I love you because you weren’t my happily ever after…

Today used to be a day for the last several years I would dread. Because today marks not only the independence of our country, but also a marriage I used to ultimately want to forget. The beginning was great, even before the beginning… I thought he was my soul mate. We had sparks like I’d never experienced before.

Have you ever met someone though, and it’s just not healthy for them to be around you and you would do anything to make them happy, so it wasn’t healthy for you either? That was this. The pull I had to this person was unlike anything I had ever experienced. It led us down a path filled with addiction and abuse. Ultimately leading to a divorce and harsh feelings from both sides.

I used to regret. That one word I try not to use. I regretted the choices we both made, the ones I let happen, and eventually the moment I fell for him.

Without him though, there would be no me. The years we spent together, playing our demented games. Circling each other’s weaknesses like vultures. Though painful, to a degree I can’t even begin to explain, I learned. I learned how addicts work. I learned how I worked. I learned how strong I really am. I learned that love isn’t selfish and needy. I learned I don’t have to give someone what they want just to be loved. I came out on the other side, sober, clear-headed and more of a fighter than I ever thought possible.

Instead of dreading today, because it brings memories of an electrically charged relationship I had been waiting for for a long time and the possibility of “happily ever after” that never quite made it, I choose to remember that the reason I survived was because you taught me to. You taught me that the most painful moment in my life didn’t need to be the end. You taught me that even though there was no happily ever after with you, it can still happen. You taught me to embrace the pain, like never before.

Wherever you are, I hope you have the best 4th ever, surrounded by friends and family that love you. And know that I will probably always have a place in my heart for some of what we shared, and all of what you taught me.

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