A few short hours later when I woke up, there was already a text from him asking me to call him when I was awake. I groggily dialed his number. He was wide awake, I don’t think he had gotten much sleep. He told me he had thought about that song all night. He had gotten up early and gone to buy the CD (yes, I’m old) so he could hear it again. He told me that he WAS that man. The one the song described, the one who would be there for me, a man among men.
The words poured out of his mouth and I could tell he was at his computer because I could hear him typing. He told me he had just purchased us tickets to the concert of the artist that sang THE SONG was coming to town in December. This was September. I asked him if he thought we would still be together in December. He said “of course!” He then asked me if I wanted to know where we were sitting at the concert? Before I could respond, he said, “front row!” and I could hear the smile in his voice.
My head was starting to spin. We had met online only a week before. Met in person only 2 days ago. For someone who hadn’t been divorced very long, (read my blog about when to date after a divorce https://recoveringcinderella.com/blogs/recovering-cinderellas-blog/when-should-i-start-dating-after-my-divorce) it felt wonderful and overwhelming at the same time. I couldn’t imagine someone falling so quickly for me. Someone who assured me that they wanted to make my world better than it had ever been.
September came and went. THE SONG made it onto a CD he made me of other love songs he wanted to share with me. I was in my 30’s and no one had ever made me a “mix tape” in my life. Whenever I heard it, my heart melted. He was the man that I had hoped I could find.
When the night of the concert came, we were escorted to our seats in the front row. I don’t think we ever sat down. To be that close to one of my favorite artists was exciting! I was loving every second of it – singing along to every song (thankfully, it was really loud up there)! As the first notes of THE SONG began, he reached into his pocket and slipped a 4-carat ring on my finger and asked me if I would marry him. Was there really any other answer than “YES!”
We began planning the dream wedding – a culmination of our fairy tale romance. I wanted our first dance to be to THE SONG. We signed up for private dance lessons and choreographed the perfect dance to THE SONG. We practiced it for months. When it played at our wedding reception and he led me onto the dance floor, I knew my dreams had come true.
It was a little over a week before the first lie came to light. It was 3 years of many more lies and the world that I thought was a fairy tale had become a nightmare. When I finally had the strength to end it, it took me years to build a new world based in reality, not fairy tales.
For the first year, whenever I heard THE SONG, the tears would come before I could even change the station. Even when I started to move forward in my life, THE SONG would rip open the wounds I had so carefully stitched together. It was as if my shattered hopes and dreams resided in those lyrics and would tear me to shreds whenever I heard it.
A few years later, the artist was coming back to town. My best friend (who had terminal cancer) wanted to go to the concert. I surprised her with tickets. She knew the history of THE SONG and asked me if I was sure I wanted to go. I was in better place and assured her I would be fine. Yet, the minute the artist started singing those lyrics, the tears were streaming down my face again.
It has been 10 years since my divorce. I have been able to hear THE SONG without crying for several years now. The artist is still one of my favorites and it will occasionally end up (like today) on a Pandora station. When I hear it now, I think about how far I have come. How different my life is now from what it was then. How if I had not married (and divorced) him, I wouldn’t be where I am today. And while I will probably never want to dance to that song at any wedding for the rest of my life, I can listen to it without the tears falling.
Healing from a divorce isn’t easy. Even when you think you are in a good place, something like THE SONG hits you from out of nowhere and you can find yourself unexpectedly sobbing in the produce department of the grocery store. But it DOES get better, I promise. Before long, those heart wrenching reminders of what was will be replaced with the promise of what could be. Find your own song…one that lifts your heart higher than any song you have heard before, Beautiful <3
Hi! I’m Keri Lauderdale Olson, also known as Recovering Cinderella, www.recoveringcinderella.com. I am not a therapist (although I can probably use one) or divorce professional. I am simply a woman who has lived through divorce and wants to help support other women through their own divorces with honesty, humor and a healthy dose of reality. If you are a woman starting your divorce process, check out my online course to help you navigate through both the emotional and practical issues of starting the divorce process. https://recoveringcinderella.com/collections/getting-through-the-divorce-process-online-courses-for-women/products/online-course-starting-the-divorce-process