I decided a couple weeks ago that it's time to annul the marriage. On Monday I visited my parish office and met with the associate pastor -- a woman. (Someday there will be no choice but to allow women priest.) It felt right and it felt about time. It will be five years in December that this marriage ended and four years when the legal contract was dissolved. I will have known him for 30 years in December. December is a momentous month. Christ was born and my marriage died.
After Christmas I will tell Bill. No need to bring it up now. I always considered the divorce his. There was no other alternative. And now the annulment is mine. It's more of a psychological mark for me.
I had so wanted to stay married, not necessarily to him, but to stay married. I made it work. It was fine. He came home at night and his snoring next to me was sometimes comforting. I listened to him talk, and boy could he talk. I put my own ambitions aside and helped him push ahead. I had great faith in him. I believed in his talent and I believed he loved me, truly loved me, and that he wanted to be with me until death parted us. I wanted to love him. During most of the years of our long marriage, I wished so many times that I felt happy to see him walk through the door in the evenings. I wished I missed him when he was gone sometimes for weeks at a time. But I didn't. Oh how I wish I hadn't settled back then and married him. But then, I wouldn't have Caroline, maybe not Chicago and all the other wonderful things in my life.
I feel guilty about my feelings toward him. I often feel like I was the one who deceived, not him. But I was a faithful, loyal wife, who gave him the support he needed to be as successful as he is today. We had some very nice times together and we still have some memories that we laugh about it and talk about it. We still share the common love of our daughter.
He is a good man. He is a very smart man. But he is a lost man. He can't find his way. And try as I might to encourage him, it is not enough to help him.
I know that if I am fortunate to meet another man it will be different. I will not settle. And I will love with clarity, not doubt. I will have no reason to feel guilt. I have learned my lesson and I still carry the feeling that I somehow betrayed him too.