Human beings are really good at denial. And I’m talking all forms of denial. And it’s not all bad. Think about it. When an athlete pushes through an event after breaking a bone to win they are hailed for their denial of pain. Mind over matter.
It’s not always bad to use that power to survive. But I think a part of us knows the truth always. Whether it’s a broken bone, or a broken relationship. Somewhere deep down we know it. I know I did.
I knew almost from the beginning if not from the beginning that my ex and I were not a good pair. I hoped we could be because I loved him. But even as I walked down the aisle, part of me was the happiest girl in the world and another part of me knew I was accepting something that I had deep misgivings about. A few, very few, people knew it at the time.
One of my best friends caught the fact that I described him as being “good for me.” And she pressed me asking me if that was enough. An acquaintance who sat next to me in a religious studies class asked, “Why are you getting married so young?” Things I said made him rightly believe that my marriage was a way of escape from my home that was very tumultuous. Was I using him as my rescuer? Yes. I knew this. And I told my mom I had doubts. She said, “Honey, if you have doubts you need to say something now because this is the rest of your life.”
And all I could think about were the invitations that had already been sent, and the embarrassment of canceling and the fact that I really did love him. It was just that nagging thing I knew. That is was the wrong move.
I had two beautiful children and for them I will never say that my first marriage was anything I would ever regret. But all along I knew he and I were …well…something was off.
Of course once I made my vows I would not entertain a thought other than making it work. Mind over matter.
I always told my ex that I needed a stronger person because I was too much for him. Just being me overwhelmed him. Even when I held back, he was so passive compared to me that I ended up with the reigns almost every time. I didn’t want it to be like that but he did not believe me. Maybe because that made our problems my cross to bear instead of his. But there again…it was something I knew all along. I knew I needed someone with the same strength of mind, heart, and soul as me. And I knew I didn’t have it.
In my last relationship, I had that similar feeling that something was terribly wrong. But again, I loved him. And I wanted to make it work. But I knew. And this time it just wasn’t the knowledge of incompatibility. We were actually fairly compatible. It was all the lies. But I wanted to believe him when he said he loved me and in my mind people who loved each other didn’t lie to each other so my brain would not allow myself to entertain the possibility that what my gut was telling me was true. Mind over matter again.
I kept excusing his behavior to my friends and family and said things like, “Well, he’s English, and they do things differently.” In my heart I never liked the fact that he was English. I kind of had this picture in my head since high school of a manly man who wore a Letterman’s jacket and drove an old Mustang, who wasn’t afraid to get dirty or sweaty, who was strong and could fix just about anything – as my guy. But this picture seemed like a fantasy out of a Bruce Springsteen song. Thunder Road, or Born to Run.
(now I really want to hear those songs…)
I would even tell this refined Brit from time to time, “You know it is so unlikely that we are together because I always thought I’d end up with someone from high school. It’s just what we do. I’m a neighborhood girl.” Maybe I said that because part of me knew…?
Maybe after 43 years I’m getting what I’ve always known I needed. Someone from my neighborhood however conventional that makes me. Maybe I always knew I needed someone who I could connect with on that level? And someone who I would not overwhelm and who could see my strength as a positive and not a negative which would allow me to be me.
Maybe after all this time, the peace I’m feeling in my heart is because there is nothing bubbling under the surface, scratching at a façade I’ve built around someone I love which denies a certain truth. Maybe this time, the truth is that Harry is just the guy for me. And the funny part about that is the only denying going on is me NOT telling everyone I know that I’m in love, true love, for the first time in my entire life.
No one except a very small circle of friends even know I’m dating. Interesting how it’s the opposite. I was denying the truth and letting everyone think I had something perfect. And now I’m letting everyone think I’m alone when I’ve found something I think IS perfect.
Maybe I’m afraid of jinxing it? Maybe.
Last night, Harry came over the house for dinner and a movie. I got to try out my new Pork chop recipe on him that was born out of my low carb diet I’m trying. And it was really yummy.
It was another perfect night for us. I got to make fun of him for being late (again). We shared a great meal with my daughter and watched two movies that made us laugh and cry. Then we went out back and sat around the fire pit, decided to jump into the pool and swim around a while, and then warmed up by the fire again.
The evening ended with Harry tucking me in bed just as my son came home. Harry said he felt like a kid getting caught in his girlfriend’s bedroom by her dad. But my son was happy to see him and sat in my room with us for a while, telling us about his evening and saying goodnight. It was perfect. THIS really is what I’ve always wanted.
I don’t care how long it takes Harry to get financially on his feet. If I get nights like this? If I get to talk to him everyday? If I get to kiss him and hug him? I’m good. I’m so good. And eventually I’ll let the world in on my little secret…that I’ve finally found what I always knew.