I have a friend who only sees the good.
Anat, an Israeli, met her first husband, an older man, an ex-Vietnam vet who had recently had moved to Israel where he met Anat. Unfortunately, some of his vet experiences were a deep part of his psyche, at least in the intimacy of their home. He could be a gem of a person to his clients, friends and neighbors; and indeed that was where he envisioned his reality. Yet, on the constant basis, his fears, his suspicions, his doubts surfaced. Anat was the lightning rod for his micro-managing, hollering, ill-tempered behavior, and control issues. The most common, everyday events were just another trigger to let his rage dispense.
The two boys born a year apart did not help the equation. His anxiousness was sharpened. He knew the right words, reactions and attitude he was supposed to take, but Vietnam claimed many more victims then we will ever be able to count. Though she had married him because of his conviction to change, his brilliance to see the whole picture and his desire to grow; it was his inability to escape the pain that grew too much for her.
They split. She did not say a word to her neighbors, friends or family against him. She never blamed him for his mean disposition. He was a victim. She shared her boys with him as long as he stayed in Israel. Eventually when he went back to America, she still maintained a connection. Phone calls, skype visits, and emails when that moved into the norm. She wanted them to know they had a father.
Meanwhile she loved the part of her work that had never been defined; the taking care of elementary children as the secretary when they needed a soft touch. Cookies, band aids and peanut butter sandwiches were constant supplies given out where paper clips, erasers and pens were supposed to be the norm. She was always available for those who needed extra care. The children all knew where they could receive feminine softness in the brisk official atmosphere. A quality she exceeded in.
Introduced to her second husband, by a neighbor who knew them both, she was pleased to finally give her boys a normal home. Ben this time came from the other side of the world – Russia, and had been recently divorced. He actually lived in the same town as his ex and Anat; which should have alerted Anat to some complications. Ben and his first wife had been married for 5 years and were not able to have children. They had had an amiable divorce, but it was already long overdue. They had not been compatible.
Anat looked forward to their small honeymoon right after the wedding, leaving the boys by her family. She wanted to bond with her new husband. She had hope and a positive attitude. By the time she came back from their short vacation and picked up her sons, she knew two things already about her new marriage. 1. She was pregnant. 2. It wasn’t going to work. They had nothing in common. Somehow she stayed with Ben until after the birth of her third son. Then they parted.
It didn’t make sense. She was so positive, so loving, so in the need to want to give. Perhaps that was her downfall. She was such a positive person; she literally could not see the negativity of anyone she dated.
She had almost been married again, but her friends stepped in to point out the downfalls. She is still hoping for the future. The three boys have grown each finding their own direction, though they always know their mother is there rock.
Ben, her 2nd ex, did get remarried. He is finally happy. Yet he has not been able to have any children. Again.
Anat has an unique approach in understanding her third son’s father, she told me and blew me away with her special eye in seeing the world; “You see, I was really meant to be Ben’s wife. He didn’t have any children from his other two wives, yet right away I had conceived. Our marriage was only meant so he could have a son.”
She is happy that she was able to give him, her ex, some joy and his son. I think she is an amazing woman.