Monday, November 14, 2011

i'm coming out

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned,
so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.
Joseph Campbell

 Today is the fourth day I haven't worn my wedding ring.  I am painfully aware.  My husband hasn't worn his since February.  He wants a divorce.

I am very much a person who wears her heart on her sleeve and to keep this secret has been intentional.  Maybe if I don't say it, it won't be true.  But it is and I cannot believe I am in this place now.  At some point every day, usually in tears I cry to myself and wonder how did I get here?  Almost 19 years of marriage and more than that of him being my best friend and he has shut the door - just like that.  It takes two to make a relationship but only one to break it apart.

I know this because I was the one who broke us 10 years ago.  I was the one who left.  I was fortunate enough to realize my mistake and most fortunate for my husband to forgive me - except he never really did and that is the crux of the issue.  I thought that because we made it through that mess we would always be solid.  We were really good for many years.  A fight was just a fight; a disagreement just that - not the end of the world and, for sure, nothing to end our our marriage  They were opportunities to practice arguing, practice saying I'm sorry and, well, just arguments.

Clearly I am wrong.

I spend my commute days wiping away tears and choking back the vomit I feel in the pit of my stomach.  Anytime I have too much time is bad for me but the weekends are the worst.  These are the days when I have no idea what to expect.  No idea if we are going to pretend to be a family under strained circumstances.  No idea if or when he's going to come home.

Oh right!  He actually hasn't left yet.  Not only is he still here but we are still sleeping in the same bed.  We are still pretending.  Or more accurately, I am still pretending.  Still pretending but still knowing.  Trying to figure out what this will mean for my sons - one a junior in high school, one in 8th grade and one in 2nd grade.   Trying to figure out how I can best manage this situation. 

The practical questions keep flowing.  How am I going to be able to afford to live in this same affluent town to keep my kids in the only school district they've ever known?  How are we going to manage "together" things like the Back-To-School Nights?  Who do I have to turn to when every_single_person is married and with family.  No more couples gatherings.  No more family BBQs with other families.  People will feel awkward and unintentionally, quite naturally, choose "sides".  It reminds me of a post I read from BigLittleWolf's Daily Plate of Crazy titled "Which is Worse - Death or Divorce".  I quote from her post:

Bruce, of Privilege of Parenting, was kind enough to point me to the Washington Post, a particular piece of writing describing divorce as a sort of death.

Read it.

Or should I say – read it and weep.

Citing from Rabbi David Wolpe’s post, from his own former wife Eileen’s words to a friend:

Divorce is a hard path, a long, circuitous journey that is not something you can control…and your married friends look at you like you have leprosy. It threatens their world view for you to divorce.  It threatens their marriage… everything changes.  In ways you can’t imagine or anticipate. Everything. Everything. Everything.

Eileen Ansel Wolpe goes on to say that divorce is:

… the destruction of together-dreams, forever-dreams, family-dreams, love-dreams. You cannot leave a marriage without doing violence to all those things, no matter how amicable the divorce.
 And the truth in that has broken my heart into a million pieces - destruction of together-dreams, forever-dreams, family-dreams, love-dreams...
I am grieving and it is the worst grief I've ever experienced.  I remember the feeling well from the death of my mother and, more recently, the death of my Uncle.  My friends are supportive.  My sister is awesome.  Unfortunately, as anyone who has dealt with grief understands, it's just a hole in your heart that no one can help heal.  It is incredibly lonely.  No matter how many people I have around me, this is mine to deal with alone. 

I feel so, so sorry for my children.  I've let them down.  I feel like a failure.  I feel like an ass for writing posts like this and this.  What a fucking joke.  I am 41 and I've been with this man for 20 years - half my life.  I have no idea what to do.  I have no idea what's going to happen.  Maybe we will recover, although I doubt it.  I know my husband and when he sets his mind to do something, he typically follows through - and he is determined to leave me.  I've hoped before, only to be crushed.  I don't think I have it in me.  I can no longer pretend that my life isn't total shit.  And so I am coming out.
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