Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Love of My Life


One of my dearest friends made an observation in a conversation not long ago that's bothered me a lot. She said, of my former husband, "He was the love of your life. You completely and totally adored him."

And yes, she's right. I did adore him. Utterly.

I loved his scent, the texture of his skin, the sound of his voice, how gifted he was at working with people. His soft green eyes melted my heart. My heart skipped a beat when he came through the door. He made the best Spaghetti Carbonara, Veal Scallopini, and Fettucini Alfredo I've eaten anywhere, including in Italy. His touch undid me, made me shiver with delight. He provided amply for our family and was generous with friends and family. There were times when he made me feel so loved, though now I wonder if that was just illusion created by a master manipulator because so much of his secret behavior was inconsistent with loving me and actively undermined our marriage. In any event, his good points as well as the intensity of love I felt for him frankly are a yardstick by which it's all-too-tempting to measure other men and find them wanting.
I'm consciously working on that because I need to create new metrics.

"Destiny" copyright 2005 Meri Arnett-Kremian.

All of that's neither here nor there. I've fallen in love with the me I've become. I've blossomed creatively in ways that wouldn't have happened if I were in relationship with him. He's living happily ever after with his perfect woman. I don't have to go see movies where people kill each other and blow up buildings. I've got more closet space. And that's all good.

But her observation rattled me to my core. Not the adoration part -- that's just a statement of fact. It's the other part that pierced my heart.

Was he, in fact, "the love" of my life?

Does that mean that in our whole lives, we only get one chance at great, grand passion and it's all downhill from there? Are there no do-overs?

Does that mean I'll have to wait until another lifetime to know the kind of love I felt for him? Will I never be wrapped in the arms of someone who loves me as utterly as I love him in return? Will I never lie sleeping with my back nestled up against Mr. Right's chest like spoons in a drawer, simultaneously dreaming the same dream?

That hardly seems fair.

Is there hope? Or is she right?

Because if she's right, I need to shed a few tears, cancel the dating services, and realize there's more to life than kissing frogs. Not that I've kissed any lately.

22 comments:

Kamana said...

i've only ever loved one man, so i cannot imagine what it must be like to fall out of love - if you ever do. surely when you have loved someone as much as you have, there is a part of your heart in which his name is still engraved? does that ever go away?

larkspur said...

Wow, Meri, this is powerful stuff. Remember that things always have a way of working out for the best...your best. Take your leap of faith...

Bill Stankus said...

Being somewhat of a fatalist I accept the random nature of life. Some things happen and some don't.

Of course we are capable of influencing many things.

I figure meeting possible love interests is akin the job-resume process. You can send resumes to many places - and usually never hear from them because so many others are also doing the same front door approach.

But there's always a backdoor - someone knows someone, introductions are made and 'wham' a new job. And there's assertive approach.

If I'm interested in hanging out with nature lovers I'll join that type of club ... want the company of bike riders that too is an easy process.

Setting one self in motion is the key. Results? Who knows? By effort and attempts we usually end up in unexpected places and often that is enough.

It's tough, not looking back - but doing so usually means no forward motion.

The ex is history.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Our hearts have so much capacity to love!! He was the one for THAT period of your life. You are a different you now and your heart can enfold another and still keep a special place for all your memories of loving him. Don't sell your capacity to love short.

beth said...

I truly believe that we all have more than one soul mate...

I think your ex-husband was the love of your life... AT a certain time of your life and now your life is different...

and maybe it's only different because he is no longer a part of it...but whatever the case, I believe in my heart of hearts, that love is waiting for all of us as long as we open ourselves up to receive it..

looking for love must be so hard...I can't imagine...which is why I think we just have to let it fall into our laps and be surprised when it's sitting right there in front of us :)

there will be a man in your life again...and he will love you for you are becoming !

Paper Relics said...

nope, she is not right. I have faith that the best is yet to come for you.

Butler and Bagman said...

I think the only constant in life is change and the love of your life is relative to the moment. If it changes, it changes -- it does not diminish what it once was. I also think that love is infinite and has infinite forms. I doubt he was a "master manipulator" and whatever happened, again, diminishing nothing about whatever went before. And although change usually is accompanied by pain, the fact you have blossemed makes me think God had a plan in all of whatever happened. Of course, my experience has been that God's plans don't always include my being comfortable with the process.

Reya Mellicker said...

One of my clients used the same phrase about Jake! That he was the love of my life. It really creeped me out.

No one knows what's next or how much more you might love next time around. For heaven's sake.

Michelle Johnson said...

I'm sure you'll find someone else and the key is like Beth said receiving it (love). Have a great day.

kendalee said...

This really resonated with me (I'm in a similar situation) and the way that I have come to terms with it is that it's true he was the love of my life. That life. That life ended. New me, new life. New love? At least I can consider the prospect of that now... I don't think one's heart replaces one love with another in a chamber of finite size, I think it grows a new space. And if it grew one as big as that before, I have faith (and hope) it could do it again. For the right person. The alternative is a little bit of a downer!

~JarieLyn~ said...

I really like how you express yourself. The beauty of your truth spreads across the page with such grace. I think I understand what you are going through. Of course, I have no doubt that you will meet someone with whom you can have a satisfying relationship and grow with and love and adore, but again even if it's good and great will this person be the love of your life, or will your ex remain the love of your life? I think you can have a successful relationship and still hold someone else in your heart as the love of your life. It doesn't mean that you are living in the past or not moving forward. It just means that it wasn't meant to be right now. Maybe in the next life you will be together forever. Keep him close to your heart and cherish the love you felt, but be open for someone else to fill that gap. I'm probably not making sense to a lot of people reading this post. Hopefully, Meri, you will understand what I'm trying to say.

elk said...

this is really well written and so tender Meri...i really believe that there is more than one "love of our life" as you are still capable of that intensity.

I relish the phrase "creating new metrics" i believe life (and love)is a constant work in progress..blessings to you my friend!

deb did it said...

Oh Meri, your honest, open and revealing writings are so powerful. I hope he reads your blog. and Mrs. Ex is probably by far from perfect. I don't mean to be unkind, but from what I read about you, maybe it has been his loss. The greatest thing about this story of yours is that you have fallen in love with YOU. and although so difficult to alter the metric system from previous measurements, you will be so surprised and caught completely off-guard when love comes crashing thru your heart...when you least expect it. There it will be, huge and un-invited. but remain open to it. Observe it. Honor it and allow...allow it to grow. It will be different. and when you no longer compare and measure, that is when love will fit perfectly. this may be the longest comment I have ever made on someones blog, but maybe you tugged on my heartstrings here....L-O-V-E will be yours again.

curious girl (lisa) said...

I'm living proof that you can love intensely more than once. each one was different and not one of them was expected. trust in love and enjoy your beautiful life free from movies where people kill each other and blow things up.

Delwyn said...

Hi Meri

You are very brave and honest in the way that you are tackling these questions.

Both Bonnie and Mark have spoken for me. The best thing is that you have found you and love that new you...

He was a reference point for love in the past.
Someone different will become that now...

Happy days

Meri said...

I'm so relishing the hopefulness you all are offering me. A heartfelt thanks!

Jeanneoli said...

I believe that we have many loves at different stages of our lives. I have loved other boys/men besides my husband. I still hold on to the beautiful parts of who they were....but I wasn't in the place to be married...I was when I met my husband. There will be another man for you. Different...but perfect for where you are now.

Barry said...

I think the concept of the perfect lover has done more harm and is responsible for more loneliness and misery than most of our human italicizes combined.

However I do believe in chemistry and two passions don't have to be identical in flavour for both to be superb.

Its like transformative moments, we can have more than one.

Lucrecer said...

The love of your life is you. Period. We are whole before we join with someone in a union. They do not complete us. That implies you were broken before they came along. I don't see that as true. We are whole people and we happen to love deeply. That does not mean you can not or will not love again. I love that you say you are enjoying who you are right now. That is what matters the most. Love will find you, put it out there to the Universe and allow it to prepare the right person to come into your life. At the same time, be open. Be open to any and everything. It is amazing how love comes to you at the most unexpected times and from the most unsuspecting people.

Carmen said...

I love your rebellious heart and honesty!
this is making me write something in my head....

Anonymous said...

Hey Meri, he can't have been the "love of your life" because it clearly wasn't enough of a reciprocal relationship to qualify as such.

You collect words? Get out your West Legal dictionary. Look up the word "regard" as related to the n. of "respect". Then look to see if any of those words, including "regard", are listed under the word "love".

I think you will find that you must be careful in designating someone from your past as the "love of your life", unless you can truthfully say that your relationship was consistently built upon that elusive high "regard" for one another.

Sadly, I think that kind of love is rare; yet is is exactly the kind of love we all aspire to have.

- a former student of yours who is glad to see your artistry in print.

ellen abbott said...

She is absolutely NOT right. I personally met three men whom I loved (two of which I still love). One turned out to be a frog after all, one was the right guy, wrong life and the third was/is my life partner.