The proposal was unexpected. Jake, an army officer, had just learned of his coming year-long deployment to Iraq. He was lonely, he said. He missed me. He visited me one weekend about a year after we broke up. Several weeks later, I got some time off work and visited him in El Paso, where he was working.
He had bought the ring even before I arrived. He said we could get married when he came back.
And that’s what we did.
He came back, and I married him, just like I said I said I would. I moved out of my house and I went to El Paso and I learned what it was like to be married and it was wonderful. I learned that I liked coming home to someone.
I learned that I liked not being alone.
Jake, I soon found out, didn’t feel the same way. A few months into our marriage, he started acting differently towards me. He was colder, more angry.
He was mean.
One time, I remember, we decided to go to the opera together. I had wanted to go, and he had not.
He complained the whole time. He embarrassed me.
I never forgot that night.
Soon after that, I wrote him a letter and put it next to the bathroom sink where he would be sure to see it. I wrote a lot of things about what I thought I needed from him and what he was doing that hurt me.
It was a nice letter.
That night, when I got home from work, it was still right where I had put it by the sink.
“Did you read my letter?” I asked him as he sat at his computer.
“Yes,” he said.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“No,” he said.
I paused. Then I said, “I think I’m going to move out.”
I went into the kitchen and cried.
For a while after that, I was pretty mad at Jake—even, for a little while, bitter. I didn’t purposely try to stop myself from feeling that way, though.
Sometimes, it’s right to feel wronged.
Anyway, the bitterness didn’t last long. Soon after we broke up, I was glad that it all had happened. I was glad that I had met him and married him and then gotten a divorce.
I still am. In fact, I recommend it. If you can’t break up with someone, I say: marry them.
That, it seems, will do the trick.
And there is another reason I’m glad I got married, which is: I learned a lot. One of the things I learned from being married is the most important piece of advice I can ever give anyone who is not already with someone, and it is this: marry someone nice.
But I learned something else, too. I learned that I didn’t want to be alone anymore. And, I thought, I didn’t need to.
I’d done that already, and it had been a success.
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Get What I Learned from Jane on Amazon.
More Stuff to Read:
Some Spiritual Practices Actually Work. It’s Amazing.
There are hundreds of spiritual techniques for overcoming depression and increasing inner peace. Here, stories about the ones that actually work. (In some posts, I rate the practices on a scale of 1-10, too. Sort of like county fair pumpkins, but more spiritual.)
These Are the Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday
Kids, here it is. Have at it.
- Spiritual-But-Not-Religious Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday
- All Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday
I’m a Partner, a Mom, a Friend, a Mom, a Sister, a Daughter, a Businessperson and a Mom. Here’s What Helps.
Don’t read this section. It’s nonsense, mostly.
- My Mostly Ridiculous Self-Improvement Journal
- 150 Life Hacks for Getting Suddenly Awesome
- Suddenly Awesome Miscellany (And, Let’s Be Real: Book Promos)