Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Day to Remember

Today is Remembrance Day.  It's a day never to forget.  It's a day we wear poppies on our lapels to remember those who fought a hard battle, experienced tremendous loss and because of their courage, freedom was achieved.

I'm going to blog about something many of you don't know about me.  On this day, one year ago on 11/11/11 I got married, at the age of 37 for the first time.

I met my husband just a few short months earlier.  I'd been single for nearly 5 years and was ready to find the right person to settle down with.  When I met him he made me laugh, I hadn't laughed like that in such a long time.  I fell in love easily, but that's what I do.

A month after knowing me, he asked me to marry him.  I said yes without hesitation.  I know that sounds erratic.  I've always been spontaneous. It often works in my favour.  We weren't a couple of kids, we were responsible adults.  Life is too short.  We considered eloping but I wanted to get married in the church so we went to see what dates were available and it just so happened that 11/11/11 at 11am was free.  So we booked it!

It was madness but it was fantastic!  I planned a beautiful but simple wedding in two months.  Everything was booked and organized.  It all just fell into place which is my indicator that it's all meant to be.  My flowers were a simple bouquet of red roses, red gerberas, daisies and pohutukawa blossoms.  I wore a white cotton embroidery anglaise wrap dress and killer red Dorothy heels (to remind me that there's no place like home).  It was very 1950's.  As it was a late morning wedding, we had a simple "high tea" with champagne after the ceremony.  I couldn't have asked for a more perfect day.

I'm not the sort of girl who had big dreams of a wedding.  I'm all about simple and classy.  This wedding was simple, classy and very me.  My fiancee had been married once already so he told me to plan whatever I wanted.  Our families were unable to attend but the church was packed with friends of mine - 120 guests turned up to celebrate the occasion.  Reminding me how blessed I am with such wonderful friendships.

Not long after the wedding, my husband expected me to change.  He kept telling me that I wasn't normal.  Well of course I'm not normal!  I thought that's what he loved about me!  His favourite line was, "I don't know any other wives that behave the way you do."  I took that as a compliment, but that's not how he meant it.  I was very busy with my business, working really hard.  I had just secured the Rugby 7's contract which meant even longer days during the training camps.  I had also decided to study small business management this year.  Being married meant I had some freedom to finally do these things!  I had someone there to support me and take the pressure off.  I  also spend a lot of time writing which he couldn't understand.  He thought I was avoiding him and began to resent my computer.  I kept telling him to relax, that things would settle into "our normal" with time.  He couldn't expect me to drop everything just so I could sit on the sofa and watch TV, surely?  That's not what I do.  We knew that it was going to be a challenge.  Every relationship is about compromise.  We made a commitment to work at it together and I tried to sit on the sofa and watch more TV with him.    

A few months into the marriage, he threatened to walk out if I didn't change.  He felt I was the "man" in the relationship.  He was so insecure, resenting the fact that I was so strong and independent.  He was terrified that he would lose me.  Nothing I could say would reassure him that I wasn't going anywhere.  He became jealous, possessive and suspicious.  He didn't trust me.  The harder he clung, the harder I pulled away.  I was not going to lose myself in this relationship.   But I wasn't worried, I thought he'd come around.  We were married after all.  That gave me false security.  So when he threatened to walk out I told him to be careful what he threatened because I would never chase after him.  I will never play that game again.  I want a marriage of freedom.  If he needs to get away, he's welcome to go.  Get out.  Go fishing for a week.  Spend time with the boys.  Do something that makes you happy.

He said I was the only thing he wanted.  He couldn't understand why I didn't want to make him happy.  If he wasn't happy with me then he said he'd never be happy. 

Oh dear.  We have a problem.

I tried to explain to him that I couldn't be the source of his happiness, just as I would never ask him to be the source of my happiness.  He just didn't get it.  I understood where he was coming from because I was once just like him, many many years ago.  My insecurity was deep within and there was no one going to rescue me but myself.

After a silly argument, he threw a tantrum, packed his bag and walked out.  As he walked away I said, "I'm not some girlfriend you can just walk away from, we are married, I am your wife! You have responsibilities here."  His reply was, "It's just a piece of paper."  It was like a knife in my heart.  I was totally deflated.  Marriage was my virginity and he took it so callously.  We were married for 5 short months.  Two weeks later he came to pick up the rest of his stuff.  That was it.  I was very confused and deeply hurt. One of the issues he had was the fact that I had male friends.  I had an old friend come to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup with his rugby buddy. He wouldn't let me open up our home to them so that they didn't have to stay in a hotel.  I felt terrible about that.  Then he forbade me to take them to the public hot pools.  He said that married women didn't go to the hot pools with other guys. A part of me can understand where he was coming from, but these guys were married.  They were here on holiday.  What did he think was going to happen?  We don't live in the 1950's!  In the end I didn't go, but I was pretty pissed off about it.  He didn't trust me.  This was a control issue.  He was jealous of my female friends, my clients, the Rugby 7's players... he wanted me to stop working and spend more time relaxing, making him sandwiches and cups of tea.  Maybe that's what a lot of women dream of, but that wasn't me.  I thrive on my relationships with other people.  He made me feel really guilty about that by saying I wasn't "normal".

When he came to collect his things he asked me one more time if I still thought it was okay to go to the hot pools with my male friends.  He just couldn't let it go.  I looked at him straight in the eyes and said, "Yes, I think it's perfectly normal to go to the hot pools with my male friends."  To which he replied, "Well I'm sorry Trace, but this marriage is never going to work."  And right then I knew in my heart he was right.

I was about to leave for a month away on the Ashram to do my yoga teacher training.  I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to afford to do the training and pay the rent.  I had just enough in the bank to cover it.  I knew that getting away for a month would be the best thing I could do while the dust settled.  I found a house sitter to stay in the house and feed the cat.  My husband wasn't even courteous enough to offer to help.  If you read my blog ( The Beautiful Truth June 2012) about my experience, it will help you understand why I was so affected by the yoga.  I wasn't ready to talk about it then.  I was filled with anger, disappointment and shame.  I felt like a failure and I was afraid of what everyone was going to think.  "There must be something wrong with that girl, she can't even keep a man."  The reality is, I'm not choosy enough when it comes to matters of the heart. I know I can be quite naive, always thinking the best of people and trusting so easily.  That's one of the qualities I love about myself.  I just need to learn to discern, count to 10 slowly and breathe, before I jump.  I wonder if I can do that. 

I'm over it now.  It's been a year of introspection.  I'm usually so "out there" but this year I've spent more time in meditation and reflection. I've searched for the lessons and come to the conclusion that it wasn't all my fault.  There are two sides to the story.  I am not perfect and I know that I'm incredibly strong and independent which is intimidating and a bit scary.  I can be aloof at times, particularly when I feel I'm being manipulated.  But I also know that I am a good person with a huge heart.  I deserve to be the centre of my world and I deserve to be with someone who lets me.  I would do the same for him.

I haven't heard from him or seen him since.  That was in April 2012.  I think he still lives in the same town but I've never crossed paths with him.  It's very weird.  I'm married to a guy I don't know.

" Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something: they're trying to find someone who's going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take. " Anthony Robbins

So what lesson have I learned out of this?  When I met him I was so ready to settle down.  I thought that I would feel more secure, that life would be better if I had someone to share it with.  I believed that I was flawed because I was nearing 40 and had never married.  I was afraid of what people thought.  I was afraid of what I thought!  I can judge myself pretty harshly.  That's the Virgo in me.

Some of my beautiful girlfriends - my angels.
The fact is, life is what you make of it, single or not.  I have an amazing life and I'm not going to compromise it because of someone else's fears and insecurities.  I'd love to share my life with someone but he has to be someone who is strong and secure and knows who he is and where he is in life.  I want someone who is proud of the person I am - with lots of friends both male and female.  I'm a people magnet.  I can't change that.  It makes me, ME.  I really really like who I am.  I don't need to change.  I've worked bloody hard to get where I am.  Any guy would be lucky to have me.  But I'm also perfectly happy in my own company.  Being single is under-rated.  Saying that, I don't want to be single forever but if I am, c'est la vie. I have so many friends, I'll never be alone.

I am grateful that my husband (so weird saying that) left sooner rather than later.  It could have been so much worse.  The emotional and financial entanglement is enough to make people stay in unhappy relationships.  Some people have called me stubborn, they can't understand how I could just let him leave.  This is where life lessons come into play.  I've stayed in relationships that weren't working to save face because I was afraid to admit I made a mistake.  I was smart enough to recognize that this was over.  The worst part of this whole fiasco was the humiliation of having to tell people that he left.  I cannot believe I've had a Hollywood marriage!  But as my friends who know me and love me say, "You were always destined for Hollywood Trace."  I discovered who my true friends were.  I was amazed by the unconditional love and support they provided.  The people who loved me didn't judge me, so why should I?  We all make mistakes.  Some more publicly than others.

For my birthday this year I had my Astrological Birth Chart done.  This is where you can get a very clear picture of your life and your purpose by a scientific and mathematical charting of the exact moment you were born in relation to the planets as well as the Sun and Moon.  It was very cool.  I wish I'd had it done a long time ago!  I won't get into detail now, but one of the things that my astrologer picked up was that I was in a long, boring, traditional marriage in a past life.  She said that my birth chart shows that I am going to have a major karmic breakthrough in this life in relation to that experience.  She said that I will cross paths with that husband and we will marry in this lifetime but it will be a short marriage because it needed to END.  Once I had that experience I would be completely free of that karmic conditioning.  I must note, this is the first time I'd ever met this woman.

My jaw dropped. Once again proving that things happen for a reason.  So I'm celebrating freedom today.  I'm celebrating the freedom to be myself.  It's Remembrance Day - the perfect day to remember that I don't need someone else to complete me. This is a personal battle I finally won.


Anonymous said...

WOw, Trace! You have got to be one of the strongest & bravest women I have ever met!

I am sooo happy to know you and call you a close friend of mine!! Happy Freedom!! Its been an interesting year for us both! We rock - putting ourselves first and knowing what we deserve and going for it, and not settling for less!!

Love you! xxx Julie xxx

Anonymous said...

Good on you for sharing your story Tracy. I am pleased to hear that you have come out a much more stronger and wiser person. I can totally realate to that! You are such a strong, wonderful and independant person and I am so pleased you haven't lost yourself through all of this! Everything happens for a reason. Keep your head up babes and keep on enjoying the hot pools with ALL your friends! lol
Arohanui - Raewyn in Perth! xox

Anonymous said...

Trace, far out! and you go gal!! I relate to everything you are saying here!! I have always found my friendships to be so much more fulfilling than my relationships. I am so happy without someone judging me, or telling me 'I'm not normal'... ways to get unhappy = hang out with someone who doesn't really love you for you, hang out with someone who is constantly trying to change you. It's the worst, and I will never allow it again.. ever! I had the best weekend this weekend, it was perfect... and it was because of my friends that it was perfect!
Stay you, you're awesome!
x Sash