My old boyfriend, The First Real Love of My Life (and possibly only real love so far if I’m honest about it), just got a pretty prestigious job here in the town where I live, where we both grew up. It is a Big Deal. His mother (and mine, who are still best friends) are over the moon excited. As am I. Why? We don’t talk anymore, haven’t for years….he’s shunned me, so to speak, and I can’t remember why. I think I did something, or said something, I’m not sure. He’s prone to cutting people out of his life without a second glance so...could have been me, might have been him. But I miss him. I miss that relationship and how much I loved him. He is in a marriage right now about which I have gathered enough information from various sources to infer is not a happy one, that she has a little bit of The Crazy. I know about being married to that. He will be moving here to start his new job, and she will remain behind for a few months, but I suspect it might be longer than a few months….like perhaps forever. So for about a day, I had all kinds of hopeful fantasies I might get a part of him back. Not the boyfriend part, but the best friend part. Someone to talk to on the phone and trade emails with – I would have loved chatting with him on my cell phone or sending him emails all day long had either of those things existed when we were together. While I love having my life back, while I love being single again and having my house to myself, I miss having a guy in my life I truly adore. I truly adored him. I would like to truly adore him again.
I bring this up because in my imaginings yesterday, I wondered how the subject of my marriage would come up, and specifically wondered how I would answer the question “Why did you marry that guy?” when it was asked. I mean it’s natural for people to wonder. And I’m not sure how I would answer that question, I think I need to figure out the answer to that question so I have something thoughtful and accurate and reflective to say when it is asked.
Why did I marry him? He was handsome and charming and smart. He loved kids. He had some anger/temper issues that he recognized and wanted to solve through therapy and hard work. I believed he could (work hard and solve them. I was wrong). He was very much interested in me…and after a string of guys I was very interested in but who were not interested in me…that was a nice feeling and one I allowed to overshadow my real feelings. Because at the beginning, I had big reservations. But I ignored them, telling myself I was simply not used to being with someone who was so into me. To not have to work hard at something, to be the one to want to pull back a bit…that was nice. But also unsettling. I wrote those feelings off as unfamiliar, rather than what they were which was uncomfortable. My parents loved him (at first). My friends liked him. My doubts got shoved to the side. He pushed forward fast, and I did not resist because on paper, he looked good. And I was at a place in life where I wanted to take the next step. I wanted kids, I was 33. I thought at that age, it needed to happen. What felt “off” to me I could not name, and no one else felt it until we were so far down the path it was too late. My mom felt it…but said nothing because she thought if she had I would get angry and that would push me toward it. She hoped I would pull out on my own. But I didn’t pull out because I was afraid of disappointing her…he was embedded in my house and my life. At the time, I foolishly felt that the only way was to just move forward and hope for the best.
The marriage itself was doomed from the start. I didn’t love him. And I knew what mutual love felt like because I had it with my Ex Boyfriend Who Has Just Returned to Town. It’s the only time I have ever had it in my life…but I know what it feels like and I didn’t have it with my soon-to-be ex husband. At all. If I had stopped to think about that, none of this would have happened. I don’t for one minute wish that none of this had happened though. My kids are everything to me. They are my whole world. I’m happy with my choices. My choices brought them to me, and brought us to where we are now which is a pretty great place.
I’ve learned a lot. I am a different person now than I was before. By a lot. If I were to befriend – or rather, re-friend – my Ex Who Has Just Returned to Town, I would not be the person he probably assumes I still am. I’m wiser. More grounded in reality. No drama, thank you (which would probably surprise him since when he knew me at 20 I was pretty into the drama). I’m a single mom of two boys. I don’t have the time or the desire to date. But I would be interested in hanging out with the one person in my life I was deeply in love with who was also my very best friend. I’d like him to know me as I am now. I’d like to have some kind of a friendship with him.
It’s doubtful. It’s a pretty prestigious job, one that will keep him very busy for a very long time, with very little room to socialize. Plus, about 6 months ago I tried to friend him on Facebook and he ignored my request. When I went to look to see who his friends were, it was clear that it wasn’t because he was super-selective of who his Facebook friends were. But I hold out hope. I miss my friend. I think he would understand better than most the path I’ve been on, which makes me even more hopeful he will soften his heart toward me enough to let me back in just a little bit.