Music has always been a huge part of my life, a way for me to express emotions when words fail me. When RJ and I were separated, one of the songs I listened to over and over was Sugarland's "Stay." It's a really pretty song, written from the perspective of the other woman.
I haven't thought much about the song, at least in an in-depth way, in several years, but I heard it on the radio today, and it dawned on me why it struck such a chord with me during my divorce: I felt like the other woman.
RJ had become involved with a woman he worked with. Their relationship was a train wreck from the start. She knew we were having problems, and she took it as a challenge to see if she could get him away from me; she didn't really want to be with him. For him, he felt like she needed him in a way that he needed to be needed. Even though *I* needed him, it wasn't in the way that turned on his protectiveness, and in fact, I think it pushed him away. She got under his skin in a way I couldn't stop, even though I'd seen it coming from a mile away. By the time I put my foot down and told him that their friendship had become too intimate, it was too late. When he left me for her, I told him that she didn't really want to be with him, but he couldn't believe it. Their relationship lasted less than two months.
It's only been in the last year or so that I've been able to think about that period of my life without becoming overwhelmingly sad. Getting divorced was the best thing for me and for RJ, and the pain of it was worthwhile, because I ended up here, where I'm incredibly happy with my life and my marriage. Still, divorce makes a person feels like a failure, and my divorce led to the lowest point of my life, when I did things of which I never thought I was capable. I can own my bad decisions now, though, and see them as things I had to endure to get to the place I'm in today. And it's nice to be able to think about all I went through in a sort of abstract way, without so much emotion clouding my thoughts.
When I hear Sugarland's "Stay" now, I realize that I *was* the other woman at the end of my marriage, and that RJ had already moved on to someone else. Even though that was the catalyst for our divorce, I can say I'm glad it happened. We weren't meant to be married to each other, but we might've kept on trying for years if something hadn't forced us apart. After all, we weren't happy, but we genuinely loved each other, and I don't think we would've separated. In the end, I'm glad it happened while we were both still young and had time to find the person who would make us really happy.