Today I was in a meeting with at work and was slightly nervous about talking in front of my senior leadership team. I have a 'tic' where by I spin the back of my wedding ring with my thumb. The feel of the metal, the knowledge that no matter how bad the meeting goes I will still have someone to love and share in my experience back home. It reassures me that it will all be okay no matter what.... The only problem? I no longer wear the ring. I no longer have the support of a loving husband at home waiting to hear how my meeting went. That feeling of someone invisible behind you rooting for you is gone. All I have left is a bare finger and a 'tic' which leaves me with a stab of pain at the harsh reminder: you are alone. I take a deep breath, change my thought process to 'well if it all goes horribly wrong I have no one to answer to I have only me to impress' and complete the presentation with few worries. But that bare ring finger that feels almost naked, the memory of what once 'was' and the reality of what 'is' remains with me.
With the 2 year engagement and the 3 years married it took 5 years to develop this 'tic' to the point of where it is a completely unconscious thing. I wonder how long it will take before it goes? I can only imagine what it is like for a person to loose a limb, the 'ghost' ring feels so real on my hand it haunts me. I also begin to wonder if my ex has the same moments. I used to see him twirling his wedding ring when he was nervous or stressed: is he haunted also? Does he get regular painful reminders of what once was? I took my ring off before him, he kept his on for months after the break, I can only assume as it was a comfort to him. But now we are both bare and exposed.
He said recently that I deserved better than him and I needed to go back and reflect upon the bad times. That (at the end) he wasn't kind to me and he was so messed up I should be with someone worthy of my love. So I reflected. Painful memories of shouting in the streets, lack of intimacy, dark discussions over dinner or his complete disinterest in engaging with me when I tried to talk about our issues... But after the explosion they always ended up with us sitting down and talking it through, those fights (perhaps only for me?) always had a positive outcome. I also remembered the good times: our riverside walks, holidays, sweaty kisses post marathon, holding hands meandering through London in the sunshine spending the day just talking and laughing, driving route 66 and seeing the hardships lift off his shoulders and just become 'lighter'. That was harder to deal with. But what is hardest were the moments inbetween. The moments where we were just living our joint lives: plodding along in the shops, texting / calling each other just to see how the others day was, sitting together in comfortable silence, reading in bed, driving to relatives houses, just sitting on the sofa watching TV or meeting friends for a few drinks after work. Those memories, like my naked finger, are like a dagger to the chest. I almost want to ring him up and shout at him 'don't just remember the good, don't just remember the bad, REMEMBER US' but I won't. The phone will remain firmly in my bag. It would just be an exercise in futility. You can't force someone to love you. Just like you can't force yourself to fall out of love. Time will lessen the pain. Hurt will become acceptance. Love will eventually become indifference and life will continue on. Because it always does.... But until then the twirling of the invisible ring continues to haunt me.
On a lighter note I am a big believer in the universe and signs... I shall explain the gensis of my name change to honeybees in another post. Yesterday I came across a website about positive thinking and the laws of attraction. There was a section on how to attract the right partner for you - but it could be applied to anything. Instead of going out and chasing it (dating websites, constantly on the look out in bars) just envisage that person you know you will be with, allow yourself to feel those feelings, imagine sitting there with them and talking - what are they like, how do they make you feel, picture your surroundings and just bring it to life in glorious technicolor within your mind. Hold memories of that person & feeling, just let the universe act of its own accord. Don't chase it, you aren't ready yet, the universe will bring someone special into your life when you are ready. The universe is looking out for you. I felt lighter. Moments later I look at my phone and I just received and email (from instagram) which had the following quote:
My love, do you not understand?
is thinking of you.
Wishing one day
somewhere somehow you
Believe in this..
Your sweet flame is out there
and they are waiting for you too.
Its all a matter of time.
It always is.
Even if it isn't something you believe in and are sceptical about the whole 'hippy' notion, it makes you feel better. You aren't obsessing over your ex or lingering over painful memories. It gives you (if only for a few moments) respite for the pain. Will it being your perfect match? Who knows! It doesn't matter as you are still finding yourself. But meditating on a positive feeling will make you feel better and eventually (I hope) those positive moments and feelings will start to outweigh the painful moments.
Hi vastara, I really like your idea of replacing the ring with another one that symbolizes your friends and family. I think I may invest in one and wear it on another finger in order to remember how truly blessed I am.
Hi Sungirl, I used to suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. It took the terminal cancer diagnosis of a teenager close to me in order to realise that I can't sweat the stuff I have no control over. I agree getting out there and living your life is paramount. I don't want to think 'well thats it, i've tried marriage and it hurt so i'm done with relationships' I understand why people do that and that it can work for them but it certainly isn't for me. I love being in a relationship and experiencing life with another person, I just hope that when the time is right my Mr Darcy will come along us sweep us off our feet ;D
Great blog, I've thought about getting a small tattoo on my wrist, something that would mean something very personal to me that when I looked at it, it would give me strength and remind me how far I've come and what I've gained since my breakup. Either a small bird in flight or a tiny triangle a symbol of strength. I also think it's a great idea to visualise how you see your life, being successful and happy instead of focusing on bad things. I really must do more of this, I suffer from Anxiety probably caused by thinking of all the bad things that might happen in a situation. One thing I will say though is ( and I'm sure you are as you sound very positive). Is get out there and live your life and do as many things as you can. I have a couple of friends that after their marriages ended have settled into single life, they work, look after their kids and sit in there pj's watching TV and drinking wine. Nothing wrong with that I hear you say! Yes it's fine on occasions but that's all they do, they would love to meet Mr right and say one day he will come along, but not when they are sat on their own in front of the TV! They have both settled into a sort of comfortable exsistance of not really living just wishing. One of my favourite quotes is ' your life is a book, start writing it' x
I enjoyed reading your blog Honeybees. Getting used to no rings is strange at first, especially when you've paired it with a reminder of your partner's love and support. For several months after ex left I wore a different ring on my left middle finger to help me get used to it, but also as a deliberate reminder to myself of the support of friends and family. Then I took it off and don't think about it often now.