Things have been rough at home. I mentioned it a bit here. And I also said I wouldn’t write about it. But I decided that I would. Because this blog is about life. And this is my life right now.
D is for Divorce
About six weeks ago, I told Eric that I want a divorce. We came up with a plan, and walked around each other like ghosts.
We both started our grieving process, and bounced around from grief to anger to acceptance.
Well I got to acceptance, Eric didn’t.
Before I left for my trip to Ohio last week, Eric told me he wanted to talk to me.
As I was packing he put Lorelai down for a nap and walked by the bedroom door.
“You said you wanted to talk.” I called out the door, as he took the first step downstairs.
“Oh, it can wait until you’re done packing.” He said, peaking his head over the threshold.
“I have less than an hour, I’m packing, and then calling a Lyft.”
“Ok,” he came into the room shyly, laughing nervously. He looked at me, the way he often does and said, “I want another chance.”
In the Beginning
Eric and I met in college. He was 20 and I was 23. We started dating after I turned 24, and I threw a party for him when he turned 21. We broke up after our first month together, and the rest of our 13 years together have been a delicate dance between happy and sad, passion and anger, loneliness and joy.
I’ll admit that when he asked for another chance, I knew I wasn’t going to give it to him. I had already given him another chance. And another after that. Then another still. There were no chances left to give. I told him I’d think about it on my trip, and I’d let him know.
I was away for three days. The first day was when we had the conversation above, the second was a full day in Ohio, and I told Eric the answer was no. I couldn’t give him another chance. It was over. I had tried, so hard. I did my best. And he should have given it his all when I gave him his other chances.
When I woke up the next day and headed in to work, for my second full work day in Ohio, I thought about my decision. I thought about how unfair it was that Eric expected another chance just because he was ready to change. And why wasn’t he ready when I wanted him to be?
And then it hit me. You can’t force anyone to do anything. You can’t force someone to quit smoking, to lose weight, or to change their bad habits. The only way someone can change, is by making the decision to do it themselves. I’ve learned this from my own weight loss decision, and quitting smoking, and all the other bad habits I’ve had to quit. I could only do it when I was ready to do it.
When I say it hit me, I mean it hit me. Like a ton of bricks. And I told Eric that we’d give it another shot. But this would be the last shot.
F is for Forgiveness
I have a lot to work on, and he does too. We talked about a plan for him, a plan for me, and a plan for us. We also started setting some ground rules. I’m not naive enough to think that everything will chance over night, and honestly I’m not 100% convinced that this change will last.
But I knew I had to give Eric the chance, now that he’s ready to take it. He deserves that. And our family deserves that.
It’s been four days so far, and it feels different. In a good way. But the real test will be how it feels in four months, four years, forty years. Time will tell.