#LoveWins, Sometimes

My Facebook feed is brimming over with wonderful news: Friends are getting married, having babies, going on vacations, following their dreams and, for the most part, celebrating the recent SCOTUS ruling that has resulted in a jubilant rainbow-colored feed. This is why I’ve hesitated to share my own life-changing news.

Seventeen years have passed since I met an 18-year old skater with whom I would fall head over heels in love, write many poems about, bicker with, grow with and eventually produce a wonderfully opinionated little boy who, when he laughs as he runs through the sprinklers, fills me with so much joy my eyes fill with tears.

Seventeen years have passed, during which we have accomplished much, and sacrificed much, in terms of education and careers.

Seventeen years have passed, and we have exulted in our ability to preserver through circumstances that would have shredded apart any other couple.

Seventeen years, and I have realized that we didn’t come out on the other side completely unscathed; like sharks, we bear the marks of past battles. And the wounds have kept coming, more and more often, so that prior wounds have never had a chance to heal. I have found myself limping through life, cleaning myself up and making myself presentable to the world, but finding it harder and harder to just keep swimming.

Out of respect for my mate of 17 years, I won’t go into details. It’s enough to say our marriage is over.

I don’t regret our history together. Our entire adult lives were tightly interwoven, and we experienced so many good things together that I could never wish to undo that. What I do wish I could undo is the darkness that overtook us and managed to leave us so mangled that we became unrecognizable to each other. Again, I’m being purposely vague here because, despite my innate need to use writing as a means of catharsis, I can’t open our lives up for inspection like that, not at this moment anyway.

The last 48 hours have been particularly rough as the person I thought I’d share the rest of my life with balks, understandably, at my decision to end things, and is now so angry with me that he wrote to me that he fears he will hate me for the rest of his life.

“Things fall apart” indeed… I’ve shed many tears over the years, but now when I cry it’s because I’m mourning the loss of the person who knew me better than anyone else, at one point in time. I’m mourning the loss of the person who was my best friend. The thought of not being married to him is, frankly, a relief, but the thought of embarking on a horrific, post-divorce, hate-fueled journey of crappy co-parenting is almost more than I can bear.

My Facebook feed is a welcome reprieve. It brings me comfort to know that my friends and loved ones have reasons to celebrate. Sometimes, though, as I scroll through my feed, liking and commenting, I feel like I’m drowning, not waving from the open water. I’ve done such a good job of not airing my dirty laundry that no one has known there was something wrong. Or at least, no one has said anything.

So here I am waving, frantically waving, in the hopes of being rescued through a few kind words of support. I know I’m breaking all sorts of social media rules of disengagement by not posting something celebratory, or a photo of my plate of food, or my latest jogging route. Not being a chronic offender, though, I’m hoping for leniency. In the meantime, I’m still a big believer that #LoveWins, and I look forward to the future and all that’s in store.


5 Responses to “#LoveWins, Sometimes”
  1. Elena says:

    If breaking the rules means speaking in a voice of authenticity that is brave enough to show vulnerability in a time of transition and struggle… well, I welcome your anarchy! As Idabelle said, we are here, sending positive vibes your way.

  2. Monica says:

    Give yourself time to grieve. It is such a huge shift. You are not alone.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for your advice and your insightfulness. This does indeed feel like a death, and acknowledging that and thus allowing myself to grieve feels like the right step.

  3. Idabelle says:

    Happiness is hardest goal to make a priority. Mostly because other people don’t share your personal vision of what it means. When my first marriage ended, I told my then husband that I wasn’t completely miserable, but it has been so long since I had been happy that I thought I had forgotten what it felt like. And that was wrong. I deserved to feel happy.

    You deserve to feel happy. You deserve to stop feeling like infantry, always on the front line of a war. You deserve to find peace and joy in your home and a space of reassurance and comfort, not just tension and defensiveness.

    You will both be alright. You will learn to “co-parent” with respect. And dedication to that goal and to the idea that you deserve happy will help get you through the rough waves in front of you.

    You will not drown, there are lots of arms reaching back for hours. We see you now, we won’t lose you to the waves.

    • Anonymous says:

      What a beautiful, empathic response! Thank you for your words of encouragement and hope. They mean so much to me.

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