It’s taken me three years to say this, but I was wrong about something, and it was HUGE, and I hope others learn from my big mistake.
What was my big mistake? I didn’t realize our capacity to love another. Let me explain…
Cameron died on a Tuesday and by Saturday (4 days later) I was in his fathers office discussing funeral plans. As I am crying to my father in law about this great loss and how I felt he actually had the nerve to look at me and say, “Lisa, you will move on, your heart will heal, and you will be okay. You will get remarried someday, just trust me”. WHAT?!
Umm, excuse me? Cameron’s body isn’t even in the ground and you’re telling me I’ll find a new love and be just fine? That I’ll magically just be fine someday?! Well, this just couldn’t be further from the truth! I’m not fine! My heart is breaking, my mind cannot go for 5 seconds without thinking of Cameron, everywhere I go I think I see him, I feel like I’m going crazy, I’m not able to think of anything other than the pain I’m going through and trying to keep my children happy. I felt at that time in my life that I would always hurt and never feel better….grief is one ugly beast.
Well, incredibly as time passes the fog in your brain clears and with that clarity you can move on again. I was able to fall in love again and remarry but this is where my BIGGEST mistake would happen and where others need to learn from.
The first few months of our marriage was getting to know one another and each other’s children. We were wrapped up in our new love, getting the children adjusted, and finally enjoying being happy again and having companionship.
When reality started setting in that Matt would be my new best friend, my new confidant, the person I would tell all of my worries or fears too, the person that from now on I would ONLY share certain details with…I kind of freaked out. I held back everything. Was I supposed to just tell this new man in my life everything? He wasn’t Cameron. He was still an outsider! He doesn’t know me. I mean, I love him but it’s just not the same and I don’t think it ever could be the same! Cameron had known me since I was 18 years old, we grew up together, and he knew everything about me. Cam knew me better than I probably knew me. I didn’t have to explain myself to him or why I said or did what I did, he just knew. He knew my family, my upbringing, my joys, my likes and dislikes, my weaknesses, my best and worst qualities. He had seen it all and Matt was new…and this just isn’t the same.
One thing I didn’t know is that when you are in a new relationship you have to explain yourself a lot and I hated that. I didn’t want to have to explain to Matt why I was feeling stressed or had a rough day because if Cameron was there I would only have to give him one look and he would have known. Matt was new and didn’t know me yet. Matt would constantly ask me to open up, explain, to talk about what was going on or feeling, and I would just tell him “this is just how I am and I don’t need to explain myself”. If I was mad it was “just because” and I didn’t want to explain why, how come, what was going on, etc.
It is time consuming (and exhausting) to have to explain what makes you happy or sad and I didn’t want to do it. I had already done that before with someone else and I just felt like I was too old to have to do this again. It’s frustrating to be 38 years old and you have to tell your new husband that you hate onions in your eggs so your not eating the eggs he just cooked and now there are hurt feeling but this is how you are. I mean, seriously, this is what happens in a new marriage! Haha! You have to take the time to explain why you like the volume level a certain way in the car and the temperature a certain degree at bedtime. You have to explain that when you walk into your home after being gone that the kitchen needs to be cleaned up or that will trigger a huge argument—this happened to many times to count.
This new love is just not the same and it hurts. You miss and long for the ease of your past because new relationships require so much effort and patience. You just want your new love to automatically know what you want and need and how to react to your emotions….but they don’t know….yet.
I just wanted Matt to love me as I was and not ask so many questions –in other words not try to get to know me better or more deeply. Then, one day I said the unthinkable to Matt and my big mistake happened. I told him, “you will never know me the way Cameron did and it’s impossible to be that close with someone else. We had known each other so long, grew up together, and went through a TON of stuff together. We will never be that close, it’s just impossible“.
I shouldn’t have said that.
Now, in my defense, I just didn’t know what the heart was capable of at the time. All I could think of was what I had lost and the comfort a long time relationship gives you. When everything is new you feel like you could never gain the same level of comfort with someone else. You feel like it’s impossible for this new person in your life to ever know you as deeply as your first spouse.
I was wrong. I am eating crow. I take it all back. I am sorry.
Now, part of what I said was true. Matt and I will never be like Cameron and I. Matt will never know what it was like being married to me when I was 27 years old (thank goodness because my hair was hideous). He will never know because I shared that time of my life with Cameron. But Cameron will never know what it’s like to be married to me at age 47 because Matt will know. No one else but Matt will know what it’s like for us to send off our children to adulthood, welcome our first grandchild, or grow old together.
Each day we open up to one another, little by little, Matt and I are growing stronger together. It just takes time to build that tight bond that happens between a husband and wife. It takes years to be able to have a certain level of comfort and security—it doesn’t happen when you say “I do”, it takes years.
I didn’t realize that you can grow to love another spouse so deeply that you cannot imagine your life without them. The husband and wife bond CAN be duplicated it just takes time…and some explaining.
I wish someone would have told me that I would be okay someday….oh wait.
Haven’t we all wished we would have listened to advice sooner?