I wonder sometimes if loyalty to a person extends beyond death. When I married my wife Danijela, we made vows to each other and though I know the words ended with "til death do us part," I still found myself feeling guilty as I started to feel feelings for others that were once hers alone, maybe in some ways I still do.
I know, it's been over fourteen years and I know too that she would want nothing less for me to have the life we always dreamed we would share, but deep inside the guilt remains. I want to have a wife again, a family again, and now with Abby pregnant that seems a certainty, so why then do I still feel like I'm cheating on Danijela?
For over ten years there was no one, and then...slowly at first, I gave myself permission to feel again, to hope for a chance to know again what I'd had then lost. At first I talked about Danijela, about my children, it was easy with Carol, after she left, the wounds seemed so fresh, and I just couldn't anymore. I once again tucked those memories away, out of loyalty to her, to my children, or so I thought.
Maybe that's why things became so hard after that. Why things with Abby failed the first time around. In a way, I look at what came next as a form of punishment, why should I think that I deserved to have what I had with her again? I fell into a series of bad habits that would have disgusted her, and I was sure the man I had been was gone forever. Even as I tried with Sam, I still wasn't ready and so that too had to fail.
But that was then, and now, things feel different, and maybe they are. What I feel for Danijela will always be with me, and this time with Abby I know that's okay. Little by little I'm finding I'm able to share parts of that life with her without feeling like I'm betraying their memories and in many ways it's like welcoming them back.