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I Manifested and Married The Man of My Dreams

But He Was Already Married When We Met

I did a really good job manifesting the man of my dreams. Mostly.

After finally breaking up with an on-again, off-again musician who caused me unnecessary turmoil, I wrote down everything I’d learned from our tumultuous relationship. The result was a list of my non-negotiables for future partnership:

  • Must laugh with me daily
  • Must want to break out into dance parties with me whenever, wherever
  • Must never shame me for guilty pleasures such as pop music, musicals, and a variety of reality TV shows
  • Must appreciate or, at least, understand my career choice
  • Must be able to chop wood, or at least have some outdoorsy instincts

That’s a sample. Those, and every other item on my list, were fulfilled—in fact, my married last name is actually Wood. What I didn’t realize at the time is there are a few things I should have specified. Including current or previous marital status. But let me back up a bit.

The week before I met my husband I saw a psychic who asked me about the auburn-haired man in my life, the one with a “J” name. No one fit the bill, but one week later, I met him at a party.

   What the psychic didn’t tell me was that my future husband would be married when I met him. I never thought that I would fall in love with someone who I used to consider a friend, let alone the husband of a friend.

J and I both had the familiar feeling that we’d met before, or, at the very least, seen each other at a previous gathering. I met his wife the same night; if this man were her husband, I thought, there must be something special about her. It was an innocent impression that made me want to get to know her more; soon, along with a group of friends, we became quite close.

Still wrapped up in the healing of my recent breakup with the musician, I ventured into this new friend group with the goal of being unapologetically myself. Within this small community of friends, I really started to find my footing again. We met as often as we could for music festivals, concerts, backyard potlucks, and all-night-movie-watching sleepovers. My heart was healing, and it felt full when I was with our eclectic group. J and his wife were the married pair that everyone loved and idolized. Marriage wasn’t in my immediate plans, but, witnessing theirs at such a young age gave me hope for a similar future.

Back to the psychic. I went on the advice of my coworkers, curious about their reports of intense readings. What’s the worst she can tell me? Ten minutes into our session I was in tears. After exploring deeply rooted secrets no one knew, she told me my future husband would teach me how to love myself and that our wedding would be quiet and simple.

At this point, my heart was still hopelessly committed to the musician who was too determined to become a rockstar to ever commit to a relationship. Her prediction of a future with someone who would value me and teach me how to value myself gave me hope. After our meeting, I meditated on what was important to me in a partnership and the beginnings of my non-negotiable list were formed.

What the psychic didn’t tell me was that my future husband would be married when I met him. I never thought that I would fall in love with someone who I used to consider a friend, let alone the husband of a friend.

But that’s what happened. When J and his wife broke up it caused a huge shock in our friend group. No one saw it coming, including me. Eventually, we split into two sides. At first, I wanted to be there for both parties, but my connection to his ex-wife just didn’t feel authentic. I made the unpopular decision to support J. It’s obvious why my other friendships couldn’t continue as they had, but that didn’t mean it didn’t confuse the hell out of me. This was not how I’d pictured my path unfolding.

Shortly after their breakup I realized that the man who fit all the criteria on my list, with his willingness to dance and outdoorsy skills, was J.

   The magnificence of falling in love was occluded by a huge guilt—at being labeled The Other Woman, which I wasn’t, or The Rebound, who I hoped I wasn’t stupid enough to become.

Within a few weeks of their separation, we realized we would soon become closer than just friends. Our strong foundation made it easy for us to establish boundaries, express our deepest feelings and fears, and to eliminate any of the falsehoods we might have hid behind to protect ourselves when dating someone new.

He had seen me at my worst with my previous breakup, and now I was seeing him—raw and broken, but, ultimately, relieved that he was finally listening to his heart.

I had found “the one,” but I was experiencing loss and emotional breakdowns. The magnificence of falling in love was occluded by a huge guilt—at being labeled The Other Woman, which I wasn’t, or The Rebound, who I hoped I wasn’t stupid enough to become.

I sought the guidance of my closest friends and family, opening up about everything. Telling my parents I was falling in love with a legally married man during his divorce was not something I ever thought I would do, but, to my surprise, they supported me. They saw my heart, met J, and immediately loved his heart, as well.

The biggest test came when my musician-ex caught word that I was moving on and confronted me at work. He confessed his love, saying everything I had wanted him to for years. Watching him, I knew that even if my relationship with J fell apart, in it I had finally found my worth in a partnership. I gave my ex a respectful “fuck off” speech and finally felt the closure I had so desperately been seeking.

   Telling my parents I was falling in love with a legally married man during his divorce was not something I ever thought I would do, but, to my surprise, they supported me.

After a year and a couple of signed divorce papers later, J and I decided to get out of our small town and establish ourselves somewhere new. We needed to give our relationship a real shot.

Six weeks later we moved to Los Angeles. We put the idea of marriage on a high shelf. I knew we would take that step whenever we felt comfortable. Or not. I’d grown to accept that while we might not ever make it “official” our commitment was sound.

Years later, after the 2016 election, all of the reasons in the world to get married unfolded clearly in front of us. We realized that, as a couple, our rights weren’t recognized, even though we’d been living together for over five years. If anything were ever to happen to either of us we would need to be each other’s responsibility. We agreed to lock down our partnership immediately. There was no proposal, no engagement ring, just a decision to take this next step before major changes took place in our country.

As predicted by my psychic, our marriage was quiet and simple. We got married without guests at the Beverly Hills courthouse in a 15-minute ceremony. I wore a secondhand dress and carried a bouquet I’d made that morning. I cried happily listening to my husband’s incredibly thoughtful vows. Shaking, I expressed my devotion to him, my best friend and greatest love. After a week of unusually rainy weather in LA, the sky that day was clear.

It may not have been conventional, or the classic love story, but it’s ours. As I reflect on our beginnings, as early as the reading by the psychic and my list of non-negotiables, I realize that exact specificity would have blocked me from experiencing the relationship I was meant to have.

And, he taught me how to love myself—the psychic’s last prediction. Faced with hormonal and digestive imbalances in our first year of marriage, I experienced a depression the depth of which I had not encountered before. With my husband’s unconditional support I’ve made my emotional wellbeing my number one priority. Before now, I’d never been given the space to put myself first.

I do jokingly tell friends that if they want to manifest their dream partner they need to include current marital status on their list; but regardless of its initial messiness, confusion, and loss, I have a lot of gratitude for our experience. I wouldn’t write our story any other way.

 

Photo by Estefania Solveyra via Unsplash

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    Hayley Wood
    About the author

    Hayley Wood has been a practicing esthetician since 2006 with an integrative facial business called Therapeutic Skin Coach where she focused on non-toxic offerings as well as removing emotional blocks to help her clientele discover their self worth and inner beauty. She is also the co-founder of Skin Food Talk, an educational platform on how to get glowing from the inside out through skin care, nutrition and self care. She is also a writing contributor to many different wellness outlets, including both blogs of her companies, to continue the conversations on inner beauty.

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