Maybe we were too young. I was 21 when we made those vows. You were 23. Whatever the reason, we didn’t have that bad of a marriage in my opinion. I mean, we had our typical little spats like all married couples go through. But nothing huge. The fact of the matter is, you were selfish. Plain and simple. You wanted out of the responsibilities and commitment. You wanted that old life back. The one that consisted of partying and drugs and didn’t include children and marriage. Ya know, all that “man” stuff. You had no desire to be a man any longer.
I got down on my knees and begged you to stay. I swore I would change who I was if you stayed. Now, I wish I could go back to that day 6 years ago and yank that old me up off of her knees and smack a little sense into her. Because love is not about losing who you are, nor is it about letting go of your dignity. A true lady doesn’t need to get down on her knees and grovel. Because a real man is strong enough to take her as she is and treat her right. You weren’t worth my tears. It’s a real shame how you played things. You lived with your new girlfriend and your baby that you had with her just ten minutes away from me and our sons. (Hell, our youngest son was 2 months younger than the son you had with her.) But how often did you make that ten minute drive over to my place to see your sons? And child support. Six years of not a penny. Least you could have done is paid THAT. But you had other priorities, didn’t you?
What really pist me off is that recently I found you and extended the hand of grace and forgiveness to you on the phone. Hadn’t heard your voice in 6 years. And not ONCE did you apologize. All you had were excuses. And though I do understand how alcoholism and addiction work, I also know that part of a recovery program is to apologize to those you have wronged. How damn hard would an apology have been? How much pride are you still wrapped up in that you can ramble out excuses for fifteen minutes but not once just say “Hey, I fucked up. I’m sorry.” ?
I’m keeping in touch now because no matter what I do understand that my sons deserve roots as much as wings and the fact is you are part of their roots. As long as you are staying sober and clean I will continue to allow you some contact with them. But you must understand how fiercely protective I am of them. How it annoys me when I speak to you and you call them “Our Sons.” Sure, I know technically speaking they are OURS. But I have been here for 6 years doing this on my own. Raising our boys into fine young men without any assistance from you. I held the fort down. I paid the bills. I taught them about faith and God and grace and love and peace. I doled out discipline. I homeschooled them. I played Santa. I wrapped birthday gifts. I clapped at the awards ceremonies. I cried when the three older boys got saved and baptized. And normally I am not a selfish person. But in this case I think I deserve every single shred of selfishness.
The only reason these boys are as awesome as they are is because of me. You gave up any chance to take a bit of credit for that when you chose to walk out that door. You missed out on a lot. You left me with a heartache that took a long time to heal and a messed up sense of self esteem that I find myself STILL working on. BUT, you also left me with 4 beautiful boys who have been my heart and soul all along. I think in the end that pretty much means I win.