So, last Saturday Steve and I reluctantly gave up and called it quits. He finally just said, “I don’t think I’m really cut out to be a married man.” The simple clarity of that statement pretty much summed it all up. In between the moments of passion and frivolous fun, being married to Steve has always made me feel so freaking lonely. He has a whole life going on that has nothing to do with me, and he prefers it that way. He is, by nature, a solo act that likes life in the social spotlight.
Like last time, the decision to separate has left me feeling relieved and liberated. Don’t get me wrong, I wish it could have worked out, but I don’t think it ever would have. No doubt the anger, grief, etc, will eventually make their rounds again, but for now I’m just breathing the free air.
Steve has always been such a weakening influence on the fabric of this family. Take Friday family movie nights, for example. This is a custom that the kids and I started during the first separation. On Friday nights we pop a giant bowl of popcorn, put on something from Netflix that the kids want to see, and snuggle up on the couch in a big pile together. Bonding time. Fun.
During the reconciliation, when Steve started joining us for movie night, it all changed. He didn’t care for the kiddie movies, so every week he basically turned it into a big inappropriate makeout session on one end of the couch, with the kids on the other end of the couch or in the big chair. The instant the ending credits rolled he’d pull me off to the bedroom for some “grownup time.” Fun? Sure. Family bonding time? Not so much.
In fact, he paid more attention to his kids during the first separation than he ever did before or after. When we’re together he has a way of making them feel alienated without even trying to. So, one more reason for me to not regret parting ways.
Shortly before we called it quits I happened to be with Steve when he received a friendly text message from his ex-girlfriend. Funny — he’d told me she’d moved out of state. He said he had no idea why she’d still be texting him.
I hate the way moments like that make me feel, and I hate how MANY moments like that — and much worse — there have been during the fourteen years I’ve known him. I just really want to never feel that way ever again.
So — I wish him the best of luck, but I need to walk my own path from here on out. Today me and the kids went to see “Journey To The Center Of The Earth” in 3D, and it was a hoot and we didn’t have to deal with Steve shushing the kids every time they laughed or shrieked as loud as every other freaking person in the theater was doing. And then we came home and it was too late to get anything done and too early to go to bed, so we popped a giant bowl of popcorn and put on a Donald Duck collection that had come in from Netflix, and we snuggled in a pile on the couch and made up for a lot of recent family movie nights that hadn’t felt like family time at all. And tomorrow night we’re going to take some sleeping bags and camp out in the horse pasture and roast hot dogs and marshmallows and sing goofy songs about great green globs of greasy grimy gopher guts, and tell spooky stories and basically just celebrate the fact that the three of us are a solid team again and not a lonely, dysfunctional foursome.
Things don’t always turn out the way you want them to.
But I have to believe that sooner or later things turn out the way they’re meant to.
I have faith in that.