Before the demise of my marriage, I had a recurring dream. In the dream I was not married to my husband. I was either with an ex or dating new people. And I’d feel a crushing sense that something was wrong. It’s like the real relationship I was in was in my peripheral vision, reminding me of what could be, but I just couldn’t materialize the thought. I’d think, “No, this isn’t right, this person I’m with isn’t the right person for me, there is someone better for me. This is a mistake.” And then I’d either remember him, or wake up next to him and see him, and feel relieved that I was still with him, that I’d found love, that these ghosts of inferior might-have-been relationships were not real. I felt that secure. It felt that perfect.
A few weeks ago I had a similar dream, but I remembered I was divorced. My heart plead to me in my dream: “This is not right. This is not what should have been. Can you reconsider? Can you get that love back? That one, that was always the right one?”
But I can’t, and not just, as my heart presumed, because I will not try.
It was never a matter of staying or going for me. There was no course of action I could have taken that would have saved my marriage. He was intent on burning it all down. He left me not just for his “true, authentic self,” but for a lifestyle that he wanted more than he wanted me. A lifestyle he had begun pursuing months before he let me in on it. He wanted rid of his past. He wanted to be a hero among liberals. He wanted a lifestyle with cachet. He wanted to literally make the news. He wanted a different person, whom he’d had his eye on long before he told me, who represented the newness and popularity and praise and validation he craved.
He did not have the self esteem required to survive a simple life, in a simple house, with a boring wife who loved him more than anything, being just another unrecognized someone.