Having spent the morning trying to imagine how dramatically my life was changing, I could equate the official end of my marriage to only a funeral. Everyone has come to my side, to offer words of encouragement and support. They have taken my side as I meander along this new path, offering to be there no matter what and to help in whatever ways they can. However, it feels like grief for lack of a better way to explain it…and only I can manage that emotion. I have cried, been angry, tried to logically figure out how this all went down. I’ve tried to reason him going to a place where my arch-nemesis is to become her roomie. I can’t process yet…the loss is too raw. It is a loss that we knew was coming, but the departure was sneaky, underhanded, and cowardly…he slipped out like a thief in the night without saying goodbye to me or to our two sons. He waited until I left for work and both boys were asleep…what kind of man/father/husband doesn’t say goodbye forever to his family?
My response is to grieve the empty shell that was once my marriage. Twenty seven years is a very long time, but we had grown up together and grown apart. He left once, then me…it was never easy but it was always there. He wants to be 19 again whereas I am content with my 46 year old self. I have overcome many obstacles…three miscarriages, breast cancer, and reconstructive surgery. Each day to me is a blessing, a chance to start something new, refocus an old dream or goal, and continue moving forward. He never saw life that way and prayed for the end, ready to move on to a “better life” as he called it. In our 40’s, how can you be ready for that? We had become lost and floating separately…loveless, friendship gone, no physical intimacy, unable to bend, completely broken. It is a huge loss in my life, and I hope one day we can be friends but right now, it is too raw and my emotions and heart are just grieving. Sad. It’s hard to attend the funeral of someone still alive.
I talked to my therapist who told me that this equation of death and the end of a marriage is very common. That I will probably go through the various emotional stages of a major loss. I can hope only that his new life goes well, that somehow my sons can maintain their relationship with their father after the hurt has dissipated, and that my own path becomes brighter and clearer. I’ve always had a notion of where this path will take me, and what I want in this next chapter of my life. I now need to refocus my strength and put it into motion I suppose. Ironically, I still feel an emptiness where my marriage would normally be.
My youngest son’s response is indifference. He is as cool as a cucumber and never really gets ruffled. My oldest son immediately texted my husband, calling him out on a number of wrongs. The response he got was what we would expect…not ownership of his own misdoings but rather, a long poor me blame your mother. I know, in my life, that God gave me big shoulders, strong shoulders, and a level personality to carry the loads and burdens. If blame happens to be one of them, so be it.
I told my sons that the split was coming, and they are 22 & 24, so it is not as though they haven’t seen the toxic environment. I told them that no matter what, he is still their father and to not choose sides. Both sons responded with…we chose your side a long time ago Mom. It makes me sad for their father, knowing that unless he reaches out, they may not ever speak to him again. And it makes me sad for them that they don’t have a father to speak of…that he was ok with taking off without so much as a word to them, not even a final I love you or Goodbye. Heart wrenching.
This is my Monday morning…the end of my marriage officially, a sadness for my sons, a huge loss but the beginning of a new chapter. I feel like a prayer should be offered up, for me, my sons, and my now ex-husband. I don’t know if that is appropriate or, if it is equating this to a funeral of sorts. The coroner’s report will come in the form of a divorce decree. And the marriage will be laid to rest and buried along with so many others. I did not go into this marriage imaging that I would be another divorce statistic. I had seen the signs and been unable to breathe life back into a dead relationship. We gave it everything and finally, in a moment of desperation, pulled the plug. Cold, dead, lifeless…a corpse in a shell where my marriage once was.