The hot, humid July evening back in 2007 when I discovered I was pregnant was one of the best days of my life. I immediately fell in love with the little person growing inside of me, and I knew that my life would never again be the same.
Knowing that I had a part of my husband growing inside of my body only intensified my love for him. I remember gazing at him and imagining the baseball playing, hockey coaching Dad he would become. I couldn’t have loved him more. As my pregnancy progressed, things began to change. My husband grew distant and I grew lonely and anxious. I pushed his behavior and my feelings aside as expectant-first-time-parent-jitters.
Before we knew it, I was in labor and our son was on his way! My labor was long and hard. I labored for over 32 hours and pushed for 6 hours before requesting a c-section out of sheer exhaustion. During this time, my husband wasn’t much help, in fact, he slept the majority of the time, only rising to join me in the operating room where our son would be delivered. Despite his apathetic attitude toward my labor and delivery, my husband was the first person to hold our son. This still bothers me.
Everything changed though the moment my son was placed on my chest for skin-to-skin contact. Looking into his deep, soulful, green eyes and stroking his silky smooth skin as he nursed consumed me with a love I never knew existed. In those early moments, I knew I would never love my husband in the all consuming, unconditional way that I loved my son.
I guess a part of me expected these feelings to change as I adjusted to motherhood. Instead, my marriage began to fall apart. My husband proved himself to be both an inadequate father and spouse time and time again. Sadly, as I never wanted to nor planned to be divorced, I was left with no option but to file for divorce on June 1, 2011. Since that fateful day, I can count on my fingers how many times my ex-husband has seen or spoken to my son.
After the initial shock, isolation, and devastation of the divorce, I rejoined the living. I returned to the workforce after nearly four years at home with my son, I returned to my graduate studies, I bought a new car, and I even rented an adorable little apartment complete with a white picket fence for my son and myself.
Amidst all the changes happening in my life, dating wasn’t on my radar. I had made peace with the idea that I would spend my life as a single woman, whose sole purpose as to guarantee the happiness and success of my son.
Once again, life had other plans for me. On June 20, 2011 I met up with one of my oldest and dearest friends for dinner. We’ve been together ever since and were married on March 29, 2015. My husband, Mike, is my best friend. He has shown me unconditional love, support, and encouragement. He picks me up when I fall and celebrates with me my successes. More importantly, Mike loves our (my) son like his own. Mike is the baseball playing, hockey coaching Dad I always imagined for my son. Every night I thank God for Mike and for the fact that our son is learning to be a man from him.
I love my husband like I’ve never loved any man. I love the history we share (20 years), I love how loyal and hardworking Mike is, I adore the Dad he is, and I love that he wakes up everyday and chooses to love me. From the very core of my being, I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that Mike is my soul mate.
My love for Mike inspires, confuses, and fills me with both joy and guilt. I feel as though I’m somehow betraying my son by loving someone else.
While I will never love anyone the way I love Jack, I never expected to love someone the way in which I love Mike.
Reflecting on this post, I can’t help but ask myself what I ever did to get so lucky?