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A Love Gone Astray

brokenheartAfter ten years of marriage and raising our two children, Tina told me, "Maybe we should see what it's like to date other people." I was taken aback, hurt, blindsided and dazed by the sudden blow. I thought that we were happy together but I guess it was just me who had been happy. Tina and I had been an item since junior high school before tying the knot, buying a house and raising our two children, Joshua and Monica. We were a typical middle class family: picnics, amusement parks, movies at the theatre. And I have to admit, Me and Tina were a good looking couple.

I had no idea what to do about Tina's proclamation. But after seeing that look in her eyes often enough - a look that said she was hungry for

the outside world. I knew there was nothing I could do but allow her the freedom she craved.

People change, grow with time, often in different directions. I realized that Tina would not be happy if I tried to keep her when she didn't want to be with me anymore. So, after trying to convince her to give us a chance we parted ways, selling our house and separating.

We kept an amicable relationship, sharing equal time with the kids. Yet, I was really lost and deeply shaken. I was the first and only guy Tina had ever dated. I took her virginity when we were both seventeen and I wanted to be with her forever. I loved her, was still in love with her and I was reminded of that song that goes, " Ooh, baby, baby, it's a wild world," where the guy sings about his girl wanting to set out on her own.

I kept hope that Tina would come back to me and she actually did after only three months apart. I guess she realized that maybe we weren't so bad after all. But it just didn't feel right anymore so we parted again.Tina met this guy, Mike, in church less than three months after our final goodbye and they began dating. We got a divorce three months after that. Tina and Mike were married less than eight months after meeting each other and added a baby girl to the family ten months later. I guess she had found what she was looking for. Although it still hurt deep inside I put on a happy face and wished her the best.

I got back into the dating scene and found my swagger again. I then realized that I had lost it long before losing Tina. To be honest, I believe that losing my swagger was a major reason I had lost Tina. I had allowed myself to become just Tina's husband, doing whatever it was I thought she wanted, giving my life to her completely. There was no challenge for her, no daring, everything in our life was safe and predictable. She was still young, twenty eight, and didn't just want to be a housewife with kids anymore (at least not with me). Tina was always fine with a nice shape, pretty face and sweet personality. I knew guys probably hit on her regularly, as guys will do. I never worried about her enjoying their attention too much. But she had become bored with me. She'd never attended parties,clubs or events as a single woman with the freedom to explore the differences in men. She just wanted to live a full life, with no second guessing and although what we had together was nice, she had nothing to compare it with. "What if she just got old, having never tasted lifes different flavors?" she probably asked herself. I could see that Mike still had his swagger. Swagger which probably caught her eye while I had become just, "her husband".

I made it through the pain of losing Tina and I'm having fun now, dating different women. And although I'm enjoying my time with different women I am basically a relationship kind of guy. I've met this one lady, Andrea, and we've been out more than a few times. If it keeps going as it has I might think about getting married to her one day, but I've learned my lesson well. She will have to be sure that it is what she really wants. My kids have a healthy relationship with me and Andrea and as for Tina, I still care about her, and always will. She tried unsuccessfully to get back together with me after Mike abandoned her along with their new baby after less than a year of marriage.

When I see Tina around town struggling with the baby carriage, Joshua and Monica in tow I feel a hurt that seems like it will never go away. Sometimes I see her at the bus stop with the children (Mike messed up her credit and took off with the family car). I don't let them see me as I sit in my car, half a block away, watching until they get on the bus. Once they are safe I pull off, wondering about of a love gone astray...

By: Tony Shaheed Elliot
Last modified onWednesday, 05 May 2010 10:57

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