I’m finally up for the task of taking the wedding photographs out of the frames I put them in 18.5 years ago.
I’m tearful, but handling it okay.
I’m handling the pictures carefully, almost reverently, and paying attention to the hopeful glow that once graced our faces.
Who would have known the marriage would have been fraught with so many challenges, which neither of us were adequately equipped to handle?
Coming from divorced parents, I knew marriage was hard. I knew I wasn’t sure I was up for the challenge and almost elected not to get married.
We both came from dysfunctional families of origin.
And in the early days, that made us cling to each other all the more. It was us against the world, an attitude that was part of the problem as we kept much of our problems hidden from other people, who may have been able to give good counsel, before things got a helluva lot worse.
Slowly, over the years, difficult events started eroding our connection. We tried, in various ways, to revivify the marriage, which helped us temporarily reconnect and block out the problems, but eventually too many events happened that stacked the deck against us.
We couldn’t reverse the damage we’d done to each other.
I know we tried. We tried hard.
But sometimes, no matter how hard you want something to work out, it just doesn’t.
This process of decoupling and coming to terms with all that’s happened in my life hasn’t been easy, and I suppose it’s not supposed to be easy.
But I also know that doing this now will make it easier to move forward.
Even after all this pain, I know that I’m still hopeful.
I’m willing to get rise back up after falling down hard.
I have some wonderful new friends.
I have a wonderful new partner.
We are putting to good use the lessons we’ve learned.
The biggest lesson we’ve come to learn is this:
With it, a great deal of life’s difficulties can be alleviated.
And I want to do my part to be kind as others have been kind to me during this sometimes glacially slow process of digging out from under.