Yesterday, I got to watch my oldest nephew marry his best friend. It was a beautiful ceremony.
Meanwhile, somewhere in Lenoir, NC my former boyfriend got married as well. I was surprised when I first realized he was getting married this weekend – I originally thought it was going to be in December.
To be honest, a part of me hoped it wouldn’t have happened at all. I often joke that I want him to be happy . . . mostly. The truth is, I really do want him to be happy. But I am concerned. It surprised me when he got engaged less than 4 months after we broke up, mostly because a major reason for our relationship ending was the fact that he had told me he didn’t want to get married at all. He didn’t even want to move in together.
It’s always tough to swallow the reality that it’s not that someone doesn’t want to get married, they just don’t want to get married to you. No one wants to feel that kind of rejection from someone they care about. It’s easy to wonder, “what’s wrong with me?” even though friends will be quick to point out that it is his loss and he’s the one who has something wrong with him. I appreciate the love from these friends – but it still stops and makes you wonder.
On the other hand, I do have a sort of survivor’s guilt when it comes to my ex-boyfriend. When we broke up, it was civil. There were tears, but there were also hugs. I was hurt that he had replaced me before ending it, and therefore preferred to have a clean break while I recovered and repaired myself and my heart.
Prior to our break-up, there were 6 of us that had a pretty special bond. 3 couples, each with at least one librarian in the mix, and we used to email and communicate daily and get together as often as we could. The first couple to move away eventually ended up in Texas, the other couple relocated to Raleigh, and then it was just he and I. I mean, we still got together with the others when we could, and emailed the others, but locally, there was just he and I. Our weekends were always spent together, most of our social activities were with my friends or The Charlotte Geeks.
So when we ended, a big part of his social life on a weekly basis was gone. He did have friends from his work that he got together with occasionally – but really, most of the past 5 years had been spent in the world of Geeks or just the two of us.
So a part of the psychologist side of me wonders if being with this new girl didn’t somehow make it more urgent that she replace his whole world – that not losing her became more important because he didn’t have much else for a while. And that maybe he rushed in to marriage with her rather than risk being left alone. And I worry that me cutting myself off from him might have played a small part in that.
I could be completely and utterly wrong. I hope I am. I hope that his decision to get married less than 9 months after we broke up is because she truly is what I evidently wasn’t – his soulmate.
As for me, a dear friend pointed out that although she hated that we ended, she felt that in the past year she got to know me better than she ever had when he and I were a couple. I know I’ve gotten to know myself better as well. I’ve had several stumbles in love – thinking I’d found something only to realize what was there was not right. But I’ve survived – I’ve made deeper friendships – and I’ve learned a little bit more about me. I’m not rushing in to anything that will jeopardize the good things that have resulted from our break up.
I hope someday that I get to say “I do” to a good man. I used to say I wasn’t interested in getting married again. In reality, I said that because I didn’t want to scare off men. At times, I think I want to swear off men, but nope – I don’t think I want that either.
Marriage is a good thing when it’s with the right one – I’m sure of that. I’ve seen it with some great couples I have known. As I continue to watch my nieces and nephews head down the aisle, I wish them love that holds fast through sickness and health, for better or for worse. Someday, I hope to find it too, and when I do – I know it will be because I took my time to make the right choice.