Got Kids? Stay Married ... It's That Simple
Got Kids? Stay Married … It’s That Simple
People often say that you shouldn’t stay married for the sake of the kids. After all, the logic goes, if parents are miserable, it will only hurt the kids.
It’s better for kids, they say, to have two happy parents who lead separate lives than to be exposed to sadness, emotional distance, and conflict in their family. Makes sense, right? Wrong. Now, after seeing the havoc that divorce wreaks on…
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I didn’t know why, at 17, seeing you for the first time hit me the way it did. It wasn’t “love at first sight,” or maybe it was and I just didn’t know what love was yet. But I knew, at that moment, something had happened. It wasn’t just an exchange in passing, there was something that was telling me “remember this moment, hold onto it” and I did, even though I didn’t know why at the time. I never fixated on it, I didn’t think about it constantly over the next few years, I didn’t try to understand what exactly it was that made me pause that day; I went on with my life, and so did you.
We went to different colleges, in different cities, in different states. We never shared another word for six years; Then we met again, but I wasn’t at a point in my life that I could share it with you, and neither were you. We both still had growing, and healing to do. So I thought that would be the end of it, I thought that was the extent of our story, that maybe whatever had pulled on me and said “remember this moment” was meant for something else.
But here we are. Five years later. Eleven years total. “Remember this moment” I remember being 17 and seeing you for the first time. Despite four years of high school together we managed one single interaction. I remember being 23 and waiting a whole month before you asked permission to kiss me. I remember being 26 and falling in love with you despite all my efforts not to.
We were just friends. I was moving, I told you that up front. There were no expectations, no standards to meet, no occasions to rise to. We were just friends watching football, sharing stories, building furniture. Eventually I tried to push you away, and you didn’t budge. And if I’m being honest with myself, that’s the moment you had me. How ridiculously simple of me, to fall for a man because he fought for me just once? No. You fought for me every day. You made an effort. You held me through my tears. You nursed me through fevers. You loved me through the darkest of my days. You forced me to face my feelings instead of suppress them. You made me talk instead of shut down. You convinced me to stay instead of run. You showed me what love was supposed to be.
“Remember this moment” as I’d watch you move through the kitchen, cooking dinner, my move always a heartbreaking whisper in the back of my mind. How many months left? Days? Hours? How many dinners? Not enough. Never enough. It felt like a lifetime in the beginning but summer came, turned into fall, turned into winter and as the days got shorter every little moment whispered “hold onto this.” Before I knew it I was holding you and sobbing, clutching the fabric of your shirt like if I held on tight enough I could make the world stop spinning. But I couldn’t, and you had to go.
“Remember this moment, hold onto it” because it’s those moments that get me through every day without you. Every day I’m alone in an unfamiliar city, missing the person I love the most, wondering if I made the wrong decision. But you never let me believe that, not for a second, you supported this move, even if it meant going without you. You never held me back, you only supported me, encouraged me, pushed me to see the excitement and opportunity instead of the sorrow and loneliness.
I love you, so wholly and completely. Without question or pause. Without conditions or concerns. Something I’ve never known before.