I used to be married to a figment of my imagination.
My imaginary husband was very affectionate. He always greeted me with a huge smile, and hug and a kiss when he walked through the door.
He was very romantic. He bought me flowers and chocolate and prepared candlelit dinners and wrote me love letters to express his devotion to me.
He always knew just the way to comfort me when I was down. He would say, “Honey, I’m so sorry you are feeling this way. What can I do to make you feel better?”
He always offered to clean the kitchen after dinner and never left a mess.
He replaced light bulbs and fixed broken parts as soon as I asked him–or even before I asked him.
He was so punctual and always accompanied me to events, arriving perfectly on time.
He was a spiffy dresser, just like my brother. He never had a stain, and I was always proud of the way he looked.
He was just like my father: really frugal with his money, never buying frivolous things like sweets and sodas and, of course, never feeding that junk to our children.
He always agreed with me and complimented me on my intelligence and ingenuity.
He always knew what to do, and never made mistakes or got us lost.
My imaginary husband was absolutely perfect–just the way I wanted him to be.
Until one day, I made a decision that changed my marriage forever.
Being married to him was both comfortable and safe, and very painful and lonely at the same time. My days were filled with disappointment because my real flesh-and-bones husband was failing miserably in comparison.
Soon, he stopped trying to measure up.
Then, something wonderful and miraculous happened. I found Laura Doyle and the Intimacy Skills, and then did the best thing I ever did in my life. I DIVORCED my imaginary man.
What I found in his place was the imperfect human being that I chose at the altar and who I committed to respect and love. I opened my heart to the man I had been rejecting for so long.
I threw away all my expectations. He didn’t have to be like my brother, father, uncles, cousins and friends–all those men I fantasized about. He was free to be himself. I embraced him with his strengths and weaknesses.
When he didn’t have the words to comfort me when I was sad, I thanked him for sitting close to me.
When he fed my children sugary treats before lunch, I let him know that our children will cherish the memories.
When he came home from work hungry and tired, I let him know that I missed him (and then got the hug I was longing for).
When we got lost in the car, I used super glue on my lips.
When he wore a ridiculous costume to a party, I focused on all the other silly costumes.
Slowly, my knight in shining armor was back. Now that he has a shot at pleasing me, he showers me with gifts and is always trying to make me happy. Now I really have the man of my dreams.
What I thought was apathetic and lazy, I now see as calm, thoughtful and deliberate.
What I thought was messy and disorganized, I now see as flexible and easygoing.
A man I thought was out-of-touch and flighty is now a man who dreams big and follows his dreams.
A man I thought was uncaring and selfish is now a man scared to disappoint me.
A man I thought was controlling is now a leader with initiative.
What I thought was a damaged husband was actually a damaged wife.
What I thought was an imperfect man is perfect for me!