The Mystery of Marriage
I just celebrated my 2-year wedding anniversary, so I’ve decided to write about our feelings on marriage. K never wanted to get married, in fact she was very much opposed to the idea of marriage; she found it to be an antiquated notion which was only useful for tax purposes or naming heirs in the current day and age. She thought it was old-fashioned as well as obsolete, so she decided by the time she was a teenager that marriage was NOT for her. (Insert horrible mistake at age 19 here, but it was only 8 months before K kicked him out so that hardly counts as a marriage) She didn’t fall in love, not really, until she was 24, and it did seem that she was going to marry that guy. He appeared to be everything she wanted, and The Kellie was madly in love with him, but he was evil and the relationship was toxic. He proposed three times over the course of five years. Once we said yes, once we said no, and once we said yes and then he changed his mind and broke our heart. That’s a story for a different day.
K moved around a lot, and she’d always end up with a boyfriend whom she’d inevitably dump just as soon as marriage was mentioned. It was a fairly simple task, since she never “loved” any of these guys anyway. I don’t know how or why this happened, (I’d be scared to even date K) but K received 7 marriage proposals from 5 different men over the course of her dating career. That doesn’t count the one she finally accepted and followed through with, the one from her Husband. (I never group him into any of K’s categories, for he is the exception to all our rules) She was engaged four times, but even during those times she knew, on some level, that she wouldn’t get married. Perhaps the logical K’s knew it would be a disaster, and they were trying to protect all the K’s, or protect the guys she was hurting. K broke a lot of hearts, and in the end karma bit us in the ass, but after a lifetime of nothingness, we finally found true love and happiness. It was a long and difficult journey with a lot of good scenery along the way.
I think K wasn’t so much opposed to marriage as she was terrified of it. Her parents were married only to each other for 50 years, so you’d think she’d feel good about marriage. The truth is, K’s parents were part of the reason K didn’t want to get married. She grew up watching them…and she didn’t like what she saw. Now there was no substance abuse or violence or infidelity in their marriage, it was strong and dependable and could weather any storm. Mom and Dad loved each other, of that I am certain, but they never seemed to K to be in love. K never saw them kiss, or hug, or hold hands. K used to joke that her conception was probably the last time they ever had sex and they were probably drunk when it happened. We never heard them speak lovingly to each other, or even say “I love you”, except maybe on special occasions. The one instance of romance that K witnessed between them occurred when her father was on his death bed; he asked K’s mother for a kiss, and K witnessed them peck each other on the lips for the first time as well as the last time. It brought tears to her eyes.
I have gone off on a tangent, and have yet to tell the story of how I came to marry Husband. We met in fourth grade when he moved to the area from a state about 800 miles from K’s hometown. We weren’t friends, we just knew each other from school. After fourth grade, his parents sent him to Catholic school, and K remained with her classmates and she didn’t see Husband again until they ended up at the same high school. They met for the second time in 9th grade, and as it turned out they had both gone down the “alternative” path, meaning that they dressed “weird” compared to the other kids and listened to different music and had different interests. They ended up in the same small circle of “freaks” and became friends and remained so until junior year, when K broke the heart of Husband’s best friend. Naturally, this split the group up and thus K was no longer speaking to Husband, as he was on his friend’s side. K didn’t really care about losing friends, she packed up and fled to another state, and was alone for her final year of high school. (Coincidentally, K moved to the same state and even the same city that Husband was from) She focused on school and her job and had good friends and so she didn’t really need a boyfriend. She wouldn’t see Husband again until she was in her 20’s and had moved back to her home state but to a much bigger city to go to college. Husband had moved here and there from state to state, but had ended up in the same city as us, and once in a blue moon, he and K would run into each other at parties or a bar. It was rather awkward for K (since their friendship had ended abruptly) and so she never really spoke to him. He ended up moving back to K’s hometown and that was that.
It wasn’t until K was 26 and visiting her parents one weekend, that she actually had a conversation with Husband. She was in town with that guy who kept proposing, and they ended up at a restaurant and as it turned out, Husband was the manager of that restaurant. At some point, he spoke privately to K, and apologized for anything he’d ever said or done to offend us, and said that he hoped we could be friends again. And so K forgave him for taking that other guy’s side way back when, and they were on friendly terms again, but they wouldn’t be real friends, and hang out together, for years. Here’s the irony: it was Husband’s best friend, the guy whose heart K had broken in high school, that brought K and Husband together. Years later, this friend discovered K on MySpace (even though she wasn’t using her name) and sent her a message. (He worked in the same city in which K lived) They ended up dating casually and K went to visit him where he lived in her hometown and that is when she discovered that this guy’s roommate was Husband. This was the beginning of a new chapter in the book of K and Husband. She became good friends with Husband, as she was often visiting his home to see the other guy. Well, it wasn’t very long before K decided she was bored with that guy and so she stuck him in the “friend” category, but she continued to hang out at his house sometimes, when she was in town, and she became better friends with Husband as time went on.
At some point, K’s mother got to where she could no longer live by herself. Her health had been deteriorating since the death of K’s father, and she had trouble getting around and needed someone to help her with cooking and cleaning. She did NOT want to go to a nursing home. At the same time, Husband’s roommate needed a new place to live, a place closer to his job. K just happened to have a condo which needed a tenant, as she’d decided to leave her life behind us and take care of our mother. This is how it came to pass that K moved back to her hometown and in with her mom. Husband’s roommate rented K’s condo and everything worked out splendidly. She began to spend more time with Husband, and he ended up being K’s best friend. Everyone always joked that the two of us should be a couple, (we did everything a couple does except for the sex part) but K never thought about him in that way-she never had in all the years she’d known him. She loved him as her best friend and their relationship grew stronger for the next 2 years. They spent time together nearly every day and talked on the phone for hours, sometimes ’til sunrise. One day, he wrote K an email about his true feelings for her. When K saw the email she knew what it was about before she opened it, and so she was scared to read it. She didn’t know how it was going to affect their friendship, and so she let the email sit in her inbox for about 24 hours. Finally, she had a few drinks and smoked half a joint and read the email. It was the most romantic thing ever-Husband is a writer and has such a way with words!-and K began to cry. She was thrown into a situation which she couldn’t control and she was confused and scared and excited and a million emotions all at once. She didn’t want to talk to Husband after that, not for a while, for she had to digest his words and think long and hard about whether or not she was willing to take their friendship to the next level and go out on a date with him. Husband tells us now that the period in which I made him wait, after he sent the email, was torture…but I had to do it. I had to think, and on some level I think I must’ve known that our decision would affect the rest of my life.
A year later, miraculously in our mind, he proposed. By that time, we, the K’s, had fallen head over heels for Husband and couldn’t understand how we never noticed it before then. The next thing I knew, we were in Las Vegas at a chapel. And I’ve been in a different place, mentally, ever since. I think perhaps these unknown feelings I have been experiencing are called security and contentment and I am slowly beginning to accept them as valid feelings. The thing we haven’t spoken about, and which seems really important, is how I went about dating and marrying and living with Husband without him ever knowing about US. It was no secret that K had always suffered from depression; Husband knew her when she hospitalized at age 16. Also, once they became friends in adulthood, she gradually began to trust him enough to open up and, when she was drunk or stoned, she’d tell him little bits of information about her mental illness, without ever going into specifics. He knew I was on a good deal of medication. He knew I’d been diagnosed with a chronic mental illness, and he knew about the voices and hallucinations. He did not know about all the K’s (even though he’d met more than one of us over the years) and I never told him out of fear. Plus, I suppose I thought I was such a good actress that I could hide it from him the same way I hid it from everyone else my whole life.
It worked for almost the first two years of our marriage. In fact, it was only weeks before our anniversary when K had a severe episode and switched to a K that Husband didn’t recognize. We tried desperately to explain to him what was happening, why it happens, how it happens, but I didn’t have the words. How do you tell someone you love that you are not the person they think you are? (at least, not all the time) I cannot put into words how difficult and confusing and stressful the situation became after that incident, and there was a lot of crying on both our parts. He couldn’t believe we were married for 2 years and he never knew about it. He couldn’t believe I hid this from him for all these years. Truthfully, the talk I had with Husband about the different K’s was the very first conversation of its kind in K’s life. She had NEVER told anyone, outside of her therapist Patty, about Kellie World and our existence there in various forms, on different planes of reality. Suffice it to say that Husband’s mind was completely blown, and we feared that he would leave us…but it turns out that this love is True Love and he has promised to stay with us and take care of us and accept and love us, no matter what or who we are or may become. That, my friends, is what we call a happy ending.