Updated: Jul 18, 2019
“Pat remarried last weekend. Did you know?”
The phone call finally arrived. I quickly wrapped it up, and slowly, I sat down on the nearby sofa; gazing at the quiet space. My eyes would occasionally blink at the sound of my three-year old’s morning noise. Suddenly, the room became flooded with bittersweet memories of my dead marriage.
See, Pat never proposed. We were roommates. I fell in love. He liked me. We got pregnant, so the obvious “right” thing to do was to tie the knot. My family was the only one in attendance at the wedding. Except for his friend and one of his cousins, Pat’s family never knew he married me until the night I gave birth to our first son. I did not mind - as long as I was married.
Back then, I convinced myself that my love for him was enough to sustain us both. Pat was my first, and I was determined to see him be my last.
As years passed, I thought that my prayers would be powerful enough to heal the pain of hanging onto the marriage. Sadly, the frustration of trying to make it work heightened into a rage. I hoped that another child could mend the broken glass, but it deepened the wound even further. My love was clearly inadequate to arouse him or make him love me back. To say the truth, our marriage lived beyond its expiration date.
We both stuck at it for our first son. Well! Perhaps for our own pride too. To be fair, Pat struggled with how to be a good husband to me. As the lack of trust, emotional turmoil, and dull intimacy moved into our home, I could see that his yearning for another life, without me in it, had mushroomed.
One day, he announced that he was moving back to his country in the nearest months. A couple of months later, I found out we were expecting again. He invited me to come along, but it would be at my own risk - the risk of living on an unhappy marriage.
I knew then that my husband hated me more than he had ever liked me. This, I could no longer ignore. After ten years of pretending, he gladly signed the divorce documents. I won full custody of both children. Then again, was it really a win?
He left. I gave birth to my second son alone. A few months after the divorce became final, rumor had it that he was planning his second wedding. I pretended not to care; after all, I was the one who filed for the divorce. Somehow, this morning news was more painful than our separation; as if exposing a desperate wish for reconciliation.
Also, it wasn't a competition or anything, but I'd been praying to remarry first. So, I felt twice betrayed. My ego was hurt. I was angry and ashamed. Seated there, I failed to understand why God did not save my marriage. Was I that bad?
Thankfully, I found some comfort in reciting David’s psalms. With my face swimming in tears, I picked up the phone, this time to send a congratulatory text. An incoming message tone immediately rang back with just two words; “Thank you,” like our ten years of marriage were as banal as those two words.
I walked to my boy still playing in the next room, looked into his eyes, and realized that all was not lost. Though the hour to really turn the page had come, but with it, there was a chance to start over - this time to start right.
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