Hollie Grimaldi Flores: The grass isn’t always greener
They are taunting me. They — my single girlfriends — are calling to me from the beaches of Mexico with a recent upgrade to a three-bedroom villa and now, plenty of room for me.
The single girl inside me screams, “What are you waiting for — get to the airport.” While the newer model — the mature, married, thoughtful, conscientious me says, “Wahhhhh.”
That is the one who will be in bed early and reporting to work tomorrow, as planned. My thoughts wander, “If I wasn’t married, I could do whatever I wanted. If I wasn’t married, I could pack a bag and be on beach by noon.” Doesn’t single look good now?
‘Someone to share the porch swing with’
The problem, of course, is that I am married. And, to make things worse, we’re happy. We love each other. We even like each other. It’s easy to be together and it’s easy to make decisions based on consideration of his feelings.
I have never thought of myself as one who needs a partner and for a while I did a pretty good job of doing it on my own but ultimately aren’t we all looking for someone to share the load with? As an old friend said to me once, “someone to share the porch swing with.” I am in a place where I think I have found that.
As you know, if you have been paying attention, it’s not my first time in the ring. I did it all wrong the first time. A disaster … one I knew was coming but could not seem to avoid. And when it ended, it ended badly.
I always tell those who ask, “if you can find a way to stay together, a strand to cling to, find a way.”
Are you leaving out of boredom? Is there nothing in this person that you find at all valuable?
I’m not saying you should stay in an abusive or dangerous situation, but if you simply fell out of “like” and are looking for the best next thing, then maybe you should take your time and stay put for a while. I believe even the best divorces — you know the ones, “we’re really good friends, but we just don’t want to be married anymore” are still so painful to all involved and even those remotely involved.
The staying often takes more courage than the walking away. I suggest doing the harder thing and finding joy in where you are now.
The relationship pendulum
One day at a time, until one day you look over and the way they chew their food no longer makes you want to stab them with a fork. Or the sound of their breathing is soothing rather than an irritant. Or the thought of picking up one more sock off the floor no longer sends you running to the far side of the laundry room.
Find one positive thing and focus on it — maybe that’s all it will take. Long term relationship tends to swing like a pendulum. There are ups and there are downs and just the tiniest bit of attention will keep it from getting stuck at the bottom.
If you give it some time and can focus on some of the positives — reminders of their value, their character, the way they used to make you smile, etc. Chances are you will find the relationship on the upswing, once again.
I know it’s not simple but I know divorce is the hardest thing I have ever survived. And I know I am lucky. I found “it” the second time around. I got it right.
Admittedly, I sometimes look at my single friends with envy. These somewhat newly independent ladies who are free to do whatever they choose without thought or consideration to anyone else — as I see them coming out of the “chick flick” I’ve been dying to see as my husband takes my hand and leads me into the latest sci-fi action thriller we chose because I knew he’d love it.
As they spend an afternoon together getting pedicures and facials while my husband and I pour over last year’s expenses and churn out a new budget.
While they meet after work for cocktails and appetizers and I rush to the grocery store to get something we can make to feed the family, I think of them and I realize that the truth is, while they are doing all those things, they are ultimately looking for a new partner, a new love, someone to share the load with, someone to share the swing with.
So, while my tanning girlfriends without mates plan their next adventure, I look over at my partner and smile. The grass may be greener over there, but the truth of the matter is, (as the saying goes) the grass that gets the water is the greenest of all.
Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a Nevada County resident and freelance writer for hire. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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