I do not hang out around here much anymore, for a variety of reasons, but I wanted to share something with some of you who became friends of mine during my tenure here.
A coupe of years ago, I wrote an account of how I met my wife, called She Laughed and recieved a great response to it on NV.
If you have not read it, the following will not have the same impact, but I wanted to share this with some of my friends:
I wrote “She Laughed” about two and one half years ago, with a short addendum on our anniversary, so that people would know how the woman I love, my soul mate, the other half of my heart and I had met. I feel it is only fair to share this, and let you see behind the curtain again to see this end of it. If you have not read it, please do before you read this. As I said, they are two sides of the same coin, but that was the first side.
Early last fall, I found that my company was in the process of downsizing. By the end of the fall, I fell victim to this and was shown the door, but was given a pretty good severance package. We had been through this before, and knew how to tighten our belts and get through these things, so we did.
September turned to December, and there was nothing, for I found myself in the position of being a near 50 year old man competing with men a third younger than me, and willing and able to work for a third less. The new year begin with no strong prospects, but we were managing. Judicious spending, dipping to our savings, and 20+ years of living frugally and avoiding debt was paying off for us, and we were getting by.
So it was with utter devastating surprise one evening in Mid January when she walked into the living room and declared:
“I want a divorce.”
There had been no hints. No clues. No indications that this was coming.
There had been no fights. No discernible growing apart. No angst of not belonging together any longer.
No issues with money, no haranguing bill collectors, no real loss of lifestyle due to the unemployment. We had never missed or made a late payment on anything, so it was not money.
I could not have been more blindsided if a meteor had fallen through the roof.
She simply walked into the living room, and in a somewhat hollow and sad voice said it.
“I want a divorce.”
I must say, it was not what I expected to hear, and came as the biggest shock that I have ever experienced.
All I could think of was that I had misheard her statement. But, no, I had not. I tried to get my head around this, needed to understand why, had to make sense of it.
Was there someone else? Was she involved with another person? Had I done something to drive her away? Had I hurt, or angered, or alienated her so bad that this was the only recourse? Had I somehow, without even seeing it or knowing it, ruined our relationship?
No. It was none of these. She tried to reassure me. Told me that she still loved me, but wasn’t in love with me anymore. She said that there was too much negativity. That she felt as if she was no longer a person, but was becoming part of me. She said a lot, but none of it really explained why this, the nuclear option, was the only response left. None of it explained the situation. None of it told me how or why she seemed so emotionless, resigned, and adamant that this was the answer. None of it told me why.
I asked about counseling, about trial reconciliation periods. I asked about marriage retreats and every other option that I could conjure up into my fragmented, splintered mind, and was told that they were not options. She wanted out. So that was it. That was all. Over. Finish. Fini. The End.
I have heard of people who were so saddened that their heart broke. I have heard of people who were so saddened that they felt as if there were holes or cracks in their world. Dear Reader, neither of these even begins to explain how I felt. My heart shattered. My world crumbled. I wept.
Oh, the next few weeks were amicable. She was aware that I could not just move out, because I was unemployed. We sat down and defined our own property settlement. We agreed upon asset division. We agreed on custody of my daughter. We basically wrote our own divorce settlement.
I slept on the couch during this time, and continued to look for work during the day. I was finally offered a position in Houston, and decided that perhaps leaving Dallas and starting fresh would be a good thing, so I accepted it, and here I am.
You know, there is a theory that it’s better if you just pull the bandage off quick and hard. Get it over with. Some say it hurts less.
Perhaps....... Perhaps they are right. But it still hurts. It hurts a lot.
I want to say that I am not bitter. I am not angry. I consider myself lucky to have had 22+ years of the most beautiful and perfect relationship I have ever heard of. I am unbelievably saddened that it ended.
I also want to say that I still love her. I guess I always will.
And, I wish I could still make her laugh.