I have thought long and hard about how to deal with this day. It has weighed on me for a while. I have taken steps to try and protect my heart and my sanity. For the last 13 years this was a day that I looked forward to, August 10th had always been our anniversary not just our wedding date. But, this year I am filled with anxiety and dread. It is with these emotions that I have decided to post something slightly different.
During our relationship, I wrote C a number of letters. I found that I was better at putting my feelings and emotions down on paper than I was saying them out loud. These letters varied. Some were of joy and others were of pain, but the one thing they all shared was my unconditional love of C. So in this tradition, I have decided that the best way to address the emotions of this day is through a letter to C. I know he will probably not see this and I also know that he probably won’t even waste a second thought on me today as he has moved on. Yet, I felt like I needed to write this letter for my own heart, to help me get through the day that I have feared since February 9th.
Four years ago I awoke with mixed emotions as I knew my life was about to change. On one hand, I had so much joy because I knew I was marrying someone that I dreamed of marrying for many years. It was never just about the wedding as you once told me, it was about the marriage too. On the other hand I was full of fear. This fear came because I knew you, at times better than you may have known yourself. It was with this intimate knowledge that I knew while things appeared good at that moment, they may not always stay that way. With this knowledge and these emotions, I sat in the bath (the only quiet place I could find that morning) and wrote my vows to you.
The goal of my vows was to not only vow my life to you, but to do so in a way that you understood how much I loved you and that no matter what happened past or future that I would always be your person or as I often would tell you, your penguin. I had loved you through it all, the good and the bad. My love was never a question or a doubt in my mind. Yet, as I wrote these vows, I did have one question that loomed over me. Would you ever be able to see yourself the way I saw you or would your inner demons take control and cause you to self-destruct and destroy our life.
Again, I knew you and I knew that while you may have appeared to have it together at that moment, you had things going on in your head that you weren’t telling me or anyone else. I knew that you were scared shitless to get married because you were afraid it would change everything. I truly believed and still believe that you thought you could hide these things and that they would disappear and maybe they did for little bit, but they always come back. However, from that day forward, I knew that your demons would not just take you down, they would take me down too. I knew that if they came bearing their ugly head that they would cause me to create my own demons and self-destruct as well. The risk was high joining our lives together, but for me the benefits severely outweighed the risk. This is something you may never understand, for me, you were always worth the risk.
So with this, I vowed to you a number of things with the main one being that I would never lose hope in you. While our marriage may be over I still think about this particular vow as it hasn’t changed. I still have hope for you and everything you do. I hope that you are happy and healthy. I hope that you are now living the life that you wanted and that you are at peace. I hope that one day you will reconcile the relationships that have been broken, there are people out there that miss you. I hope that one day I may get the answers I so strongly crave about why I wasn’t worth the fight and why I was so easily replaced with a new life and a new woman. And finally, I hope that you know that no matter what happens in our life I will still be there if you need me. I hope to one day move on and feel whole again but I want you to know that you will always have a special place in my life and I will always want the best for you. Nothing will change this.
I walked down that aisle to what I thought was my forever. I looked at your face as you cried and couldn’t contain my smile because I finally was getting what I desperately wanted. Yes I was finally getting my wedding, but even bigger than that, I was getting you. I was getting you sober and healthy. I honestly thought my life was complete and my heart was full. I remember every thing about that day because to-date it has been one of my happiest ones.
- I remember the text you sent me that morning;
- I remember the look on your face the first time you saw me walking down the stairs of the Four Seasons;
- I remember the way you held my hand as we sat in the back of the golf cart waiving to the people shouting congratulations;
- I remember the way you hugged your son and my family after the ceremony, it was like you finally had found your peace and you were complete;
- I remember our first dance and how much you made me laugh during it;
- I remember the way you grabbed my waist anytime we talked to someone at our reception, like you were truly happy and proud I was yours;
- I remember talking to D before his speech as he told us that he loved us and we were his family;
- I remember leaving the night on a pedi-cab leaning my head against yours and telling you how much I loved you and thanking you for making me happy and giving me the day I always wanted.
I remember everything C, it has been burned into my mind, which is why moving on has been so hard. It is not just the memories from our wedding that I hold on to, but it is the memories from our life. The vacuum incident in Utah when we first moved in together; the incident when I peed the bed and had to determine if I should wake you up to tell you; you sitting in the hospital with me for 12 plus hours as I had kidney stones telling the doctors what I needed because you knew how much pain I was in; the relief I had when I saw your face after your cancer surgery and I knew you would be okay;the time I saw you in the courthouse and all you could do was hug me and cry as you apologized for the scar that I will forever wear as a reminder of that horrible incident; the nights we spent on the couch eating popcorn with our small zoo; and above all an insignificant evening when we were driving in your car and you looked at me and said, “I don’t think I have ever been this happy in my life, I don’t know if I ever want to drink again because I am scared of ruining this”. These memories plus many more not only made up our life together, but they made me who I am today. There is no way I will ever be able to forget them.
So, on this day, as I sit in Vail, I want you to know that while I may appear happy and okay, I am thinking about you more than you can imagine. And as I think about you and our life I go back to those vows I made four years ago and I hope you know that I still wish those things for you despite the fact that you are spending this day with some other woman.
I wish you unconditional love from the person you now share your life with. I wish that you always get eggs from Baileys any time you are in Laramie or have someone come visit you from there. I wish that your new dog doesn’t have water drool and if he/she does that your girlfriend wipes it up. I wish that you will always have someone to kill spiders for you (even though it is a boy job). I wish that you are with someone who says to you, “what I am hearing you say” instead of pushing her thoughts or feelings on you. And, overall I wish you hope. Hope that you are being the best you that you can be and are living the life you want full of happiness and joy.
Our life together may be over, but my love for you will always be there and August 10th will always be a reminder of what could have been. For a period of time, I know it will be a day full of tears and guilt for what I should have done differently to save our marriage. I will try to not let all of this flood over me and leave me broken. It will be a very hard task at first, one full of ugly crying, regret and questions. However, my goal is to try and remind myself that what happened between us happened and I can’t go back and change it no matter how much I want to. Maybe there was nothing I could have done and we just weren’t meant to be and the life you have now is the one you were meant to have. I need to come to terms with the fact that instead of me being your happy ending I was just a stopping place along your journey.
So with this…
Be well C, take care of yourself and best wishes to you in your new life of happiness. I am sorry I wasn’t a better wife and I wasn’t the life you wanted.