Whether it is you or your partner who wants a divorce, divorce is tough on anyone; it takes down the best of us.
Even if your divorce is mutual, something dies — the two of you, as a couple, are no longer. When you say, “I do,” it’s with the intention that this is the person you will stay with till death do you part.
You thought you had found the person you’ll grow old with, go through thick and thin with, have children with, watch those children grow up with, see them off to college with, have an empty nest with, and enter retirement with. …
“There’s no coming to consciousness without pain.” — Carl Jung
I thought I was unraveling during my divorce. In a way, I was. I was coming out of a ten-year fog lifted only by circumstances out of my control. An unraveling back to myself — resurrected through the daily insults and injuries thrown at me from every conceivable direction. The chaos slung at me had only one goal: Keep me off balance.
But something unexpected and positive came to the surface also. My confidence bubbled up.
Now, five file boxes sit in my garage collecting dust, every inch of them stuffed with paper from front to back with court filings. …
In 21 days, my husband met and slept with:
A mother of three –
Who herself has two divorces under her belt –
Who just turned 30 –
And was going to break up our 11-year marriage to move in with her.
A woman he has known for 21 days.
I keep repeating he has known her — and not known her — for 21 days, because I am still confounded by the fact that 21 days is not long enough to really know someone well enough to decide you want to move in with them, when the cost of that decision is breaking up everything you have built for the last 11 years. …
I finally escape my daughter’s room after she took a good hour to go down to sleep.
My energy has shifted to mostly absent and preoccupied. She picked up on it immediately, hence her anxiety, and more difficult bedtimes for both of us.
I cross the hall to the master bedroom to drop into bed myself, exhausted, when the vision of my husband stops me cold at our door.
I lean wearily against the door jam and watch him while I feel my sleep deprived bones course and awaken with rage. I’m barely 95 pounds now since I found out my husband had an affair, yet feel as if my body is carrying the heaviness of an elephant. …
You know that line in Annie Hall, when a baby-faced Jeff Goldblum, swaying, off-balance inebriated from some drug, says into the phone “I forgot my mantra” as Alvy Singer (played by Woody Allen), and Annie Hall (played by the fabulous Diane Keaton) leave a fabulous Beverly Hills party? Well, this is the scene that popped into my mind when I came home one night and found my husband talking to his computer.
What is a psychopath?
Because I’m pretty sure I have one in my life now. And there is not anything I can do about that.
And no, I’m not talking about the current resident in the WH, even though I did call him a narcissist early on, when he was a candidate.
I’m bent over at the waist.
Snorting, uncontrollable, hysterical deep-belly laughter takes control of my body.
The kind of roar that makes you ache from the inside and soothes the soul simultaneously. The kind you can’t stop no matter how much you will yourself to stop. You half want it to end, but can’t anyway, and you also want your hysterical laughter to keep going as long as it can because it makes you feel alive.
It happens during those moments in life when you know you are at a life-altering fork in the road. Something big, and out of your control, is forcing you off the life path you so painstakingly plotted out for yourself and you have to either laugh or cry at the absurdness of it all. You know staying on the path you thought you wanted will kill you, knowing what you now know. When life is so split open, and you have a sense of how random and unpredictable it is, and the craziness of it makes you feel more awake than you’ve felt in a really long time, like when you were a child living moment to moment. …
The beginning of the end.
The night is pitch black. The ocean air feels moist.
In a little town just outside Morro Bay,
a 40-year-old man is standing naked on the beach.
His legs spread wide; his arms raised above his head.
Suddenly, he lets out a guttural scream
even the crashing waves behind him cannot drown out.
In the little beach bungalow we are renting,
I lie awake in a small bed with my sleeping daughter.
I hear faint screaming in the distance,
and wonder where he is.
I feel his absence from our room and our lives,
the distance growing between us with each passing day.
I call to him. …
An acquaintance in her early 50s once said to me,
“It gets easier to lie to yourself as you get older.”
Both she and her husband had affairs. They decided to ignore their infidelities, forgive, and stay together for their three children. I didn’t say anything when she said this to me. I was silent.
It struck a nerve, though.
We do seem to settle more, for less than we deserve, as we grow older.
I pondered this idea and wondered if I would ever feel that it is OK to settle just because I am older, set in my ways, with mortgages, school tuitions and car payments to consider, and closer to death. …