As I approach age 70, I am still unable to move past pain from my first marriage.
We married in our early 20s. We set about making a home, careers, and what I thought would be a wonderful future. I became pregnant, but he insisted on an abortion because the “timing wasn’t right.” I sadly went ahead with it, a decision that has haunted me. Two years later he told me he had outgrown me and didn’t love me anymore. I agreed to a separation thinking we could work on our marriage. Two weeks later he called me at work asking if I could take extra time at lunch as he wanted to come downtown and file for divorce. I was devastated but then moved my personal effects out of our home so he could keep the house, as his family lived close by.
We each moved on to new marriages. He had two children; I became a stepmom. My current husband and I just celebrated our 25th anniversary.
About 15 years ago, we ran into each other and he asked me to join him for an impromptu lunch. During the meal as we caught up, he told me about his wonderful life; he had married a physician; how proud he was of his children; how he cried when his son was born. (He had dropped me off at the abortion clinic and then picked me up afterward.) In our conversation I told him I was a new grandma. The only real question he asked was if I travel. Then as the conversation wore on he told me his wife had never understood why he and I had ever married to begin with...why hadn’t we just lived together as she and her boyfriend had? I said nothing but was silently taken aback. Had he not explained our history? A marriage - an abortion - the purchase of a home (that she ultimately moved into)? Did he not realize how that sounded? I was hurt as I wondered how he could so easily discard his past, but I remained polite as we said our goodbyes. It was clear to me that he has a sensitivity chip missing.
Life has moved on with its ups and downs. I did get counseling but the pain of that rejection has always stayed with me. I’ve thought about dropping him a line to say how I wish I had addressed his insensitivity the day we met for lunch and that while he forged ahead to a wonderful life, I hope he has never forgotten what was lost. When I think of my role in the abortion, it hurts still. I guess there is no timeline for healing.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for listening.
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