For obvious reasons I won’t use his real name. I’ll just call him “C”. I met “C” during a rough patch back in October. During this time I had been trying to save an ever crumbling marriage, picking up all of the tiny pieces like shattered glass carefully trying to glue them all back together where they belonged. I was hopeful I’d be able to reconstruct the relationship just like it had once been an eternity ago. I was fighting a losing battle on my own, no army, no shield, no sword, no castle to return to to pronounce my hopeful victory. I was empty handed and shattered like the glass of my marriage. For about a month prior, I had been seeing a therapist unknown to my husband. On several earlier occasions I had suggested a marriage counselor with no success so I decided to give it a go on my own. So there I was, every Monday morning, on my way to the therapist’s office hoping she’d have answers. She was a calm woman with glasses, a small pad of paper and a pen. She always made me think she preferred things the simple way, no technology or complicated procedures, just her and her gentle demeanor. I would sit on the couch across from her optimistically waiting for answers. She would talk, I would talk, she would ask questions about how every tear, every fight, every word he spoke made me feel. Every time it was the same answer, sad, lonely, angry and yet still hopeful. She was intrigued that I always seemed so hopeful as miserable as I was. I guess I really always knew what it was I needed to do to be happy once again I just half wished the answer would come out of someone else’s mouth, not mine. That hope stuck with me though at every session no matter how many tears I cried while I was there.
It was mid October when the tears stopped coming and hope shined even brighter. This particular day she asked me why I seemed so positive today. I think she wondered if things were looking up at home. I told her they were the same but for some reason I had woken up that morning feeling a sense of numbness. That I didn’t fully understand anymore why I was no longer sad. It was as if my heart had just checked out, went on vacation and left a note saying “call me when it’s over”. She scribbled on her pad, pushed her glasses up over her head and looked at me cautiously. “I’m going to suggest a group for you that is made up of men and women who are going through similar marriage issues. These people are all privately invited by a group of us therapists. You might find it helpful in understanding your own feelings.” She handed me a piece of paper that in gentle writing offered the name of a private Facebook group to those in need of marriage advice. I was immediately skeptical. I didn’t want to spill my troubles with strangers. It was hard enough telling my therapist.
That night, out of curiosity, I logged onto Facebook and scoped out the group. Knowing my own page was private I felt better that no one could snoop around in my business. My mouse hovered over the “join” button a few seconds too long before I clicked it. Instantly, posts and conversations appeared from both men and women discussing cheating spouses, bad divorces, how to move on from a broken marriage, fears, regrets, worries, etc, etc. My heart hurt reading through everyone’s thoughts and comments. Yet, I felt so relieved that my thoughts and concerns also belonged to others. I went to bed that night with even more hope than before. I WAS going to be able to get through this. I wasn’t alone.
“C” was part of this group. I didn’t find him. He found me. I received a private message a few days later that he had sent introducing himself as a husband who had been married only a couple of years and trying to stay afloat in a sinking marriage. Something about his approach to expressing his feelings that were similar to my own reeled me in and I needed to know more. I was curious to hear the opposite side to the story. His story. A male perspective. I replied with a general message that introduced myself and briefly opened up about my own scenario. I’d say the rest is history but that’s not the right term…
Let’s say “C” has since become something of a close friend. His marriage crumbled shortly after mine and our friendship grew to a type of support system. We can confide in each other through email, text and phone conversations. It is like he understands my every tear, my every complaint, my every reason for leaving. He gets it more than anyone. It’s become, he’s become, a friend I never knew could even exist. I have become the same for him.
The interesting part to this story is now, over 3 months later, we have never met though I feel like I know him better than I know most of my friends. He is my friend. Is he more? Could he one day be more? I’m not sure…I often wonder though. We have a connection that seems slightly impossible. How can two people, close in age, not living too far away from each other, with extremely similar stories and everything in common stumble upon one another in almost a one in a million way? Does this stuff really happen? It brings me back to my online dating. How easy is it to find someone you can truly connect with? Is it easier than we think?
“C” has become a part of my daily routine between our morning texts to our evening phone conversations about our days to my most recent need of dating advice. I wonder where all of this will go. Will it just fizzle away when we each find new love? Are we in need of each other for the sole purpose of strength until we find it within ourselves? What will become of this friendship? It’s a question I wish I had an answer to but like every one you meet along the way in life they all have purpose. I guess we will wait and see what the true purpose of “C” really is.
Until then, I suggest a book which “C” had recommended to me. This book has since become a part of my own journey through all of this, “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho.