It’s time to continue my story, and this part is really bittersweet to me. I mean, it should have been my happy ending. Life didn’t exatly go that way, and I guess that our story had to end so better things could come along…
If you hadn’t guessed it already, I’m talking about my ex-husband. If you read my last post, Once Upon a Time, you will know by now, that we met under pretty special circumstances (If you haven’t read it, I recommend that you do, just so you understand this chapter better)
I really thought that I had found the one I was supposed to grow old with, but life can be unpredictable sometimes and faith can be cruel. So, with that said… Welcome to my almost happy ending…
We met, in real life, in December 2006. We had met online in the beginning of August that same year. I was 19, he was 24. He was a soldier, deployed in Afghanistan. Pretty soon, I told him about my situation, and without even blinking, he offered me that I could move in to his apartment in the other end of the country.
I was really skeptical at first, though. I mean… Who does that? We were complete strangers, and yet, we had shared so much in such a short amount of time. It didn’t really matter if I could trust him or nat. I didn’t have any other choice if I wanted to escape, so I quickly accepted. That meant keeping Steven in complete the dark, pretending that everything was ok… It was a performance of a lifetime, and my life depended on it. I was never afraid of moving in with a stranger, it never scared me. It scared me staying with a guy I had known for 2,5 years, and that says it a lot about the situation I was in.
The first day of December 2006, I finally got out of my own personal nightmare. I hugged my family goodbye, destroyed anything that was traceable and that… was it.
The drive to my new life was long, but worth it. A friend was driving, and we drove mostly in silence. It was nice, though. I sat on the passenger seat, looking out pf the window as we passed the bridges, and I was certain now, that Steven would never find me. I was finally free.
Two weeks after I moved in, he was there, my “hero”. It was a stormy romance from the start, and we had 3 amazing weeks together before he had to return to the desert. It was hard to say goodbye, but we knew what was waiting for us in the end; the part of the story where you live happily ever after.
He was officially home for good in March 2007, ending an 8 month-long tour. We were happier than we ever were before, with a bright future ahead of us.
Unfortunately, in the following months to come, it became more and more obvious that we were total opposites. I am a person that feels a lot, shares my love by telling my partner that I love them and doing that often, probably way more often than what is needed… He was simply not. He wasn’t the big talker or the touchy feely type of guy. He was the type that would buy me flowers when he fucked up, which he did on a regular basis. I’m the hopeless romantic and he was anything but.
I think that was the one thing we shouldn’t have ignored… our differences. They made it difficult for us, and it was a major reason for our fights. It was a deal breaker, but we were too stubborn to see itback then. We had our minds set: This was it, and we were going to make it work, differences or not.
However, I always felt like I was the one actually working for it. A change slowly happened. It was something I didn’t do on purpose, I kinda just eased into it. I simply told him a little less often that I loved him, kept it to myself that I missed him, and started sleeping with my back against him, and the funny thing is, that I was actually okay with that for a long time. I thought that it was a cheap price to pay for being with him: to keep my emotions on the downlow so he wouldn’t feel sufficated.
The truth is, I would have done anything for him out of pure gratitude. I loved him so deeply for his unselfish and “heroic” act of saving my life that I put him on a pedistal, where he clearly didn’t belong, but I was too blind to see it.
1,5 year into our relationship, we had problems like most others. Maybe even a little more, as you can guess. We were young and naive, and I think that’s what made it so easy for us to say our I do’s on a cold day by the end of March 2008. Life was good, at least for a while.
The happiness was short-lived, and by the end of 2009, we had serious problems. I guess it was mostly me being unhappy. I felt so lonely, neglected and forgotten… yet, he was right there with me. The truth is, that it was here our differences really separated us. He was happy with the change I made with myself, and I was not… but, like some other martyr, I sacrificed my needs and feelings, so that he could be happy. I supported him in everything he wanted to do, even though it meant that it was impossible for me to live out my dreams. Again, it was a cheap price for having him, right?
In 2010 my biggest wish came true. We bought the house that I thought I would grow old in. I was so happy and proud of us for accomplishing this. The house needed a lot of work, ironically like our marriage, but we were excited and ready to start turning it in to our forever home.
The house didn’t save our marriage, and during the years we were together, I had to deal with a lot of stupid shit from my ex-husband, literally shit! Never did it cross my mind to leave, because I was so proud of my marriage. No matter what he put me through, I stayed. I aspired to be the one couple that made it, when everyone else didn’t. I was proud of the ring on my finger, I was ready to work for it… Through better and worse… In our case, it was just mostly worse.
I would love to tell you that my marriage was perfect, but the truth is that I got a divorce for a very important reason: I had always been unhappy in some way. Yes, we had good times together, but in any relationship it’s all about balance. You need to give as much as you get, and if that is not happening, your relationship is doomed to fail.
I know it sounds like my ex-husband is a bad guy. He’s really not. He was just a lousy husband. I know that he loved me in his own way, but he never really was able to give me what I needed: To feel loved. Instead he made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. He was more married to the military than me, and I could have dealt with that easily, if he had just loved me as much in return, as I loved him. Maybe he did, he only showed it when it was too late… years had passed, and there was no saving our marriage.
At this point, I felt invisible. Like my feelings didn’t matter… My self-esteem hit rock bottom. I felt unattractive, I felt like I was just not worth anything. The worst part of it all? It wasn’t even really his fault, because I was the one who chose to stay, knowing that that was just who he was. I made so many sacrifices for him, for our marriage, our life together, but I loved him so much that I was willing to do that. I forgave him for all the lies, the backstabbing, the neglect and the fact that I always came second.
That truly is the words of a martyr, and a really stupid one in fact… Being a martyr only gets you so far. By the end of 2014, we separated for good. This last part of my marriage, I will tell you all about in the next chapter though
Howver, to sum up this chapter: You can’t and shouldn’t try and change yourself or your partner. It’s just not right and it’s never okay. Well, duuh.. Any idiot could figure that out, right? But the truth is that there is so many couples out there, staying together for the wrong reasons.
The only truth you need is: If you feel that you need to change to be with someone, they are not the one for you, and they never will be. The only thing you will ever need to change is the way you see yourself. Start believing that you deserve more, fight for you. Don’t ever settle for anyone that doesn’t make you a priority, that doesn’t make you feel special. Be happy with yourself in any relationship you have,… friends, family or with your life partner, it doesn’t matter. Be sure that you guys balance each other out in the long run.
That’s the one thing I value more than anything in my current relationship. I can be myself. I don’t have to hide, lower my expectations, compromise with my feelings or needs and I never have to feel unimportant or unwanted. That is love… I am thankful every single day, that I know I have someone who loves me as much as I love him. He never makes me feel any less than his first priority. He makes me feel complete. Whatever was hurting inside before he came along, is simple gone. He healed a broken soul, a broken heart… Something no one else was ever able to do before him. If that’s not a hero, I don’t know what is!
Take care until next time, guys, and always remember: You deserve someone who will go through hell and back just to see you smile.