Divorced At 23? Really?I was fifteen-years-old when I met the man I was going to marry. Did I know it at the time? No, of course not. But as the years passed by, and our relationship grew; marriage was more and more a part of our future. We had survived so many things, it seemed like we were destined to be together. He was two years ahead of me in high school, so when he graduated and went off to college people expected our relationship to end, but we survived that. I graduated and went off to college and he dropped out to work full time retail. We survived that. He moved four hours south to accept a management job and I didn't move with him. Yet another relationship destroyer, and we survived that. Finally he moved back home and a year later, we were engaged.
I was so excited and felt so lucky to marrying my high school sweetheart. We had such a strong, loving relationship. We never fought, enjoyed doing the same things, had a great group of mutual friends. Planning the wedding was a breeze and we never had a second thought about what we were about to embark upon. Even our marriage counselor didn't see any red flags and gave us his blessing. Life was good.
The day of the wedding came and everything went perfectly. He cried when he said his vows. Our honeymoon was spent on a week-long cruise and we had an amazing time.
We are now eight years into our relationship and things couldn't be better. I finally found a job teaching, and he got a promotion at his job. I wasn't exactly enthusiastic about the job - it involved travel every week and we didn't get to see one another as much as I liked. But he was happy, and the money was good, so I accepted it and made the most of the time we had together. This went on for about eight months, and then my world came crashing down around me.
I came home from teaching one day, and plopped myself down in front of our computer to check my e-mail. To my surprise, my husband's e-mail was up and a message shown on the screen. I didn't intentionally read it, but the line "I miss you and can't wait until we can be together" stuck out like it was written in 26 pt. font and bl
I literally didn't know what to do with myself. Blindisded is an understatement. We never fought, we were never unhappy, things were good. Where did this come from? We had been together for almost nine years, he couldn't tell me if something was wrong? If he was unhappy? I did the only thing I could, and I ran. I went to a firend's house and tried to talk everything out with him, tried to make sense of it all. It didn't work. I decided that we needed counseling, that our relationship needed to be saved. That it could be saved.
He agreed and we went to counseling for about a month. During this time, I moved out and lived with a friend. We agreed that he wouldn't speak to Kristen, and that he would give the counseling and our relationship a chance. The thing that's hard to understand about counseling is that sometimes you find the opposite of what you want.
Counseling did not go well. To be honest, I don't even remember the conversation we had. All I remember is crying, and not being able to understand how and when he fell out of love with me. It didn't hit me that it was really over until one day, I decided to go back to our old apartment (in which he as still living) to pick up some clothes I had left there. At this point, I was tired of being in limbo. Tired of wondering what he was thinking, and if he was serious about trying to love me again. I just wanted a straight answer. Little did I know that the answer would be staring me in the face when I walked into the apartment.
As I walked into the livingrooom, a journal was sitting on top of the coffee table. I guess he didn't expect me to drop by while he wasn't there, and left the journal out without thinking. My curiosity got the best of me and I picked up the journal and began reading. To my surprise, he was not writing for himslef, but writing love letters to Kristen. While I read the letters, I discovered that he was still talking to her, and really had no intentions of ending their affair. He was excited to have her come meet his family, to take her to the places that were "ours", to have her be a part of his life. I don't know - maybe he left it there on purpose. It was at that moment that I knew there was nothing to save.
Two months later, we were divorced. I couldn't believe I was only 23, and I had a divorce on my resume. I didn't know how to cope. I didn't know how I was supposed to go on. When he left, he took my identity with him. Who was I without him?
This went on for about three months. I refused to go out, to do anything. I stayed home. I cried. I didn't eat. I mourned.
My friend Kira, finally convinced me to start going out with her and her friends. It was really hard at first, but finally I started letting myself have fun. The kind of fun I missed out on by being in a relationship throughout high school and college. I started to find myself, and to be okay with who I found.
There was a period where I just wanted to be back in a realtionship, and I tried to force things that weren't there. But eventually I was able to let that go, and made a concious decision to just be singe. As soon as I decided that, you can guess what happened.
It was a Friday night, and Kira and I had decided to go to a party at one of her friend's houses. It was just another party, and I was actually excited to meet some new people. We parked on the street and made our way to the garage where a rousing game of beer pong was going on. We didn't make it to the garage when Kira was greeted by Jon, the guy hosting the party. Jon was followed closely by one of his friends whom Kira hadn't seen in a long time. After jumping on him like a crazy person, and giving him a huge hug, she introduced him to me and told me his name was Matt.
The moment I met Matt, I swear the world faded away and I only saw him. It was the strangest feeling...not love at first sight, not lust at first sight, just something telling me that there was something different here. We chatted most of the night and found out we had several things in common and wound up exchanging numbers. I tried not to think much of it - after all I had made a concious decision to stay single. However, we wound up going to the beach that weekend.
It is now four years later, and I am engaged to Matt. I never thought I would be able to get my life back to this point. I thought it would be hard to trust someone again, and I certainly didn't see myself getting married again. But when I met Matt, it was so natural. I realized that the feelings I had for him were unmatched, and that what I found with Matt was actually missing from my failed relationship.
I write this story not only because I wanted it to be told - but to give those who may be going through a similar situation hope for their future. At the time, things seem so bleak and dark. That your world is shattered into such tiny pieces that it seems impossible that they will ever fit back together again. It's not impossible, it just takes time.