Friday night I watched the snow swirl outside as I sat at my kitchen island cross-legged after putting my kids to bed. I was thinking about how everyone is going bonkers on the internet because a woman proposed to her boyfriend with a bouquet of roses made out of Doritos; meanwhile, I was shoving them in my face two at a time while my husband (of nearly 20 years) was on his first date since our separation.
I’m fine with it, really fine in fact. Sometimes I wonder why I am fine with the father of my children, the man I’m still married to, wining and dining another woman. It feels wrong, but it also feels so freeing and right at the same time. He told me her name, and I could have stalked her on Facebook, but I would’ve gotten fake-cheese crap all over my phone, and really, I didn’t want to. Not even a little bit. Really. And I’ll tell you why.
I was beyond happy sitting in my kitchen, enjoying my bag of Doritos, the snow, and the sound of silence. I couldn’t wait to get my ass in bed and sprawl out. I’ve been sleeping diagonal these days without the sound of the band playing (aka my husband’s snoring), and it is glorious.
I’ve realized, after two decades being with this man, a man I’d wanted so desperately to be my husband, a man I wanted to make lots of babies with, a man I’d forgiven and fought for, and a man who is an amazing father, that I don’t love him the way a wife should love her husband. And he no longer loves me the way a husband should love his wife, and we’ve been able to let each other go and support one another through this transition.
Maybe it’s because his feelings mirror mine. We are both surprised by how free we feel. And we’re definitely civil because we have three kids watching, but also because we respect each other.
I feel like my love for him has morphed into a maternal kind of love. He wants passion and longing, he wants to be loved the way a wife should love her husband, and I want that for him, very much so.
If he is ready to date and feels like that is the next, natural step to his healing, I am with him (not literally with him on the date of course, that would be fucked up, plus my Doritos-chomping would probably ruin the mood). He has my support.
We have not been intimate or romantic in almost a year, and honestly, it’s been longer than that since I’ve wanted to shut down my whole lady workshop to him. He knows it, I know it, his left hand knows it.
We fought hard, for almost six years, to try to put our broken pieces back together, but no matter how much glue we used, it just wouldn’t stick. We were broken.
This person who proposed to me so many moons ago is wonderful, and he has so many gifts to share. And just because we aren’t living together anymore doesn’t mean we aren’t together in so many other aspects of our lives, especially where our kids are concerned, but not only where they are concerned.
He asked me what he should wear on the date, and I told him. He told me a bit about her the next day over lunch, and I listened. When he mentioned he was talking to another woman too because he “didn’t want to be monogamous after doing that for sooo long,” I called him a douchebag and reminded him he needs to be honest with these women and state very clearly what he is capable of right now.
I have no idea if he will listen to me, but I said my part after I threw a few french fries at him.
I like seeing him happy. I do. I like that he is moving forward.
I am happy and moving forward too. It just happens to be with a bag of Doritos right now, and not another man. My lady workshop just isn’t ready.