When you willing participate in a dead end relationship, you know for certain one thing...it will eventually end. When you are not the Wife, the Baby Mama or on the track to building a future with someone it is inevitable. It may take 2.5 years, but eventually it ends. Even if you have a great time together and laugh more than you ever have with anyone, even if your lives become intertwined and your families create bonds. Even if you love his children and yours love him. Even if you love his father and he helps take care of you and your children. Even if you spend nearly all of your free time together. If you are not on the same path, it is essentially a Nothing relationship.
A Nothing relationship can be mutually beneficial in many ways. Many ways. Some ways are practical, company, comfort, distractions, fun, entertainment. Some ways are helpful like setting up better filing systems and taking care of cleaning and repair projects around the house. Having a different perspective on things, being with someone with a different kind of life experience can really teach you new things.
But, at some point The Nothings hit a crossroads. They have to decide to stay together or venture off independently. And sometimes they venture off and try to find a better fit. But, then they get back together. Sometimes this happens...oh 8 -10 times in 2 years. Each time much like the first. Starts off great in the first few weeks. Missing each other makes the appreciation stronger. The attraction and chemistry is stronger than ever.
So the pattern continues and The Nothings try to build a relationship that works. It does for awhile. Still knowing this is not the person we will be with in the future. It is not the right fit, not the person I want to raise children with. But in the meantime, I WAS raising children with him. My children are influenced by him. My son dresses up for him for career day. My daughter is attached. His son is one of my most favorite children on the planet and his enthusiasm and love of music is contagious!! His daughter is smart and strong and teaches me and my children that working hard and being independent is valuable! His youngest child is a snuggle bug impossible not to love.
And yet...The Nothings return to the place of deciding. What's next? We went season by season. Sledding in the winter, biking in the spring and summer, distractions. Cleaning projects, road trips, binging tv shows, grocery shopping, day to to life.
Eventually it came to the end of the road. There was Nothing left but negotiating the furniture that would stay or go. Kitchen and living room tables stay, outdoor equipment goes.
Starting over again. Not as difficult as Divorce because my children, my house, my job are all my own this time around. But, harder in some ways. That chemistry connection was off the charts and tied us to The Nothingness for a long time. It is difficult to let go of.
Not difficult to let go of...the wondering, the what ifs, the extra laundry, the extra stress. The Nothingness.
So yesterday, after a 2 month separation, the last of the Nothingness went out. The final stuff is removed from the garage. The extra bed and stuff in storage began to feel like a scene from the Tell Tale Heart (according to Oz.) It was like the guy in the POE poem that felt like he heard a beating heart and started ripping up floor boards and it was just a watch. The extra stuff felt like that this week. I needed it out. Time enough had passed. When it went out the door it felt like a relief. I could breath again.
However, the true wisdom came from my children. When I told them back in December about the break up and the moving out of things in our house, they said, "Ok."
Should not have asked...
One of my sons said, "I didn't like how he talked to you. He was grumpy and you are happy. You need happy."
My beautiful, strong Baby Doll said, "It wasn't a good relationship anyway."
And so that summed it up. I can NEVER go back to Nothingness. They are always watching, listening and learning.
I am stronger than I have felt in a long time. My babies give me the strength to want more, to be better.
I am ready for SOMETHING, something real. Something meaningful.
I am awake now and when I look around I realize I have IT. I have this beautiful family. I have these people that love me, that I love.
I have my mom, my friends. They have been my pillars of support in all of this.
I have my aunts and cousins that are just surrounding me with love.
It felt good to have closure, to say no regrets, no hard feelings. Just it is what it is. It's all ok.
And now onto the next chapter.
That's the great thing about life.
There is always another chapter unfolding...