I met my first husband in Ireland. We were part of a group of people on a trip run by his aunt. I had grown up across the street from his grandmother, but had never met him.
At the airport prior to leaving I was reading a book when he was introduced to me. I think I grunted a hello and went back to reading my book. I was unimpressed.
We flew to Shannon airport, and when we all got off the plane it became very apparent to me that he and his cousin and I were the only people on this trip that were under the age of 60. I decided to change my tune, because I knew I would need conversation and drinking buddies.
We began to hang out, skipping the places where the "old folks" went, and heading off ourselves to pubs in the area for music, poker, and drinking. I began to think he was rather attractive. I think I had 10 days of beer goggling to help me along with that.
One night I went back to his room with him. We did not have sex, but we ended up sleeping together until the TV came on by itself at 6am. I sneaked back to my room and was greeted by his cousin accusing me of fooling around with him. I denied it, but she never believed me.
We made promises to call and to write to each other, as he lived 400 miles away. When we got home that last night we called each other immediately. Thus began the relationship.
He would drive up to NJ from NC every other weekend. The first weekend he came up we rented a hotel room and did in fact have sex. It was only meh, but I didn't know any better. WE continued to rent hotel rooms until he asked me to move down to NC with him. I didn't hesitate, as I was living with my mother at the time and desperately wanted out of her house.
I packed up all of my belongings, including the cats, and drove down to be with him. He had made several trips up with his hatchback prior to this to get most of my bigger stuff. We moved into a new apartment, and things were good. He was a paramedic, so I wouldn't see him for 24 hours at a time, and that was fine by me. I like my space. We made a home for ourselves, and I enjoyed it. I liked being part of a couple.
Then, one night, about 6 months later, after my still not having found a job down here, he sat me down on the sofa and said the immortal words, "Julie, I have to tell you something. I love you, but I'm not IN love with you anymore."
I had nothing to say to that. Nothing at all.
I moved myself out to the sofa, because I had nowhere to go. I had moved my entire life to be with him, and having no job I couldn't even get myself an apartment. Moving back home was out of the question, as I was 24 years old and couldn't bear the thought of my mother telling me I Told You So. So I stayed.
2 months after this he got on one knee, held out a ring, and asked me to marry him. For some reason I accepted. To this day I believe the reason I accepted was because I was whoring myself for medical insurance. I still had no job.
I never told anyone that I married someone who wasn't in love with me. I still don't know why he even asked me to marry him. The marriage lasted 4 years, until one day I realized that I wasn't in love with him either, and when I asked for the divorce, he sat there stunned. He said, "Don't you love me anymore?"
I told him that wasn't the point. I told him that wasn't enough.
It isn't enough. Never settle. Never decide that you can't find anything real or better.
Now that I think about it, I also believe that I married him for his family. Because I WAS in love with them.
Have a great Thursday everyone. I'm going to spend mine emailing with the man I AM in love with.