Someone told me long ago there’s a calm before the storm, I know its been coming for sometime.
CCR Have You Ever Seen The Rain
Kirk and I growing apart was gradual but when life as we knew it exploded everything we knew changed in an instant.
Marriages are like growing a garden. With a lot of hard work and love you will get rewarded but if you neglect that garden it will dry up. People, like gardens, thirst and crave. When their needs are not being met some people dry up and become bitter and others fight for what they need. Life is survival of the fittest, of the most determined, of the most heart.
When I came to the realization that my marriage was dying I wondered how it happened so quickly but the truth is it didn’t happen overnight. As a mother I was juggling many balls and the one that was my marriage dropped and rolled under the coach and I neglected to pick it up because I thought It would always be there, when I got around to it.
When Kirk and I met we collided. Falling in love with him was like finding the answer to all my questions. I loved the smell of him. I loved his intensity and passion. He is a fiery Scorpio, probably the worst match for a logical Capricorn like me. Being with someone like Kirk is like riding a Roller Coaster. When you are up, you are so high up you want to reach for the stars. The lights are bright, dizzying almost and the music is a nice accompaniment to your feeling of elation. When the Roller Coaster drops it happens so quickly that you barely catch your breath, the vibrant lights are but a memory and though you are still dizzy, that euphoria is now mingled with sadness and longing. That was our young life together, chasing the highs, enduring the lows and never really knowing anything in between.
Truth is often harder to write then fiction but one thing I know for certain is that putting syrup on shit doesn’t make it pancakes and quite quickly my marriage became shit. I neglected my marriage. Kirk became that plant in the corner that used to be bright and shiny and full of life, my favorite. I used to make sure he was nurtured and loved and then when both girls came along, his happiness became less and less of a priority for me. I had two beautiful girls to raise. I had been given a second and third chance at motherhood and I was determined to make the most of that. Somewhere out there was a 14 year old boy that I never had the opportunity to sing lullabies to and soothe away his fears. I needed to be the best mother I could and what I thought was my strength as a mother became my weakness as a wife.
I am absolutely not taking all the blame. Until recently I wouldn’t take any of it at all. That meant I spent many years hurt and broken. I was self righteous, indignant and mad. I held unto years of unnecessary pain. I punished Kirk and in turn I tortured myself.
There are always warning signs and we made feeble attemps at improving our situation but we came to a point where instead of us against the world it was us against each other. It was a no win battle. We floated around, going through the motions without really connecting with each other. Kirk should have told me. He should have shook me till I got it. He held tightly undo some of his own childhood issues and chose to make me as unimportant in his life as he felt in mine.
The physical connection was the one thing we clung to for dear life. It was our only form of communication we had that didn’t end in an argument. It was full of promises and apologies we were both to proud to say out loud. We became the couple that just passed each other in the hallways and we made no effort to be a part of each others lives or interests. Kirk was barely home, even when he wasn’t working he was hanging out with his friends. Had I made an effort to care I might have recognized that several of his friends were newly separated and that wasn’t a good situation for him, but instead we just carried on with the draining day to day fight and make up mentality that was wearing us both thin.
I was dealt a huge blow when I found out that Kirk had kept a huge secret from me that threatened our marriage and several others. Instead of having the guts to tell me he made little hints until I started to dig and question. A long tale of lies and deceit began to unravel and what I found is that Kirk had kept a huge secret for a friend at the expense of his own marriage and others, even going as far as being a scapegoat for a cheating friend and getting tangled so deeply in a web that he couldn’t see his way out. Initially though I was furious at him we held tight to each other. It opened up the lines of communication between us and for a very short time it was us against the world again. It was short lived though. We tried to talk like we used to but in divulving our truths it was clear to me that his choices were poor, his judgement wasn’t rational and we didn’t have much in common. I believed that I was better then him and he didn’t disagree. I recall quite clearly the day he left. He worked late and instead of coming home he went to his buddys. He was a truck driver so when he didn’t call to check in of course I was worried. When he crawled in the next day he said he didn’t want to wake me. I cried bullshit. I was mad and tired. I had spent one of countless sleepless nights worried. I had had enough. I told him we needed a break, he agreed and left.
Kirk was always a runner. He always chose leaving over arguing. He left me in tears several times over the years only to come back later and apologize. This time was different and I knew it immediately. Without raised voices or slammed doors he quietly walked out. We were on a break!
Unlike the infamous Ross and Rachel break I didn’t have the luxury of sitting in front of a rainy window listening to U2 ballads. I had to be a mommy. Haley was almost 8 monthes old, Morgan had just turned five. It was Nov 21, just over a month till Christmas. Good Times.