I was watching It's Complicated again, for the tenth time, and had one of those ah-ha moments. I never had the kind of relationship that Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin had as a married couple, not in either of my marriages. Both times I was caught in a bad situation and made the best of things by getting married.
One of the things I've learned by watching It's Complicated is about what brings people together. I've also learned to recognize love. I never had that with either of my husbands. I see that now. I saw it when I asked for a divorce and I knew it then because it was so easy for me to walk away. No tears. No emotional breakdowns. No psychic upheavals. When I found out both husbands were cheating on me I was relieved because I had a way out. They gave me a get out of jail free card and I used it. Divorce was cut and dried the first time and difficult the second time; Nick didn't want to lose his meal ticket (me) and getting rid of him, most of my friends and family heard me say, was like scraping gum off the bottom of my shoe on a hot August day. It took strategy and moving away with no forwarding address, and two years of waiting him out, to get my legal freedom.
There have been two men in my life I have loved. I walked away from the first one because I was tired of being disappointed, weary of him making promises he never kept, and waiting for him to make up his mind about what he was going to do. He wouldn't move ahead, so I moved away, and I cried for weeks.
The other man has kept me dangling for six years and I have decided I'm not waiting any longer for him either. I love him still, but he's never going to be the man I want or need. Fear keeps him from moving forward, fear of losing his stuff and fear of an uncertain future. I cannot offer him a guarantee that everything will work out. I don't know that. I only know that I love him and I'll do everything and anything to work things out. That only works if there are two people willing to work. I cannot do it alone and he's not going to help, so I'm done. I've waited long enough, listened to enough empty words and apologies. He's a coward, and I know about cowards. He won't change so I'm making the decision he won't. I've ended it.
Just as Meryl Streep knew there was no way back with Alec Baldwin, I know there is no way forward with him. I love him. He will always be a part of my life, but I have shed enough tears, nursed enough pain and waited silent and alone for long enough. We are done. I wish him well, but he won't be happy. He hasn't been happy all these years, but he's used to the fear and depression and his stuff. That will have to be enough for him. For me, there is an open door and an open road and I plan to explore them both.
That's what happens with really good movies. They mirror the truths of life and make you think while you laugh and cry and sigh in the darkness. I will watch It's Complicated again and again and yet again because it's a great movie with some wonderful poignant and funny moments (how could it not with Steve Martin as the romantic lead?), and because I find truth and honesty, not only in the actors' performances, but in the story. Someone knows whereof they speak, and they made me think and reassess my life. I don't want to go back, but I can move forward. That's the great thing about movies and life, there's always another good movie and another good day ahead.
That is all. Disperse.