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A Boy, A Girl, and The Marine Corps: A Love Triangle: Where Do I Go From Here?

A Boy, A Girl, and The Marine Corps: A Love Triangle

"I cast my lot with a Marine and where he was, was home to me." ~ Anonymous.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Where Do I Go From Here?


This is a question we have all asked ourselves at one point in our lives.  We have all been standing in a moment and thought, “Well, what now?”  But what do you do when that moment you are standing in, when that place you are in, is your marriage?

My husband and I are not right.  We haven’t been right for years.  We haven’t been right since he called me to say his unit was prepping to come home, but that he was not coming home with them.  No, he did not stay in Iraq, but he chose to stay on base, half a state away from me.  In that moment, I felt utterly betrayed.  How can this man I know and love and adore and would die for tell me that he did not need me the way I needed him.  He did not need me to feel right and whole and to know that all we have been through was going to be ok because we were together again.  I don’t know whose fault it was after that.  Probably both of ours.  I don’t know exactly how and when the fighting began after the silence ended.  I don’t know when he stopped reaching out for my hand when we walked, even though I still reach for his. 

I cannot tell you at what point in the last few years I realized he was slipping away.  His fingers were not longer tangling with mine, his laugh no longer sounded as loud and I had stopped laughing all together.  But I can tell you that one year ago I looked in his face and no longer saw the adoration he once had for me.  I saw what I had been fearing and trying to fight.  He was no longer telling people I was amazing when I wasn’t around anymore.  He was no longer even telling me.

Some very wise person once told me that you can’t change people, they are who they are, you have to accept them for who they are because people don’t change.  Though I do understand that, I truly do, I know that people change.  I know that when my husband, my hero, my rock, my support, the man who used to hide love notes in my school bag and in drawers around the house to tell me he loved me and was proud of me, came home from war and never looked at me the same way again.  The light was gone.  The spark that burned us up when we were angry and equally burned when we were happy had been extinguished.  People change when life changes them.  No, no one is ever going to change because you want them to, but they will change chooses to show you a reason. 

Our life seems to have shown us more than enough reasons.  I saw that when my husband is gone I shut down.  I spent a year looking in the mirror wondering who I was if I wasn’t waking up every day taking care of him.  He was across the world and I had no control over the destiny of him coming home or not and all I could do was think, “someone else is washing his socks now.”  I was suddenly living our life, cleaning our house and lost.  I changed.  I changed because my reason to get out of bed was no longer sleeping next to me and I had to find a new reason to get out of bed.  Some days it felt like the battle of the century.  “All I have to do is get out of bed.  That is all.  Just get out of bed,” I would say.  Then, a little later in the day I would say, “all I have to do is get dressed today.  I don’t have to shower, I just have to put on clothes.”  Those were the days that usually coincided with day 10 of not hearing from a man I couldn’t bear to live without.

And while I was changing because my life had changed, he was across the world changing too.  He was in a place I could never imagine, and life was happening.  For better or worse, life was shaping who he would come home as.  And when he finally did, he came home a man who could no longer bear to look me in the face and tell me I looked beautiful even when I was sick.  He came home a man who wants to be married, but can not fathom what that means because he no longer notices the woman he is married to. 

I cannot change the man he is.  I can scream, beg, fight, kick, argue, explain, and cry, but none of those things alone or together will make him wake and look at me like I am his reason for being.  I can feel the anger.  I can feel the hurt oozing from my pores like sap from a tree.  I am not who I once was, but it never changed the way I feel about him.  I found new reasons to get out of bed, but it did not change that fact that I married him because I knew my purpose in life was to be his rock.  But I struggle every day with the feeling that I am no longer his.  He found new reasons to be who he is, and it does not appear that I was one of them.

I do not know whose fault it is that we are here, in this moment.  Who changed most?  Which change was the one that severed our bond, that broke our light, that extinguished the fire that burned so hot in our life?  I don’t know. But here we are, in a moment, in a place, where I’m standing, feeling lost, scared, unsure, and wondering:  Where do I go from here?


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