We all know what happened to me, it blows. Lately some people in my social group g have been admitted into the “Didn’t Expect I Would Be Single In My 30’s WTF Will I Do With My Life Now Please Pass the Wine” club, though they joined through divorce versus death.
Now even though I do not suggest anyone out there become a widow (I rate this experience 0 out of 5 stars), I’ve said from day one that I would rather be a widow than a divorcee – sorry divorcees. My rationale has always been that I don’t know if I could handle a person I loved so much still being out in the world if they no longer loved me. Watching someone move on from a distance and constantly wondering if they’re thinking about you would undo me. Of course I still wonder about Tim, but with life after death being such an unknown I can make up the dialogue to suit my own feelings.
Angel Tim can be great, because he agrees with whatever I want. Should I buy this pony? Sure, who doesn’t love ponies? Have I had too many glasses of wine? Can one ever have too many glasses of wine? Was I the best wife you ever had? By a million percent. No comparison. Do I look ugly with that extra ten pounds I gained from grieving your ass all last year? Not at all. You’re beautiful. Have some more cheese. Thanks Angel Tim, you’re the greatest.
As time pushes me further away from my “suddenly single” event, it also does for my divorced friends. The shock wears off. Instead of ‘why did this happen?’ I hear more of ‘god I can’t stand that person.’
I realized I could never be happy with them.
I don’t want those qualities in my next partner.
You know, they were really shitty a lot of time the time.
I’m so glad I don’t have to support another person anymore.
I listen as the conversation about my friends’ former spouses skews towards the negative. I assert the important, You’re right! when it’s required and I nod my head when they get introspective about the unexpected course their marriage took. If I understand anything these days, it’s unexpected courses in life.
Through talking with them, my membership in the Suddenly Single club has shifted in the past six months. While I used to be firmly #teamwidow, listening to my friends talk about their divorces is bringing to light something I didn’t realize was bothering me. As I attempt to dip my toe back into the dating pool, I’ve taken a very lighthearted approach at first. Everything was a joke. “I’m just going for the story!” I’d tell a friend at a pre-date cocktail before heading off to meet some old ass journalist who thought it was fun to summarize everything I said or thought in his own personal byline (true story). I protected myself by saying that I didn’t care if there was a connection or not, because I wasn’t looking for anything serious.
Roughly fourteen months after my admittance to the club, my defenses are wavering. It’s a hard thing for me to admit. I know what having a great relationship is like. I remember that intoxicating lull that falling in love is, and I am all too familiar with the safety and comfort in spending your life with your best friend. I know what all of that is like, and I can’t help but want it again.
What does this have to do with #teamdivorce? Lately as I’ve grown more frustrated with dating, I’ve witnessed my divorced friends grow emotionally independent of their former lives while I have not. Part of my “Psychotic Break with Wine” last Friday is that I realized something extremely important.
I still carry around an amazing amount of love and devotion to Tim. I wear his wedding band on my right hand every day. I speak of him often with people who knew him, and tell stories about him to those who didn’t. His pictures show up on my desk at work, are on my walls at home. There is no part of my life that isn’t touched by him, even still. I think the world of this man, I always will.
And there is no one out there in the world that feels the same way about me.
My divorced friends don’t feel that way about their spouses, nor should they. There are quite compelling reasons why they got divorced, but sometimes as I listen to them I can’t help but think about the best parts of my marriage, the ones I miss deeply. Regardless of my company in the Suddenly Single club, it’s in those moments that I feel irrevocably alone.