I noticed last week Shaughn had taken off his wedding ring. I had taken mine off months ago. It’s probably been close to a year. I would tell people that it was because my hands get so dry in the winter months, but in reality, I knew my marriage was over even then. I would put them on for special occasions, or family get togethers, but for everyday things I took them off. I remember Shaughn questioning me about them once or twice, but I always had a reason why I wasn’t wearing them.
Initially, when I took the rings off I felt guilty. I felt like I was betraying Shaughn, my family, his family. I felt that I was giving up on us, I wasn’t trying hard enough for Paisley’s sake. I felt horrible.
At the same time, I couldn’t wear them. I felt like I was living a lie. I wasn’t in love any more. I didn’t want to be in my marriage. I was tired of being the wife, of holding it all together with limited support. I had tried so hard, for so long, and I had just given up. I continued to lie to myself, to Shaughn, to our families for many more months until I had the balls to end our married relationship.
By the time June came around, and I was ready to discuss everything with Shaughn, it had been since before Christmas that I had worn my rings, 6 or 7 months had passed. I had rarely thought of them, but had them tucked away safely.
On June 17th we agreed to end our marriage. I will never forget that day, the flood of emotions that came pouring from me. The incredulity at Shaughn’s lack of response to my utter sense of relief that I could start to live again. I cried, as much as I needed this, I also needed to know things would be ok. I needed to know he and I would be ok. I needed to know he didn’t hate me. As much as we had been through, I didn’t hate Shaughn, I couldn’t bear it if he hated me. I hated our marriage, but not him. Thankfully we have maintained a friendship through all of this. At times it is strained, and awkward, but it’s the beginning of something new; a new friendship with a very old friend.
All of this brings me back to last Friday night. Shaughn came to pick Paisley up for the weekend, and I noticed he had finally taken off his wedding band. I notice things, small things. Like removing a ring. Since June, I had wondered when he would take it off, I was slightly frustrated that he was still wearing it, wondering what he was thinking or feeling. Wondering why he was still wearing it 5 months after the fact. When I noticed it last week, I guess I finally felt closure. It brought with it hurt, and a few tears. Unresolved feelings that I will never resolve. I don’t want to dive into that tank of sharks. It also brought with it the feeling that I could move on, guilt free. I can live my life without worrying about how my actions will affect him.
I want to be happy. I want Shaughn to be happy. I want him to find someone who makes him feel over the moon in love, something I could never do for him. I want him to find a partner who respects him, and treats our daughter like the remarkable girl she is. I want him to find his ‘person’ and not to settle for the one who is a close second.
On the inside of my band, he had inscribed “Christa, with all my heart” I don’t think I ever had his whole heart, but I hope one day he finds the girl who can have it.