Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Today I Renamed My Ex-Husband and Freed Myself

I have called him by many names since our divorce.  Some of them are expletive filled and not best shared here.  But the name I have assigned to him today is the most beautiful.

When I first met him, I called him by the wrong name.  His name was pronounced differently by others than how it should be and he never corrected anyone.  The first five years that I knew him I mispronounced his name.  It was not until I met his mother that I learned his real name.  It was also the first time that I saw him as my love.  We were on a college French class field trip in New Orleans and his family hosted a dinner for the students.  I find intellect to be extremely sexy and became enthralled with him when he began to do his school work while everyone else was chilling out at his home.  I admired his focus.  I became enamored with his mind.  The next day I saw him in the sunlight in the French Quarters and knew that I wanted to call him my husband.

And for 21 years, I called him my husband.  He was my Butterfly.  Beautiful to me in all his stages.  And when life called on him to fly away from me, his name began to change.

I remember the first time that I had to refer to him as something other than my husband.  We were still married, but newly separated.  I did not feel right calling him my husband because he did not want to be married to me any more.  But he was still my husband in my heart and legally we were still married.  I remember the torment of having to come up with something to call him in a conversation after we separated.  He was not my ex-husband because we were not divorced.  I remember the awkwardness of trying to come with something and don't really remember what I came up with.  I eventually began to refer to him as my children's father.

For the months that followed our separation, I chose to see him in the light of the most important role he became in my life.  The father of my children.  Seeing him in that light kept me from calling him a motherf****r in public when my anger was at its height.  I would not dishonor him because I did not want to dishonor them.  I really wanted to call him a motherf****r, but it was best to call him in the best and highest light.

After our divorce was final and he was truly my ex-husband, I didn't really like that word.  It sounded so cold.  Despite the tragedy of the end of our marriage, it was a great love story.  To reduce him to an ex when he was still a huge part of my life did not sound right.  So I continued calling him my sons' father.  But that made him sound like a baby daddy.  And that didn't really sound right either.  When writing, I would often refer to him as my then-husband when writing.  But that sounded kinda weird.

So I continued to struggle with what to call him and began to just call him by his first name.  People who knew him knew who I was talking about.  People who didn't would ask who he was.  And then I would have to decide whether to call him my ex-husband or my son's father.  

But today, I finally decided who he is in my life.  The role fits perfectly.  It represents who he is and who he was to me.  He is my first husband.

He is my first husband.

He is my first husband because he will not be my last.  He is my first husband because I have found love again.  But he was my first husband before I did.  He is my first husband because our marriage ended but did not cut off the possibility of marriage for me.  I will marry again one day.  In honor of that possibility and as affirmation of  that promise, he is my first husband.

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