We spent a week on the road together, making the most of Baltimore, Atlantic City, Philadelphia, New Brunswick and New York.
In retrospect, it was probably the best week that we had spent together in almost a year. We always had a great time traveling together, and the luxury tour bus, accommodations and friendly environment took the stress off our relationship. My husband was able to see, first-hand, my life on the road, and I was happy to share it with him. It started to feel like the old, happy couple was being resurrected.
And then I’d remember.
There are times when I feel like everything is normal, and then I see some sickness or I remember what he did. It is so hard to forget. I want to forget so, so badly, I cried out in my journal.
We continued to struggle, but I blamed it on myself. At the same time, I wanted to fix everything, and feel a sense of security in my marriage. I wanted to know my husband’s plan for the future. As he continued to give me the same, seemingly run-around answer, I began to question whether we would actually make it. I didn’t want to quit, but I was so tired of being unhappy. Nothing was changing. At least not in my perception, or immediate time frame.
We parted ways at the train station in New Brunswick, New Jersey, after a long, fun night of debauchery in New York City. My husband would fly back to Los Angeles for a night, and then onto Hawaii, where a new writing assignment awaited him.
I headed to Pennsylvania, Connecticut, South Carolina, and Tennessee, self-reflecting all along the way. I prayed for my husband. After performing at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, I started to feel a stronger sense of who I was, what I wanted in my life, and, perhaps being on my own wasn’t so bad.
I wrote constantly.
I want to stay on the road; I don’t want to go back to LA at all…sometimes I feel like I don’t want to put the effort into my marriage anymore. But what would I get out of a relationship with someone else? There’s no guarantee that someone wouldn’t cheat on me, as well. UGH. I am so tired of thinking about it, talking about it, feeling it. I am lonely but I don’t miss [him]. I hate what we have become.
I need help, help, help, help.
Then, my husband emailed me from the North Shore. It softened my heart. He wasn’t able to sleep; he felt sick.
Why? Because I’ve been so rude? I joked.
What he had done was hitting him in waves (no pun intended!) I interpreted that it was starting to dawn on him: his infidelity — his mistake — would never go away. He couldn’t sweep it under the rug, no matter how hard he tried.
I rambled back at him, per usual.
If you want to call it quits I am game. I have half a mind to move to Nashville and start my life over, marry some country western band leader who plays in one of the bars on the main drag and have a bunch of kids…all the while maintaining my own music career. I feel like I have so much life to live, and I don’t want to be in a diseased relationship.
I love you, I always will. I honestly think your career will explode if you are single…you don’t need anyone like me bogging you down.
I go back and forth between wanting to run as far away from you as possible, to really wanting to make this work, for spiritual growth and all. But I feel like I am so far ahead of you in the process…
I want you to hurt as much as I do but that’s just mean.
Or maybe I’m trying to get you to dump me once and for all? I don’t know. The harder road is the best, I know that.
He said he felt sick; he wanted to throw up.
Are you sick like “you want to be done with me” sick? Like before?
He couldn’t breathe without me. He wanted to die. He felt awful, and my emails made him horribly sad.
Of course you can [breathe without me]. You will be fine. Is this the end?
Don’t die. I’m sorry. I should shut my mouth. I don’t understand any of this…I think it’s only fair that I imagine my life sans you: you did it to me. Can we talk on the phone?
And, almost like that, it seemed like he had switched off again. He claimed he didn’t have reception.
I sighed, and told him to call whenever he could. It was dinnertime for me.
He said he loved me.
I love you so much, too, I replied. I think it’s all we need for now.
No past, no mistakes. Just love.