I haven’t written anything here for a while - a long while. While this blog has served many purposes, among them is an ongoing and public life journal. Yet that type of writing has been largely supplanted by short Facebook “status updates” and the conversation that ensues from them. Although those snippets can be useful in many ways and even cathartic the same way longer blog entries can be, it is not the same as sitting down with a word processor open and writing. Really writing. Much of what follows is perhaps old news to my Facebook “friends” (and absolutely old news to my real-life friends), but the words here must have some sort of a beginning, middle and an end. Of course, the end is never the end, but it can be concluded up to this point in time.
In early 2011, I met a beautiful lady. She and I began to converse and on January 29th, 2011 we went on a motorcycle ride with some other mutual friends. Sparks flew almost immediately and before long we were in a “relationship.” At the time I was finishing my master’s degree at California State University, Sacramento and I knew that I would be going to another school for work on my Ph.D. I was hoping, for a number of reasons, that a school in California or at least on the west coast would accept me - and now there was a new reason. I ended up being accepted and fully funded at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA - 2,200 miles away from home. It would be a strain, but we were both convinced that our love would be strong enough to span the miles and the time apart from each other.
At first it seemed to be okay. We talked and video chatted everyday and I was home every four to six weeks. But even before I left, some things were not adding up and the seeds of distrust began to grow. We got engaged that October – she said she needed the security under the long-distance circumstances and although I wasn’t exactly sure getting married right away was the best idea, I did love her and wanted to make her happy. I thought it would help matters and in some respects it did, but the signs kept popping up. When I asked questions I was always met with plausible deniability. Because I wanted to believe, I did. The trust issues escalated to the point that I called off the wedding not once, but twice. Each time I was “talked down” with promises that were never kept. We got married on July 15th, 2012.
It was a magical day. But soon after the signs reappeared (if they ever really left) and kept escalating and… they were getting more frequent. By this time I had turned into a quasi-private investigator because I was no longer able to believe the unbelievable. I sincerely wish that my efforts had turned up nothing. While this is not the place to go into specifics, the issues dealt with both relatively small things as well as all the big things. I was so wrapped up in what was happening back home last semester that it is a wonder I was able to complete my classes at all, let alone teach those I was obligated to teach. Every time she was caught, new promises came. Now, less than a month before what would have been our first anniversary, divorce proceedings are under way. It affects not only me, not only her, but also her children, her family, my (grown) children, my family and most of our friends. It was (and still is) the ripple effect on steroids.
She is trying to get help; part of what we are dealing with is classified as a certain type of disease in which a therapeutic environment is pivotal in the solution. Unfortunately, too much trust has been lost and part of that lost trust is that I have already been replaced. While I forgave a lot and remained hopeful up until not that long ago, the problem now is that what I felt and the commitment I made was not met in kind. And what hurts the most is that I could be so easily and quickly replaced by another man. As I write this, it is already old news, albeit ongoing old news. I am forced to conclude that the unchecked manifestations of the disease my soon to be ex-wife suffers from made it impossible for this to be “true love.” That is not to say there was no love, the chemistry we experienced was real, but the level of commitment and trust essential to any relationship was never there. In reality, I lost something I never had.
For a little more than a week now, everyday has had more good hours than bad. I have finally reached a place of acceptance that this was never meant to be. But that does not mean I am not still hurting and there have been at least moments in everyone of those days when I cannot help but think of what our lives could have been. My emotional investment was total and complete; I gave everything I had. I was committed to forming a new family with her and her boys. We had dreams. It is not easy to let go of, but let go I must. I wish her well, I still love her, but that family we dreamed of will not be, and that is sad for everyone involved. Soon I will have severed all physical ties to California and life will return to some semblance of serenity, but it was not the kind of serenity I was hoping for.