Preface: I guess I consider my adult life to have 3 distinct time periods. There are those of you who met me in high school and knew me when I was a newlywed. There are some of you who met me while I was a single mom going through a rough divorce. There are still quite a few more of you who have only met me in the last year and a half, after Colby and I got back together, and maybe had no idea that things weren't always as peaceful and loving as they are now.
Colby's commentary has been added in italics and parenthesis below. :-)
Colby and I met in high school. He was a freshman and I was a sophomore, and we were both in band. I played the trumpet, and he sat directly behind me in the percussion section. We didn't really know each other for the first year we were in school together, but sometime at the beginning of his sophomore year, we started talking and spending time together. I'm fairly sure he was into me immediately, but his feelings were not reciprocated. So, for the next two years, he spent a good portion of his time trying to impress me. We spent many waking hours together and we were the VERY BEST of friends. Anyone who didn't know better was sure we were actually dating. I can't even tell you how many times I told him, "I love you as a friend, but that's all. You need to get over me, move on, it's never going to happen for us." I think he tried really hard to get over me, too, but he just never managed to (the thing is, she really liked me and she just didn’t want to admit it for some reason. It was probably my old haircut. She “fixed” it a few times).
I still remember so clearly the day I started to feel like maybe there was more between us than just a friendship. I had graduated, and he was in his senior year. I had broken up with my boyfriend a couple of months prior, and he was single and still pining after me. There was nothing different about the day itself (except that I got some pro advice to act like I didn’t like her all day. It worked crazy good!). We were just hanging out like always, but for some reason, I couldn't stop thinking about how much I wanted to kiss him. He knew it was coming because I'd been eluding to it all evening, but he was too chicken to make the first move in case he was wrong, and I'd been worried that it would somehow mess up the friendship we had. Finally he said, "I think you want to kiss me," and so I did. There really aren't any words to accurately describe how that moment felt, so I won't even try. Needless to say, it was a turning point. Just over 6 months later, he proposed to me at his senior prom, and 4 months after that, we got married.
Everyone told us marriage was hard, and we always said, "We know!" But the truth is, you don't really know until you're experiencing it. And when you're 18 and 19 years old, the "hard stuff" can get overwhelming pretty quickly. We hadn't even been married 6 months when second thoughts started making their way into our relationship, but we kept at it. We did the best we could, but it's hard when you're both still trying to figure out who you are. There are a lot of variables and selfish, immature actions on both parts that led to our separation, but I think the key factor was probably something that my dad said to Colby when he asked for my hand in marriage. "If you want to marry her, you need to realize that she is an in-charge person, and there is going to come a day when you want to be the man of the house, and she might not take too well to that." (He also told me later that women go into marriage hoping that their man will change, men go in hoping their woman won’t…. powerful stuff). Basically, I didn't have enough respect for him to actually let him wear the pants in the relationship, and while he'd been content to let me run things up to that point, eventually it was going to get old.
And it did.
Unfortunately, I was too stubborn and set in my ways to change. I tried. I really did! But by the time Colby had had enough of me, we had been following the same pattern for almost 6 years. It's pretty hard to change the dynamic of a relationship with ruts as deep as ours had become.
Next time in part 2: divorce!