Have you every experienced something that changed and colored the way you regarded the rest of your life from that point on? Sometimes it a very deliberate decision and other times it very subconscious. In many ways the implosion of my relationship with my now ex fiancee (Wayne) was like that. It most definitely changed the way I looked at men and how I viewed marriage (never doing it! Thank you very much!). Now the way my ex went about things was just down right cruel. Did I react in the best most positive fashion I could have? Nope. Water under the bridge though, right? I remember at one point having a conversation about relationships with my friend Ted. It was just the 2 of us out to lunch. We were discussing relationships and he grabbed my hand and said "Sarah- there's a big difference between isolation and insulation!". At the time I didn't give it much thought (which is saying something since I've spent a good part of my life from the age of about 19 on secretly pining away for Ted!).
He's absolutely right though! After the breakup with my ex I most definitely isolated myself. I couldn't even fathom the idea of going through emotional pain like that ever again. I threw myself into raising my daughter. Since raising her in some ways is kind of like a full time job in and of itself it wasn't hard to do. I can definitely attribute my aversion to marriage to the demise of my relationship with Wayne. I'd been in very serious relationships before him and survived them falling apart with a lot more grace and less tears. At the end of those other relationships I never felt like I'd rather be completely by myself then experience what I was experiencing then. In a lot of ways I'm very, very optimistic almost to the point that it's a bit scary. In all honesty I couldn't even begin to explain why the break up with him was so difficult for me. In some ways I don't understand how it colored my view on marriage as much as it did but it sure did! While I'm smart enough to never say never I'm also pretty steadfast in my attitude of "who needs this shit" when it comes to marriage. Maybe if there was a chance that I could have more kids I'd look at it differently but who knows. What I do know is that he certainly made it so that I wanted nothing to do with marriage.
Now truth be told he wasn't the only one to try to put a ring on it. He was just the one that I really wanted to make it work with the most. I wanted it to work so badly that I didn't even listen to those little worry voices and warning bells going off in my head! I'd always had reservations about the fact that I'd be wife number 3. I convinced myself and others that he'd just been really stupid before. His first marriage was because he was young and dumb and fresh out of boot camp. Young marriages never work, right? As far as marriage number 2 it was typical military marriage. Two people are dating and things are going fairly well. You're not very serious yet but things are good. Then the military member of the relationship gets orders to their next post. Instead of ending things, because hey! Things are good so far! or trying for a long distance relationship because really who wants to do that?!!? So instead they decide to get married I know! I know! Dumb! Very, very, very dumb! Those where the reasons I could attempt to wrap my head around being wife number 3 and convincing myself that we'd be able to work it all out and we'd make it. Then there was the whole issue of his drinking. Now I'll be the first to admit that before I had my daughter I was no innocent little thing just going to work and going home. I damn near lived in a bar called the Anchor that was right outside the back gate of NTC Great Lakes. It was a complete dive bar but it was fun. I spent damn near every night there with friends. Hanging out, listening to music, drinking beer and playing pool. It doesn't get much better than that, right? It's just by the time Wayne and I were engaged I wasn't living my life in a bar anymore and he kind of was. I did talk to him about all these things. He had the same rationale as far as it being his 3rd try at marriage. Then as far as going out drinking all the time he reassured me that once we were in the same place that he'd be more than content to stay at home with my and the baby. I bought it. Seriously. Hook, line and sinker. Now there was the fact that he'd been my best guy friend for years at that point and I'd been in love with him forever. So all of this seemed to work in our favor. Yeah, I know. I was an idiot. I should have listened to those little voices. At least held off on getting engaged until he was out of the Navy and we were in the same place and I could see how things worked and put those lingering doubts to bed.
Instead I ran forward without a care or second thought. Bad mistake. So as you know things ended with Wayne and ended badly. Completely fucked me up and scarred me in ways that I didn't even know was possible. I'm sure you're asking yourself "Why in the bloody hell is she re-visiting this? What the hell is the point of this post?!!!?". Ok. Here you go. I've finally found the "good" in goodbye. Are you asking yourself "What the what?" right about now? Instead of walking away and placing the right amount of blame where it was due I convinced myself that the woman he started dating as we were ending our relationship was the one to blame. I blamed myself for things that I had absolutely no control over. I then isolated myself completely. I convinced myself that putting myself out there where I could experience that kind of pain again was something I wasn't willing to deal with. I never looked at it as he is someone that is completely incapable of maintaining a real relationship for any amount of time. None of his marriages have made it to the 10 year mark. I should have listened to those screaming little voices in my head instead of cutting myself off from life. I recently found out that his 3rd marriage didn't work. Now don't get me wrong. I feel bad for both of them. Divorce sucks. No doubt about it. I also couldn't tell you why for some reason that knowing his 3rd marriage failed was a huge weight lifted for me. It just made it so much easier for me to find the "good" in his goodbye to me. I guess there's a part of me that wishes him well and now understands that he is just completely not capable of having a long term monogamous relationship. It somehow makes me feel better and I'm not second guessing myself anymore. It really wasn't me. It really was him. Not my Circus not my monkeys!