The Write Stuff: Lessons From the End of a Marriage

Lessons From the End of a Marriage is important work. It's a must-read for anyone going through divorce, and a should-read for everyone else.

Lessons From the End of a Marriage is important work. It’s a must-read for anyone going through divorce, and a should-read for everyone else.

Their 10-year marriage ended with a text message.

A marriage she believed to be wonderful.

Then, one day, one week, one month at a time, she learned that she’d been unknowingly living a lie as all of the pieces of the twisted puzzle came together.

If you’re anything like me…

  1. Divorced
  2. Searching for answers and healing
  3. Moved by compelling stories
  4. Inspired by courage…

… then you NEED to read Lessons From the End of a Marriage.

Even if you’re none of these things, you owe it to yourself to read this made-for-Hollywood story.

I pray that by praising the drama and intensity of the story itself, I’m not doing a disservice to its heroic author.

In my darkest days of divorce recovery, no writer has had a more positive impact on me than she has.

The way her marriage ended is no less dramatic than Neo waking up in The Matrix. To discover that nothing she had believed—for 16 (SIXTEEN!!!) years was real.

My admiration for this woman knows no bounds.

She, in this writer’s occasionally not-so-humble opinion, sets the standard for how to be courageous in a post-divorce world.

From her post I Was Married to a Con Man:

“My husband was a brilliant and talented man whose skills included creating and maintaining a separate existence. He had two cameras. Two bicycles. Two wallets. Two wives. Two distinct lives. When the financial mess he created in his life with me became too great to keep hidden, he broke up with me via text and vanished. That was when I learned that my husband… was a con man. My life was a virtual reality—my home a movie set consisting of false fronts.

He was an expert lie crafter; he always knew the exact proportion of truth to weave into the falsehoods to make a story believable. He always had an answer; he never hesitated. His office must have been like a busy air traffic control tower as he directed emails, texts, and phone calls to support his various tales. The extent of his deceptions was made clear when I sat with an auto insurance card in my hand—my name had been digitally removed—while I pulled up the file from the insurance company and verified that both names were present on the actual document. He thought he could erase me as easily as he could my name using Photoshop.

While my husband was in jail after being arrested for felony bigamy, I talked with his other wife, who was as stunned by the situation as I was. No woman should ever have to have a conversation about “our husband,” even if it is a cordial and informative discussion. I learned that when he was pulled in for questioning, his lies became increasingly absurd as he struggled to maintain his façade. My favorite? He claimed that he and I had divorced years earlier and I had since married a chiropractor named Mark Mercer. Mark, if you’re out there, I’m sorry that I have no recollection of our marriage and that I have never recognized our fictitious anniversaries.”

About the Author

Her name is Lisa Arends.

She is a magnificent writer. One of those writers who occasionally strings words together that make me think: Damn. I wish I could do that.

She is a school teacher.

A wellness coach.

And now, because of an UNIMAGINABLE con job by a husband of 10 years, she has an incredible story to tell. And she has.

It must be read.

About the Blog

It documents everything.

You can read the CliffsNotes version of her story here.

The content is straightforward and self-explanatory.

Lisa got screwed in ways human beings aren’t equipped to handle.

And maybe she didn’t. Maybe she completely fell apart four years ago.

I know I came apart when my marriage ended, and I didn’t have to endure an epic shock-and-awe campaign that dismantled my entire life as Lisa did.

If she did fall apart, she got back up again.

And now, Lisa’s mission is to help people.

People like me.

People like you.

And I think she succeeds. She has for me.

Why It Matters

Because Lisa’s life came undone in unimaginable ways. And yet she lives.

And I don’t just mean she breathes and moves around.

I mean, she lives.

Her spirit endures.

She pours energy into helping others. Into friends and family. Into continuing to grow and evolve as a person.

It would have been so easy to quit.

But she didn’t.

She just kept breathing.

Asking questions.

Exploring.

Thinking.

Writing.

And today, her story continues.

And now there’s a new guy. A new love. And a new wedding date.

After everything Lisa’s been through.

She perseveres.

Hope endures.

Love remains.

And it reminds all of us to be courageous, to be hopeful, to never quit, even if our hearts are telling us opposite.

The story is amazing.

The blog is amazing.

The author is amazing.

And she invites us all to be a part of it.

We should take advantage.

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12 thoughts on “The Write Stuff: Lessons From the End of a Marriage

  1. Wow. You have moved me to tears. And that’s not easy. I’m humbled and grateful. My entire mission when this happened was to turn it into something good by helping others. Every person that I can make feel a little less alone or a little more hopeful helps to tip the scales in the balance of good in the face of pain.

    Thank you:)

    Like

    • Matt says:

      You’re the best, Lisa. Because the vast majority of people will take it all in anonymously, you’ll never know the scope of all the good you’ve done and will do.

      I appreciate you very much.

      You’re an outstanding writer.

      And you’re an insanely brave person.

      Thank you for sharing your story with everyone. It’s very inspiring.

      Like

    • traveshamockery says:

      This is like some little apex of healing for me. Both of you, separately, have been a huge inspiration. Thank you.

      Like

      • Matt says:

        Lisa is Peyton Manning. I am the backup quarterback on a mid-sized high school football team.

        But I like that you like it. Thank you.

        I still can’t wrap my head all the way around Lisa’s story. I’ve been thinking about it a lot today because of this post.

        It’s really incredible.

        Like

  2. traveshamockery says:

    It is amazing what your mind can do. I subconsciously knew of my wife’s infidelity when it started. As was I shocked to hear the news six months later. Shoot me an email, I’d like to share the whole story with someone. tgaz18@gmail.com.

    Like

  3. knace says:

    good heart, Matt.

    Like

  4. knace says:

    Lol You HAVE a good heart, is what I thought I typed. :)

    Like

  5. Mikhaela Kohlo says:

    Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you for referring this. I needed the hope. I needed the solidarity. Blessed be*

    Like

  6. Aspen'sProudMama says:

    I’m glad you started featuring bloggers. Hope you’re still doing it. Always for new reading material and since I really enjoy your sense of humor and writing style I’ve made a special gotta for these blogs so I can check them out as time arises.

    I appreciate you, blog and all the others I’ll glean from here.

    Like

  7. Aspen'sProudMama says:

    Should have said *always looking for new…”

    *made a special folder…”

    And

    *you, your blog and…”

    I try to proofread before sending but think I must be tired.

    Like

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