My husband and I first met over 8 years ago. We met in a chat room designed to be a place for people to chat about and share pictures of their favorite things to collect. Our relationship started with a brief yet meaningful note of thanks from a simple Kansas girl to a soldier currently stationed in Iraq after a comment was made about his current location. This led to a conversation, which led to an acquaintanceship, which led to a friendship.
After months of keeping each other company over the computer and hanging out on chat and messenger, and even a few calls when he was given the chance to, we started to agree we wanted to see if our friendship could be something more. He got to come home that January and we finally got to meet in person. I remember that first evening as if it still just happened recently vs years ago… We had some differences and a few minor disagreements here and there which we knew were bound to happen but at some point in the night, when heading back from a store, he hit a curb on accident in the rain because the road was hard to see and he missed the actual turn. He pulled the car up into a nearby parking lot to check on the tire only to find out the wheel rim was bent up.
Long story short, while he was struggling with trying to switch it all out with the spare from the trunk with minimal tools and while getting drenched in the rain, I was standing there next to him despite him telling me repeatedly to go ahead and just get in the car. I was shielding him from the pelting as best as I could by being a barrier between him and the direction it was all pouring down from due to the wind. We both agreed that I was a “stubborn little thing” but that he was too and he eventually managed to get the job done just in time for the rain to finally slow down to a light sprinkling. lol Go figure that right?
While he was putting things back in the trunk we started laughing about the whole night together while I playfully rung out my soaking wet hat on him and then switched it out with his. After about a minute of just laughing and being silly we kind of just stopped and looked at eachother and ended up sharing our first kiss. Right there in the parking lot, with the rain still sprinkling, and with me being so much shorter I had to stand on my tiptoes to reach him. (When he noticed that, he put me on a curb lol) It was nothing big, just a simple innocent one. The fireworks were sure going off though and my heart was definitely melting.
After that night, I knew I was in love. I knew I had found the person I wanted to spend my life with. And no. It wasn’t based on the kiss, I promise. We started dating “officially” the next day and were married towards the end of July. The wedding (which was originally planned for April) was rushed due to a deployment schedule he received that had him heading off to Germany for 3 years starting in August. His commanders he had at the time knew we had gotten engaged and encouraged us to go ahead and get married so I could go with him on his deployment.
Now… almost 7 years after we were married… I am sitting here with a heart that is shattered, broken, and trying to heal and a home that has been missing a crucial part of the family for almost the entire marriage. Even though he was released from the army just shy of 2 years into our marriage so he could come home and be here for me and our then 6 month old son.
What happened? I had fallen ill. Very ill. And it has permanently disabled me as a result. It also brought to light some underlying issues (Ehlers Danlos Syndrome for one) that I didn’t even realize I had until I suddenly fell so ill. Then our children started struggling too. Autism we have now come to find out.
Life got hard, the road got tough, and the bachelor life started calling. And sadly, he answered that call. Repeatedly. I tried to hang on, I tried to make it all work and to heal our dying marriage and he would come back from time to time. A week here, a month there… In reality though, he didn’t want it. He was done and no amount of me wanting that to not be true would change that fact…
It’s been almost 3 years since I last saw him now… outside of the sudden showing up around Christmas back in 2010 after having been missing for almost a year. He promised so much that Christmas. He gave a broken and crushed heart so much hope… A part of me still wishes he had never come home that week. It just made everything harder when the cycle played out yet again and it was obvious he wasn’t really getting “help so he could come home”. And now… I am looking at a life where I am single by all means except paperwork (I couldn’t afford it and the local legal aid was of no help). He has moved on, he’s meeting new girls, he’s making a new life for himself.
And me? I am trying to heal. I’m picking up pieces and doing my best to make a new life for my children and me. I’m holding my sons, working on healing, pushing through life, and standing in the rain at least enough to keep the tears at bay for the most part at least. Silently hurting, silently struggling, silently suffering… And trying to remain strong at least for my boys if not for myself too.
At first I fought and prayed for my marriage with everything I had and all of my being. Now I just pray for the strength to move on, the grace to heal, and the mercy to find closure on the past and a chance at a happier future. I still don’t hate him. I will never be able to hate him. That’s what makes all this so painful… But I am done trying to fix it. I do hope he has found happiness in his life somehow though and, for the kids’ sake, I honestly hope he someday comes back and at least picks up the father role…