Sunday, August 19, 2012

What really happened...

This topic wasn't on my list but it's something that's been on my mind all morning.

Music has a powerful influence/effect on me. This morning I've been listening to a CD that I bought right before Ell announced she was leaving me. I bought it for one song which got me pumped up and forced blood through every cell of my body with its beat and energy at being alive with purpose. But the other songs on the album are much more heartfelt and emotionally raw with a tendency towards sadness and anger at losing someone.

The second thing driving this post is the fact that I'm sitting alone in my new home because Alli went back to Ohio to see some college and sorority friends including asking one of them to be in our wedding. I made myself organic pancakes with pure maple syrup, freshly ground organic coffee, and then followed it up washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen; all things I fell into a rhythm of when I was living the bachelor life before Alli came into my world. Doing those repetitive chores made my always-active mind to swirl around with thoughts/questions about where I was in those sometimes dark months after Ell left.  

They say hindsight is 20-20, and it's amazing how much clearer I see things now. Ell and I never had a richly fulfilled relationship. To put it bluntly, we were much better friends than we were ever husband and wife. In fact, as I look back at those painful months and even when I read all the stuff I wrote during the same time, I see that much of my sense of loss was more about losing my marriage and living alone than it ever was about losing my love with Ell. She was the best friend I ever had but unfortunately most of my feelings for her ended there.

Ell and I were rarely physical, a lot of which came from my own self-esteem issues but also rooted in a blase attraction to one another. We found more joy in the presence of others than individually and outside of generally enjoying the compatibility and familiarity that time breeds, we were never on the same track in life. Were none of those things ever there? To some point, of course they were. But looking back it's plain to see they were rooted in immature reactions to life and to familial, church, and societal pressure. To say we never loved each other wouldn't be true, but it obviously was never a deep enough marital love that is defined by being able to work through anything and everything. In fact, in her speech to me the night she told me she was leaving me, she defined our love as more like a brother and sister than husband and wife. It was only a deep enough love to keep us together until something better came along. But losing your best friend still hurts... hurts like hell. And that's where I was in the months after she left.

Believe me, admitting my love for Ell was more one of friendship and not one born in complete & utter fascination with her is hard to admit and understandably may shock many who are hearing it for the first time. If you ever saw us together you would never think we had problems. The reason is, we didn't. We had a blast together. We travelled, went to concerts, partied, laughed, and so much more. Like I said, she was my best friend in the world. But friendships have limitations. My dearest friends in the world, Mike and Ginny, didn't move with me to North Carolina. Why? Because we're friends and they weren't willing to uproot their lives just because I was, and likewise, I would never ask that of them. The same thing was a big part of my life with Ell. I can't begin to list the things I gave up because she wouldn't go along with it; the same can be said of her. Neither of us were willing to support each other in all of the other's dreams. We tried, her more than me sometimes, but neither completely gave up our own selfishness. 

Despite being lonely, I never really missed Ell in the way someone should miss their spouse. I wanted her attention, I wanted her laughter, I wanted her presence. I never missed kissing her, or holding her, or having sex with her; I just didn't miss those things. I'm sorry if that makes you reading this to think less of me, but it's long past due being honest about it. I guess I didn't see it then, or maybe I did but couldn't bring myself to the point of allowing myself to see what was really happening. If I ever said those things, it was more out of vocalizing the things I saw as the right things to say to save a marriage. Many, many times Ell has asked that we retain our friendship which I believe to signify her resolve that she still feels much the same way as she stated that dreadful evening.

The final point in this full-exposure, is that I place much of the blame for the demise of my marriage on myself and not Ell. It's easy to blame the person that met a guy on the Internet, ran up our cellphone bill talking to him behind my back, drove five hundred miles to meet him, and then eventually moved in with him long before we were divorced. But none of those would have happened if I had tried to make our marriage an actual marriage versus a roommate arrangement. Is she faultless? Of course not. But please don't ever think she was the only problem just because I was the one trying to save the relationship. That's just not true. I had grown fat and lazy, felt left behind by her schooling and future plans, and was collapsing into myself long before she left. Those are my things and I have to live with them now.

I had someone ask me the other day if I was really over Ell. Again sorry if I offend, but I couldn't be more done with her than I am. She is not the same person who was my wife and friend, and as much as it is going to sound mean, I would never be attracted to the person she is now on either of those relationship levels. Unfortunately I say that not knowing who she really is anymore, and I'm afraid that can be said for more than just the last two+ years. She was gone long before she left, and I'm not sure I knew her even then, or would want to. I wish her all the happiness in the world, but I don't want to be in any of it.  

So that's what really happened.


Blogger Andrew said...

Whats the album?

11:25 AM  

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