Saturday, May 1, 2010

Forever Love?

I've been doing a lot of thinking about love and life lately. Pretty understandable considering what this year has brought my way. Ed and I have been physically separated a little over 6 weeks now. While in some aspects that doesn't seem like a very long time in other ways it is a lifetime.

I specify "physically" separated because we have been emotionally separated for much, much longer. I am not going to put a time frame on it here as it is not important. He and I were together over 11 years and this Wednesday, Cinco de Mayo, would have been married 9 years. He turned 30 years old three days after we got married and I was 27. I thought I was older than everyone else. I thought I was never going to get married. Ha. I look back at my wedding pictures and just see this really young girl.  I also see a young girl that was full of hopes and dreams for our future. 

That is the hardest part of accepting our separation and impending divorce. It is the death of those hopes and dreams. It is something I have had to mourn and will likely mourn for some time to come. But there is no doubt to either of us this is the right decision. Ed has moved on to what appears to be (I have not yet met her) a wonderfully kind, loving woman and I have moved on to an amazing, intelligent, thoughtful, caring man. Does it seem as if we moved very quickly?

Well, if you think we have only been separated for 6 weeks, then yes, I suppose to some it may appear to be really fast. However, Ed and I grew apart and have really lived separate lives under the same roof for quite sometime. We both knew we were missing something and not giving the other what they needed. Therefore in a lot of ways the final "official separation" was like a breath of fresh air. Aside from a few bumps as we transition into our new relationship with each other we are getting along fabulously. I do not know how long it has been since we have gotten along so well.

It made me start to think, however, is the whole idea of one person that you are meant to spend your life with truly realistic? I mean, sure there are folks out there that stay married for life, some happily and some just because it is comfortable and they don't want to leave that comfort zone. There is a fear of letting go of all you have ever known. 

But, is it truly realistic? I do not know. Here is what I DO know. I was happy when I married Ed. I thought it was forever. I thought given the fact that we were so dedicated to this for life that we could tackle anything. I believed that if we both were committed to making it work that is all it would take. I was wrong. Somewhere along the line we both changed. Or maybe one of us did and the other did not. Or maybe we realized the things we did not think were a very big deal really were. I know I am so happy for him now. He is truly happy, I can see it in his eyes and the way he is taking care of himself. 

I have moved on as well and am happier than I can remember being in such a long time. Julio is very different from Ed. I am not sure they would have anything to even talk about, ok, well maybe college football. But it is strange to me at how different they are, yet they are both people I have cared for to the depths of my soul.

However, had I met Julio 11 years ago instead of Ed we probably would not have had very much to say to each other. We were both extraordinarily different people than we are today. We were not right for each other back then. However, NOW, a mere 11 years later we have more in common than seems possible. Sure, we have different feelings about politics and things, but they are differences that bring about more togetherness, not less. I feel more myself with him than I have ever felt. He knows me inside and out. He knows what makes me tick, what motivates me, what touches me. 

Julio knows how to be supportive, when I need a swift kick to get moving at work, when I need advice or when I just need to laugh. It is not something we discuss it is something understood. 

So I wonder, how can someone that would have been so wrong for me that I doubt I would have even been friends with 11 years ago seem to right for me now?  Is it possible that there are different people meant for us at different stages of our lives? Or is it that twenty something is truly too young to marry? Folks in their twenties are still growing, maturing, figuring out who they are and what they truly want, yet society does make us feel that that is when we should be settling down and starting a family.

I do not know the answer and I am sure everyone is different. I thought I knew who I was back then and what I wanted. Of course, maybe I did. I just want and need very different things now. I do not regret for one minute the life I had with Ed. We have three beautiful, loving children. How could I ever regret that gift? How could I ever regret the time we spent together? The shared experiences, our first house, the births of our children, the football games, the struggles, all of it. It was a good life, however, it ran its course. 

I am more thankful than you can imagine that I Ed and I are able to embark on this new journey without the animosity and hate you so often see during divorce. It is the best gift we can give our children and each other.


Darkwulfe said...

Is there magic? I am a cynic. I have never believed in magic. But there is nothing that explains this. I dont believe in luck but I am a lucky man. I do not believe in magic...but this is magical. It is magical that I found such an amazing woman, such an amazing situation...I could be mute...there are no words needed...I could be blind...because I feel this more than I see it...I could be deaf...because I hear you with my heart...I couldn't ask for more...than as the song be living in a moment I would die for.

Iris Silk said...

Insightful, as always. I like to think I know where you learned to be like that. Love, Mom

Margie Johnson said...

Oh, precious young-yes, still very young, Mandy........You know my thoughts on this and I will not belabor it....just thinking about changes we make as women at different stages and I have to share with you that in another 11 years you'll have changed as well-I promise this is true. At some point love absolutely has to be a committment and not a feeling. It has to be a choice to remain together despite changes that will inevitably come. As you grow older and your children mature and even your physical body changes-it is comforting to know that committment to one another and to God can be the one UNCHANGING thing in your life. I recall an earlier blog where an "older Mandy" reviewed some "younger Mandy" choices with a few regrets. Obviously, you cannot go back and "do-over" those choices so I believe the "take away" value from that exercise must be to view our choices in light of eternity. There will always be seasons when doubt, insecurity, immaturity or fear can influence us to decide unwisely and we will rarely recognize it at the time. Jeremiah tells us the heart is "deceptive above all things." Thank you for sharing your blogs with me and continuing to hear your aunt's heart. I do love you, Margie

Will Shealy said...

Mandy, I could not be happier for you and Julio. As cliche' as it might seem, love means taking chances. Nothing worthwhile in life is ever found by playing it safe. I also admire your and Ed's strength for risking temporary discomfort in the pursuit of happiness. Nice blog! (And great comment Julio)

Mandy said...

Julio-Thank you, those are amazing, touching words that I will always cherish. You always have a way with words as I know they are spoken from your heart to mine.

Mom-your words made me cry. No question my ability to be insightful comes from you.

Margie-It is so truly wonderful that your choices have made you so happy in your life. We all have to make difficult choices and what is right for one is not necessarily right for another. Will I make mistakes, sure. But I will always follow my heart and my head and do the best I possibly can to be true to myself and my beliefs.

Will (and Mom)-Your support, like Mom's, is amazing. I don't know what I'd do without you both supporting and loving me. I will make mistakes in life, we all do, but knowing you are there to love and not judge me is more comforting than anything else.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

There is no "he's wrong"/"she's wrong" when 2 people just grow apart. That happens and it is sad. You are fortunate enough to be in a situation where you and Ed are on the same page and realize things haven't been "right" for a while.

I was 25 when I married the Evil Twin and as our 17th year of marriage approaches and we just past our 18th year together, we both realize that we were lucky enough to be in the same time and same place in life to let this blossom. Sometimes, the first time is not always the charm....