Last week I went out to dinner at a restaurant where people could write with chalk on the tables, and I posted this picture on Facebook.
Not long after, a friend of mine commented, Y’all give me sooooo much hope, a comment which made me think of a message a different friend sent me about a year ago saying Glenn and my separating and managing to overcome things and get back together despite our problems was inspirational to her in her new marriage. I’m sure right now there are plenty of people in total disagreement with these two people, people rolling their eyes, people thinking, Give me a fucking break, those two people have no business being together. Some of those people, people who know me personally, may be thinking that I’m crazy to stay with Glenn after everything that happened when we were separated; other people may be thinking that Glenn’s crazy to stay with me after everything that happened in the years before; and still, other people may be thinking that we’re both insane, that we both deserve more, that this relationship isn’t good for either of us. Those people are, as always, more than welcome to their own opinions. Nevertheless, to those people, I figuratively shout a resounding, reverberating, Fuck you! at the top of my lungs.
Figuratively, can you hear it?
Now, by no means do I think my marriage is a model for what a marriage should be, and the idea that it’s been an inspiration and provided hope to people is pretty shocking, but when I think about it, I can see it. Most people give up at the drop of a hat nowadays. A friend with a divorced mother told me once that her mom told her that if her husband ever gave her any trouble, ¡divorcite! Just like that (Spanish and all). And that mentality is not at all uncommon. If it were, the number of divorces wouldn’t be so staggering. Say what you want about my marriage, about the two of us, but we’re nothing if not tenacious. To people who want to believe that despite the problems and crises two people sharing a life will face, staying together is possible, I can definitely understand the inspiration thing. We’re definitely not people to just throw up our hands and walk away.
Not only are we not hand throwers and walkers away, but we’re also not so different from anybody else. Throughout this whole ordeal, especially after it, I’ve realized that in a lot of ways, my relationship is typical of a lot more relationships than people think (read: admit). The only real difference is that with my relationship, the problems aren’t hidden behind smiles and a bunch of bull. In my relationship, when there’s a cataclysmic event, it’s a cataclysmic event for the whole world to read. Just because we’re not reading or hearing about the cataclysms in everybody’s household, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
(I don’t want to name names (that is so not true. I really want to name names--but I won’t), but I can’t tell you how many people I know who have lied to significant others; cheated on, or are currently cheating on, significant others; been cheated on by significant others; hidden money from significant others; have significant others with substance abuse issues; have significant others who are so controlling, they dictate what their partner eats and drinks; have significant others who won’t, or can’t, have sex—I could go on, but I think you get the idea.)
Still, as much as I believe my marriage is no different from anyone else's and that anybody with anything bad to say can stick my words where the sun don't shine, I have to admit there was one person I was afraid to tell about my reconciliation: North Star. North Star lives half the country away--more than half the country away--and the only thing she knows about me and Glenn is what I tell her. As you can imagine, as aligns with human nature--at least my human nature--she hears a lot of the bad and barely any of the good. As a result, I've been avoiding telling her the news.
Yesterday, though, I told her.
I sent her a text about something unrelated, and she text me back, asking, Are you and Glenn back together?
With total apprehension, I told her that we were. I also told her I'd been afraid to tell her, not because of her, but because of all the horrible things I'd said. I told her I knew they depicted a relationship that couldn't--shouldn't--be saved. Because I know how much North Star cares about me and my well-being, I thought she'd think I'd made a horrible mistake.
But North Star, being North Star, surprised me. (She really shouldn't have--it's partially because of things like this that I love her as much as I do.)
I always support love, Kelly, she wrote.
I guess I do, too.
And I really can't imagine why anybody would not.