I’ve been divorced. It’s not something I like talking about because I am ashamed about it. Every little girl wants to wear the big white dress and walk down the aisle to her Prince Charming and live happily ever after. I wish that I walked down that aisle once. Hell, I would have been happy to have gotten it right the second time. Alas, third time is the charm for me.
My first marriage was to a fat, stumpy, Italian man. He was a reservist in my father’s unit. I was 18, naive and bent to the will of the people around me. I was too new to adulthood to know what I wanted out of life and too foolish to veer away from situations that would damage me. His name was Guido (I am not making that up) and his inability to mature was astonishing. I have no excuse. I was blinded by the idea of marriage. It lasted a barely a month before we started the divorce papers.
He hurt me in perhaps the most devastating manner possible. He cheated. I will never understand the appeal of Carol Waterman. Was it her slender waist and perfect, single digit pant size? Was it that she allowed him to wallow in his own pathetic existence? Was it that she had no dreams or goals for herself?
That last question haunted me for months. I have interest and the means to turn those interests into sustainable income. He didn’t care. I have dreams that branch beyond a paycheck-paycheck lifestyle, complete with crying children and welfare handouts. That’s all he wanted. He flitted from job to job. I don’t know if it was from a shitty work ethic or boredom. As I initiated the divorce papers, he made a pathetic attempt to try and stay in my life.
“Let’s fix things” he said. Then he left and immediately went to her bed. I stuck to my guns. Gone was the naive girl, with belly rolls stuffed into jeans a size too small. I replaced her with a girl that would go for her goals and not let a man blind her. My divorce finalized, I locked my past in a dark closet and never looked back.
Then came Bobby. He was charming and sweet. He appeared to be supportive of the things I wanted out of life. It seemed perfect. A phoenix was rising out of the ashes of my life. We stayed together as I left for Lackland AFB, TX to join the military and go through tech school. I ignored all the MTL’s advice that tech school marriages do not work out.
Shortly after I completed my training and we got to our new base, I realized that we expected different things out of marriage. He wasn’t ready to be married to a maintainer. In his mind, our long hours surely meant that I was fucking somebody in the parking lot. There was no way that I just spent 4 hours looking for a lost tool. I was occupied looking at all the sweaty, dirty, ball-smelling men I work with. He didn’t understand how our corner of the military operated and why it was accepted.
At home, he desired a wife straight out of a 1950’s story line. All the household chores were to be completed by me as he sat downstairs in our bedroom playing video games. He didn’t care if we worked 12’s that day or I was on quarters for strep. I played his game for awhile.
When it wasn’t good enough, bruises came. Screaming matches heard by the entire neighborhood became a regular thing. I found solace in a constant gym routine and crochet. It led me to my best friend. She saw it all and instead of whispering about me behind my back like my coworkers did, she hugged me. She told me that when I was ready, she would do whatever it took to pull me out of that situation safely.
I finally did while I was deployed to Qatar. When my divorce was finalized, I completely gave up on relationships and the idea that happy marriages existed. I returned home from Qatar for knee surgery and returned to the pigeon-filled back shop that I tried so hard to flee from. While I was there, I met Deric.
Deric is nice. He is not mean, cruel or abusive. He helps people out, even when they do not deserve it. He is clingy, whiny and childlike. I believe he will make a woman very happy, but I would have been drained. It was exhausting having to stoop to his intellectual level to explain concepts. Try talking to a six year old about the current political situation. Yes, it was that bad. He didn’t understand me at all. I had to spoon-feed the little things about me that define me. The things that I expect to be appreciated. And like Bobby, every time I left his sight to join friends in various merry activities, my phone would explode with notifications. In Deric’s defense, I was not ever accused of cheating.
I just felt numb with him. No spark, no flutters of the heart and stomach, no excitement… I didn’t care. I had never been in this predicament. I knew I never wanted a life with this man and he was heading towards the commitment cliff at a dead sprint. He wouldn’t go away, he wouldn’t stop. I ended things and he would show up at my door uninvited and crying while I was entertaining guests. He was unlike anyone I ever met but I still thought of him like the immature child in the corner that makes fart noises.
I had hardened. I was callous. Numb. Unafraid of the world’s challenges but deeply terrified of commitment. I didn’t see the point anymore. I was convinced I would never find a man that thoroughly intrigued me, loved my flaws and my strengths. I wanted a man to kiss my scars and tell me they are beautiful. I didn’t think men like that existed. So I loved on my cats and at the high point of my “I don’t give a fuck” act, I found the perfect man.
He kisses all the scars, he makes coffee before he goes to work so I have some, he does dishes and laundry for me. We debate worldly concepts over coffee and cigarettes. We strive for similar goals and our dreams are achievable without sacrifice because they can work together, die by side. I had to find every sort in incompatible relationship to find the missing puzzle piece. The humor piece to all this, Matt and I first met during honor guard. The entire time I was trying to make a shitty marriage work for no good reason, he was there.
Fate is hard to avoid.