I’ve realized one thing, how much I love you and it’s hurts to see, to see you crying.
I believe we can make it through the winds of change…and if you just hold
on I won’t let you fall. - “That Lonely Road of Faith” – Kid Rock
The easy part for Sunshine and me was admitting we had feelings to each other. The difficult part was getting Sunshine emotionally comfortable that her life would not crumble around her if she left her husband to begin a new life with me. The challenge was not any feelings of love for her husband that kept her from leaving him, no, the challenge was her fear and anxiety over how her life would change and if she were able to trust any man again but also the fear of stymatizing her children. She had read all the studies about the adverse effects divorce has on children. Sunshine didn't want her kids to be statistics. She wasn't sure how those around her would react and she thought she'd be doing more harm to her kids in her leaving their father than doing good if she chose to stay and be miserable in her marriage.
I never tried to diminish those issues and feelings because they were valid concerns. What I tried my best to do is to reassure Sunshine that reality would be much less harsh than her fears and that she would not be going through this alone; that I would be with her every step through the process. Her belief and hope would barely register on any measuring device so I had to pour my belief and hope into her - to show her a brighter tomorrow without her husband in it.
I had never been married, hell, I hadn't even had one serious relationship before meeting Sunshine so there were numerous times I was blowing smoke out my ass. BUT the one thing that was the absolute truth was that I was going to be there for Sunshine in whatever way she needed me. Sunshine needed to believe that I meant it when I said she could trust me to be there, to not run away from her when her life got ugly, to catch her if she stumbled. It took a long time for her to understand I was serious about that but she did.
And I was. I was beside her the whole way. The problem for me was that I had blinders on, only thinking about a life with Sunshine, and ended up taking too much for granted. I'd had many friends - the majority of them women - who had gone through divorce and some of the divorces were brutal. But, based on those friends' stories and experiences shared with me, I thought I had Sunshine's situation covered. All I had to do was remember what my friends had told me about their divorce experiences and be able to counter Sunshine's same experiences with my friendship, love, and belief. There were so very many miscalculations and assumptions I'd made early on when Sunshine and I began our relationship. Those miscalculations came back and bit me in the very backside the smoke came out of and - worse yet - damn near got Sunshine killed. I never took her husband's reaction to Sunshine leaving him to the extreme conclusion; I just figured he'd come after me and we'd settle it like men.
And I was wrong. So terribly, terribly wrong. Instead of being the calm in her storm, I managed to create a bigger storm than either Sunshine or me could have imagined in our worst nightmare-scenarios. See just how bad the nightmare scenario got in Sunshine: Diary of An Affair http://amzn.to/11K07iD
Eric Simmons is one of the two essential figures of The Sunshine Affair series. His journals turn his real-life experiences into a novelized version of the events Simmons lived. This blog provides insight on The Sunshine Affair series from this unique perspective.