December 29th, 2006
Today is my 2 year blogiversary. Yep, I was so bored on my 25th wedding anniversary that I started a blog. What does that tell you!??
And now for the depressing letter. Get it out of the way. Moving on.
I’m writing here what I cannot send to you in a letter. So many times I wanted to pick up a pen and write you about the happenings of the last few months. I don’t ever want you to think that I don’t think about you and us every day. You have been part of my life for over 31 years. How could I not think of you every day? And today, what would have been our 27th wedding anniversary, I think of you at every twist and turn.
After that first year when we gave each other a refrigerator for our anniversary, we have not really exchanged presents or even been able to afford a nice dinner out. One year friends watched the kids while we went to dinner and it snowed and iced so bad we couldn’t get down their street to retrieve the girls afterwards. We had a night alone. I remember going out to dinner the last time in ’92 when my sister watched the kids. I hear of other friends who go on cruises for their anniversaries or give lavish gifts, and we have never been like that. A card here or there. Even friends threw us a 25th wedding anniversary party because we did not think to do so. So why is it I am thinking about us more today than I have in the past 27 years? I don’t know. Because it's over perhaps?
For years I asked for another wedding ring. I stopped wearing my wedding ring in ’95 and wondered if you even noticed. Wondered if you even knew why. It wasn’t because I stopped loving you if that’s what you thought. I was working 2 jobs to keep us going and woke up one night in a panic because my hands were so swollen that I couldn’t get the rings off. Did you even notice? So I took off all my rings, not just the wedding set, but you never said anything or noticed. Ever since we reconciled in ’99, I asked for another wedding ring. I thought surely you would have done something for our 25th. Something simple. Something inexpensive. Finally, last year, I bought my own replacement ring. I’m sure I made a big deal about it (because I really liked the ring) but it was just another example of you not listening or not caring or being embarrassed that you couldn’t figure out how to give me what I asked for in an affordable manner. I have never wanted riches, never badgered you about not being able to afford lavish gifts. Never humiliated you. I didn’t need to. I’m sure you did enough of that internally.
I swear I never planned this divorce. As much as you think I threatened divorce, I never ever thought I would leave the marriage. If I’d had this planned I would have bought luggage in preparation and not let you sign a 2-year contract for the cell phones. I just snapped one day and realized I couldn’t live this lonely existence where I did all the feeling and thinking and planning. True, I am the emotional one, the up and down one, and you have loved me consistently, ever steadily throughout the years. But I never planned to leave you once Dorothy graduated and went off to college. This was not planned. Every time we have celebrated an occasion recently as a family, I am so proud of the way we are able to work through this. But I remark to myself that nothing much has changed. We walk into a room and go our separate ways. We were able to go to a few parties this way, Thanksgiving and Christmas, and no one would have guessed we were living any differently. And it wasn’t until our screaming match last week that we had even aired our "dirty laundry." I’m sure there were a lot of times you wanted to scream at me or vice versa, but we have managed to keep this under control, and I marvel at that.
Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it hurts. We have been a part of each other’s lives since… well, since Gerald Ford was president. The girls adore you, and that will never change. I miss knowing you will always be there. You provide more for me than I will ever be able to list. It’s not something I can put down in words, put on paper. As hard as it is to fill out financial papers or sign parenting agreements, it’s much harder imagining you not there. And I’m sure you feel the same way. Sort of. I’m not sure if you will miss me because I was never sure if you noticed I was there. But deep down, I am sure my absence will leave a huge void in your life.
When we sat down Christmas Eve and "It’s a Wonderful Life" was on, I looked over and saw a tear in your eye. It caught me off-guard, and I started to weep. I asked if you were ok, and you said yes, but you weren’t. But I couldn’t tell if it was because you were imagining your life without me or just hearing "Old Lang Sine" made you misty. Either way, seeing you cry tore me up. I can’t stand the thought that I have hurt you. I know you think I am cold and callous towards our marriage, but I hope you know that this is the hardest thing I have ever done. As flagrantly as I have mentioned divorce (because it’s so prevalent in my family), I never ever thought it was this hard, and I never ever thought I would be going through this. Honest. I knew it was an option when we got married because it was rampant in my family, but I truly never thought I would go through with this. And I know you didn’t. I truly took our vows seriously: For today I love you with all my heart and I believe I always will. They were not idle words. I probably have taken you less for granted and loved you more these last few months than I have in years.
And now I love you as the father of my children. That will never ever change and never die. We have not been the best husband and wife to each other, but together we have been terrific parents. And that will never die. We will be at every graduation, weddings, births, christenings, plays & musicals as a family. I would hope we could even sit together and hold hands occasionally, proud at our accomplishments. No divorce will ever take that away from us. I want you to call when you’re in town so we can go to lunch. I will never have it in me to hate you or be angry with you. I want so much for you that our separation can never taken away. I want you to be happy and loved and appreciated. I want you to have the job of your dreams. No piece of paper will dictate my feelings. Never. I cannot ever imagine any holiday without you, and I expect to see you at that dinner table every Thanksgiving and Christmas as long as you want to be part of my family’s lives. We have been a part of each other’s lives for over half our lives. We will continue to parent together, be grandparents together, and I hope remain friends "till death do us part."