being with each other. We were pretty young, I was 23, she was 19. We still had growing up to do but I had the best person to do it with.
We had a daughter in 96, a son in 98 and another daughter in 2008. Yes, big gap in the last two! Our marriage wasn’t perfect, but then no marriage is. We had some ups and downs but it was good. I truly loved her and was happy.
Just over a month after our 15th anniversary I came home from work and out of nowhere she said she was leaving me. No reason, no explanation. She just didn’t want to be married to me. Nothing I could say or do could stop her. I offered to try counseling, no, she didn’t want that. She just wanted out. A few days later she left. I knew people who got divorced, I knew people who had their hearts broken. I never knew how they felt. Now I do, it was horrible. I lost 15 pounds, I was only at the most 140 anyway. I felt sick all the time. I only ate when absolutely necessary, usually just a little in the evening. My whole world just crumbled. I fell into depression and started drinking…again. I had quit 12 years earlier because it became a problem. My drinking became more frequent until it became everyday, and a lot. I’m fortunate I was able to catch it and now I’m happy to say it’s been over 2 years since I’ve had a drink. Things are better, my kids were what helped me make it through. I knew I had to be there. We share custody 50/50 so I’m not just a weekend dad and I’m happy about that. Life is definitley better for me now, not because she left but just because I’ve accepted it.
So what about this family fued episode? Well tonight the question I heard was “we surveyed 100 men and asked what do you like to watch your wife do?” Well, it made me remember a couple things that were always endearing to me. We would go to A lot of holiday parties and other gatherings at my uncles house and I can remember watching her talk to people from across the room. She would sometimes look over and when she did she would give me this little smile. It always made me feel warm inside. I felt so lucky to be with her. One other thing I thought of was so simple but to me was so sweet. When she would wash the dishes she would hum. I loved hearing that. It was comforting to me.
You know, I was going to talk about dating after divorce but I think I’ll leave that for another post. I’ll save this one for mrs.picklejuicesoda. I appreciate the 15 years and the 3 beautiful children you gave me. I have no regrets, I spent the best years of my life with you. And now it’s ok, I missed you, but it’s ok. I have nothing bad to say about you and as weird as it is for me to say, I sincerely hope you are happy. I’m letting you go. It’s time for me to find my happiness now. Thank you for the years we had.