The Inconvenient Truth About Divorce One Year Later

my-own-prison

It makes you feel weak.

It makes you feel like a chump.

In manspeak, it makes you feel like a pussy.

Stage one is when your wife completely disengages and treats you, not just like a stranger—but maybe less than that, because you’ve seen her smile at strangers before. Like nothing. Like the most-inconsequential thing she’s ever known.

During stage one, your initial reaction is anger and a little bit of misplaced cockiness. She’s got the problem, not me. It doesn’t take long for the self-reflection to begin. You start to remember that you married her on purpose. That you love her above all things. So you start choosing responsibility. What did I do to cause this?

The answers hurt. When you don’t lie to yourself.

Stage two is when she leaves. Maybe you’re like me and foolishly believe she’ll be back soon. She totally vowed forever. In church! In front of all our friends and family! She’ll be back!

Surprise, dipshit! She’s serious.

Stage two is horrible. But you still have tangible hope. And hope is a critical component to living the optimal human experience.

Stage three is when you find out she’s with someone else and loves him. And she thinks you’re shit. Worthless. Pathetic.

You learn where you really stand with the person who replaced your parents as the most-important thing in your life.

Stage three is when you feel a soul-crushing rejection you didn’t know was possible.

Stage three is when you fluctuate wildly and uncontrollably between a sadness you didn’t know was possible and a rage that scares you because now even the guy in the mirror is a frightening stranger.

In stage three, you taste bile and self-loathing with every breath you take.

In stage three, you hate yourself just a little bit more than you deserve.

In stage three, you find out just how much self-respect matters to functioning as a human being.

You cannot prepare mentally, emotionally, physically or spiritually for when the person you trust the most causes you the most pain you’ve ever felt.

It makes you doubt everything you have ever believed.

You die a little. You do. On the inside.

Hope becomes something you just talk about with a fake smile on your face. But you don’t really feel that way. You just know it’s the right thing to say. Fake it ’til you make it.

But when you wake up each morning and realize that thing you feared most actually happened?

You feel lost. Forsaken.

And you feel sorry for yourself.

And then you cry some more.

And then you lose even more self-respect.

Where’s your pride?, you think as you look in the mirror.

What the hell’s the matter with you?

More self-loathing.

What a pussy.

How Does It Feel When It’s Love?

Van Halen asked that in 1988 on their OU812 album.

I can’t tell you but it lasts forever.

It’s not possible, right? Not forever. I can’t tell you. It’s been a year and a month—389 days, if my math skills aren’t failing me.

Maybe it’s like maternal imprinting. Like on those occasions where an animal mother adopts a youngling from another species. Maybe I imprinted a part of me onto her that I’ll never quite be rid of.

I don’t know.

I just know that the inconvenient truth of divorce 13 months later is that I still very much love someone I don’t want to love.

I just know that when I saw her a year ago, I wanted to die, and when I see her now, I smile.

I just know that when she texted me a year ago, I wanted to vomit, and when she texts me now, it’s nice to hear from her.

I just know that I was with her and my son at our 1-year-old goddaughter’s birthday party last weekend. A large room full of people. People I only know through my ex-wife.

And there we were together, for the first time, really. The three of us.

Me. Her. Our young, kindergarten-aged son. The family that isn’t.

I just know that I liked talking to her.

I just know that when the sun hits her blonde hair just right, she looks like poetry.

I just know that I have never chose someone in my entire life other than her, and I haven’t found a way to shut that off. The anger masked it before. The fury.

But I don’t know how to stay angry. I don’t know how to maintain fury.

I just know that when she and my son drove away for Easter weekend, part of me wanted to be making that trip with them.

I just know that I almost did something I haven’t done in a long time.

I wanted to cry.

Unforgetful Me

“Oh my God, Matt. You want her back!”

Do I?

One year ago, the girl of my dreams boxed up a non-verbal “Go fuck yourself” care package and left it on my doorstep along with an imaginary photo album and highlight reel of some new guy touching my wife.

I didn’t even fight it back then.

I’d just let the scenes play out over and over and over and over and over and over again in my head.

Scenes so real, that it doesn’t matter that I didn’t actually see them.

I saw them.

I felt them.

I’m forgetful. I forget many things. But I don’t forget that.

And now I see them all the time. When I drive by that hospital. Every time. When I lay down in our bed that is no longer our bed. My own private video reel that starts playing whenever it wants.

And now maybe I never get to be me again because of it.

But back in stage one, you learned how to choose responsibility.

What did I do to cause this?

And you come full circle. Maybe it’s not your fault. Maybe you’re not entirely responsible. Maybe you didn’t deserve it.

But you could have prevented it from happening.

She used to sleep next to you every night. She used to ask you to come to bed with her.

Sometimes you said no.

You live with that.

She wanted the happy, sustainable marriage BEFORE you wanted the happy, sustainable marriage.

You live with that.

You totally vowed forever. In front of your friends and family. You could have prevented this.

And you live with that.

From Church Bells to Wish You Wells

Your brain is the most-important part of your physical body. It’s smart. Even the dumb and damaged ones like mine. Totally smart.

You can never reclaim what’s been lost. You can’t go back in time. There are no do-overs. She doesn’t want you. You are now strangers.

But your body revolts.

Maybe it’s habit. Maybe it’s psychological imprinting like we see in the animal kingdom. Maybe it’s some kind of supernatural bond I can never break.

Maybe I made that vow, and even though I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, maybe that meant more than I could ever understand.

Maybe forever is forever even when it’s not forever.

Maybe when you get the love part right, but the marriage part wrong, you have to live in this prison after it all breaks.

Maybe that’s just part of the deal you don’t find out about until you’re living there.

Maybe you spend the rest of your life in a one-man band playing songs meant for two and wondering why they always sound so shitty.

Maybe this is the curse of being a bad husband. The consequences of not doing enough. The results of falling short.

Maybe when the stakes are that high, the punishment is this steep.

A prison sentence where you involuntarily love someone you don’t want to love. Where you love someone who doesn’t love you back. Where every day your brain fights your heart. A bloody fight.

But a pointless, inconsequential struggle. Because the results are the same no matter what wins.

Maybe love—real love—is forever.

And maybe taking action today—not tomorrow—can bring you joy.

Maybe it’s time to tell her “I love you.” And mean it. And choose it.

You can stop there if you want. Maybe you’ll make it. Some people do.

Or you can take it one step further.

The part I didn’t do until it was too late.

You can live it.

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77 thoughts on “The Inconvenient Truth About Divorce One Year Later

  1. This made me sad. *hugs* I’m sure it’s devastating. I hope I never have to experience the pain you are experiencing. I can only hope things get better for you, and be strong in knowing that you have that boy to keep you grounded! Best wishes.

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  2. One year is not very long in the divorce recovery process. It does continue to get better, really.

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    • Matt says:

      Thank you. I do believe that.

      I write these things fast, so I never got around to rhetorically asking that question.

      But yes. Time is an amazing healer. I promise I know.

      Thank you for the reassurance, all the same. I do like the reminders from people who know more than I do. :)

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  3. Matt, I honestly believe you still love her. You will Love her forever. But loving and being in love Very Different. Maybe more complex for a simple mind. But yours Is very complex not stupid, better for seeing it.
    It makes it harder to stop loving them even thought we might hate our Ex’s at times for not living up to our standards. Double hard when they have your child, and you’ve already created memories with this person.
    You just learn to accept that the love was once there and this time its a lesson learned. You become a better person because of the lessons they forced you to learn by there actions. Please be nicer to yourself. YOUR SMART and Smarter for knowing your own flaws..best of luck to you and your son.
    By the way, how is the book coming?

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  4. Vince says:

    I can’t count the number of times I wished she would would come home on any day, while we were still together, walk in with a smile expressing something other than indifference. That went on for years. Still during that time I always smiled when I heard the garage door open because even though I knew she would not sit next to me or give me a hug I was happy she was home. That was love.

    Almost as often as that played out I also felt sadness. The sadness of knowing I loved a person that didn’t love me. I’d go over in my mind how this is possible and always came back to this. I love her because I decided to and because of commitment. I wasn’t a great husband but I wasn’t a horrible husband either. On our wedding day I vowed to love her and I always have but I didn’t do other shit right, I blew it in so many ways. Still I loved her but she didn’t love me in the end.

    She’s been out of the house for over three weeks now and when I think about her it’s often playing out in my mind the what if’s. What if she came over, walked in a hugged me saying this is all a mistake? The problem with that is it’s toxic to me to think that way. It fucks up a part of my day.

    Who knows when the love will diminish enough so that I only think of her as the mother of my kids and that’s it. That time will come I think or perhaps it won’t. Maybe we just learn to manage love and still allow ourselves to love another.

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    • Matt says:

      It really is toxic. And I really do let it get to me when I know I shouldn’t.

      There’s no nobility in feeling shitty. It doesn’t help. It doesn’t fix or change anything.

      Yet, I indulge anyway. *shrug*

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  5. lsyanne says:

    Reblogged this on kwahtgrl.

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  6. Robin says:

    I could be the female version of this post…so well written and so brave you are. My divorce should be finalized in the next two weeks after a year and a half . Not because it should have taken that long – but because it has taken me that long to get just where you are. I think the hardest thing of all is to lose your future as you thought it would be, with the family you thought you would have. Having that all “up-ended” is like being set adrift in a boat without oars and without direction. It is probably the most painful part of all. You may not be “in love” anymore, but it’s hard to let go of the love nonetheless. And I don’t know, maybe to some extent we don’t have to. The best part about looking at yourself in the mirror, owning those things you could have done better – is that your future relationships (and they WILL come) can only benefit from work your doing.

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    • Matt says:

      I always try to maintain that perspective. That I’m going to be infinitely better the next time around. That now is the time for self-reflection and growth.

      But I still spend a lot of time in the past. It’s something I’m just going to have to work through.

      Thank you so much for writing. I really appreciate your time. I’m so sorry to read you’re doing this too.

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  7. There is SO MUCH here…..I can’t even begin…
    But I will say, that Love and Hope? – they can and should prevail. The Anger mask is real and so many people give anger permission to rule. If we don’t choose love and hope, then anger turns into bitterness and a life lived with bitterness is not worth living.

    Thanks Matt for being so real.
    Love you

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  8. Marriage is HARD. And I haven’t been through it, but I think I have witnessed enough of it to know that divorce is harder. I believe in fighting. Not bickering, but fighting, fiercely, for what and who you want. I would always rather go down fighting. And I don’t think I could love someone who’s not a fighter. I guess what I’m trying to say is it’s never too late to fight for what you want. It sounds like the tricky part is figuring out what you really truly want at this point. I’m not trying to tell you what you should do, I would never claim to know what that is. I’m just saying that I think fighting for something is always an option.

    As for the writing (cause how could I not comment on that), you’ve got some blood on the page here and it’s powerful. Glad I didn’t have to call you out on the Twitter :)

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    • Matt says:

      I’m glad you didn’t too. :)

      I was afraid to write this one. And now that I have, I still don’t really know what to do with the thoughts and feelings. Just let them hang there, I guess.

      Appreciate your time, Gretchen. Thank you.

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  9. completelyinthedark says:

    Man, heart out to ya, Matt. You know, just the other night I flirted with a woman that I really hope to see again. She wouldn’t have been at first glance someone I’d have chosen out of a crowd, but we talked for a good while and, while she didn’t have a biz card, I gave her mine. I’m hoping the some people at the event can help me track her down and we can follow up, but I was kicking myself because I always second guess flirting. “This can’t be about lil’ ol’ me, right?” But hey I was flirting right back and the thought of her has stuck with me so I’m gonna see where it goes.

    Point I guess I’m trying to make is maybe it’s time to move on. My ex still lives right across from me and has a new fellah, and there’s no reason for me to keep living in the past. She’s moved on. Our values were too different. Now it’s time for me to meet someone new.

    :-) cheers mate

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    • Matt says:

      I thought I had moved on, sir. I thought I had. Then last Saturday happened.

      I’ll get there.

      Ups and downs. Ups and downs.

      It’s a cycle that’s been ongoing for a year. The shitty times are getting less frequent and the good times are increasing. No reason to expect that to stop.

      It’s been time to move on for a year.

      A lot of involuntary things happen inside me. Not everyone will experience the same thing. But I think many will. We’re not so different, all of us. :)

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  10. stvrsnbrgr says:

    Matt, I’m gonna go out on a limb here. Because I think you need a laugh. And I hope this does it. (If it’s too soon… please revisit in three months?)

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  11. Jules says:

    I love this….you have the best way of putting things that are so disgustingly rotten into beautiful words.

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  12. heybird72 says:

    I agree with Jules… you put words together right. I’m never really sure I want to read your words when I know in advance I’m going to connect with them… but I always do.

    It’s been four years and two months since I was told it would be better if I wasn’t around and this weekend showed me that I’m still not quite as OK with it as I thought I was. My girlfriend complained about me being “miserable” lately because my ex is about to get married… and how I seem very concerned about my ex right now. I, of course, see it as concern for my boys moving again… this time to live with the backstabbing, lying, cheating, sack of flesh that currently makes my ex happy. But, I’m obviously showing signs that all isn’t well… and I’ll admit that I’m angry and just not sure how to deal with it. Someone told me recently that anger says “you owe me”. I guess I feel like I’m owed… I expected to get married once, until one of us left this earth. We’re both still here so…..

    I took my boys to Easter events on Saturday and went to church with my parents on Easter… the church I went to all my life until I couldn’t stand any more to watch the relationship that bloomed out of the death of mine. Lots of people shook my hand and patted me on the back or gave me a hug… most had words of encouragement or advice that I really didn’t want. I ended up in the same room as my ex and her fiance and their friends… they were talking and laughing. That laugh… it nearly made my knees buckle. I don’t know if it was because I hadn’t heard her laugh in so long or knowing who she was laughing with. But yeah, last night I worked on one of my many projects around the house and found myself thinking about that laugh and my own highlight reel started… 18 years of me in the lead role… the thought of someone taking my place in that role still makes me sick.

    We all heal at different rates and our life experiences bring back things we’d rather forget at times, but it does get easier to contend with. It’s been months since I’ve felt the way I do right now, but I know it’s because of the events this weekend and the upcoming wedding. I’ll make it through it and it will be another part of healing and moving forward.

    Keep the good words coming Matt… I know you say many of the same things I say to my friends about working at keeping their marriage together. I know your words help those that read them.

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    • Matt says:

      This story made my insides gurgle.

      I totally get what you’re saying. And while I may not feel that way three or four years from now, the thought of being in that same situation makes my skin crawl.

      I’m sorry. I wish I knew what to say. But in my own little way, I totally get it. And I share your lack of enthusiasm for it.

      Like

    • ttravis says:

      “the thought of someone taking my place in that role still makes me sick.”

      Thanks for the candor on this point. My ex left me for my good friend– and can’t seem to get his head around the fact that I’m still upset about it a year and a half later. I’ll just cut and paste this into an email to him, so thanks.

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  13. Most people don’t get very far on the journey from love to indifference. Everyone sets out imagining it will only take a few weeks, but eventually after a year or so you just settle down somewhere in between. Where at the very least the sun shines and the rain pours in equal measures.

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    • Matt says:

      I’ll learn to live in the in-between.

      I think it’s still semi-early. I had a long spell where I was lulled into something of a false comfort zone. And I’ll keep getting back there until it isn’t false anymore.

      Thank you for reading and the thoughtful comment.

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  14. JujyCakes says:

    It’s good that you are able to see it and yourself as you learn the lessons from being loved and being rejected. It’s not easy that’s for sure. It hurts like hell. Yet, I can tell that you have grown and gained some new perspectives on what happened a year ago. It doesn’t mean that it hurts any less. It doesn’t mean that you don’t love just as strong. It means that you and your heart are resilient enough to pick yourself up.

    No one ever said life and love was going to be easy. None of us got a user’s manual; sadly or not, we’re writing in that manual each day and each minute. We just have to keep plugging along. You do it for your son. You do it for you. Perhaps there have been days when you ask yourself, WHY?
    Why not? It’s about your choices.

    Choose wisely.

    I pray for that each day when I wake up.
    Wishing you the best on your journey…last year is behind you.

    “Do one thing every day that scares you
    Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts
    Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours”

    Read more: Baz Luhrmann – Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen) Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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  15. Matt — what is the connection to the link that comes up when I click on “drive by that hospital?”

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  16. if only my husband had read your open letters before I embarked on the journey that i’m on that now includes him. he is finally in a place where he wants to work on everything I had been begging for, fighting for, for the last long while but very seriously the last 12-years. and in truth it might be too late. not because I am involved with someone else but because I “left” emotionally, after 23 years of wanting, begging, asking, then demanding. it makes me sad because he is a man I love, the father of my children, a good man. But if I wasn’t the woman that inspired him to “act” and choose responsibility for the first 23 years how am I to believe that the actions he’s taken in the last 9-weeks are “real”? That he is and was indeed ready to do the work. I question whether or not it’s valid and true or is it because he realized I had left and that there was the possibility of someone else. I love your blog and follow it religiously. Life has a funny way of taking over so I haven’t been able to comment or post much in the last two months. But you, your story and this post resonates in so many ways. Thank you for sharing the very real look into where your head and your heart is.

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    • Matt says:

      You’re in the same spot my wife was. Exactly. And she couldn’t do it. She’d left long before I knew she’d left.

      There are no easy answers. And I would never suggest I understand how you or he feels. Men–or certain types of people, it seems–learn the hard way.

      I’m so sorry he’s one of them. And I’m so sorry you and he are where you are.

      I only know how to root for both of you, no matter what happens next. And I promise you I’m doing that very thing.

      Thank you for reading and for saying the nice things you have. I appreciate your time very much.

      Like

  17. Sometimes you go through a second grief process – grieving for yourself.
    It can be worthwhile to recognise that may be what you are going through.

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    • Matt says:

      Thank you. You may be correct. This crept up somewhat unexpectedly, this latest wave of… whatever. I will try to be as healthy and mature about it as possible. :)

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  18. jadedwildcat says:

    This is just…
    God, I know you tell me every time not to be sad and that your aim is not to make people cry and feel pain when they read your posts…
    … but seriously you have this way of putting things that just cuts right to the bone and a lot of it so perfectly fits what I feel from day to day. I’m in very real tears right now.
    Hugs.
    I really hope that you continue to progress and get through everything, you know? I wish the same for myself and… actually you did give me some optimism when you said that certain things have ‘improved’ after a year’s time. I should just focus on that and remember that even if time doesn’t heal and make you completely happy again, it at least makes things… different… from what they were before…
    <3

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    • Matt says:

      Yeah. I definitely don’t want you to be sad. But it’s not my story that makes you sad. It’s your story that makes you sad. And it’s so much easier to empathize and feel when other people have similar experiences.

      I think. I don’t know. I’m talking out of my ass.

      I’d ask how you’re doing. But I know. Same as me.

      Hug yourself, please. I think time is our friend on this one.

      Thank you for saying hi.

      Like

  19. C.C. says:

    This is a very powerful post that a lot of people, myself included, clearly relate to. Wishing you peace in the post-divorce journey. I’m on the same path myself, albeit two years out, and it is definitely a process.

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    • Matt says:

      Thank you. Yes. There are a bunch of us. Peaks and valleys in this process. I’ve hit a weird phase here. I’ll be glad when it’s over.

      I appreciate that you understand the process. Please have a great day.

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  20. Sublime. (Sorry I’m configured to look at the artistic side of it all!) The question is did you write so well before the break up?

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    • Matt says:

      Please don’t apologize. I’m always so flattered when people like it.

      I spent a decade as a newspaper reporter through the end of 2009. I think my former editors would probably tell you they thought I was better at writing than I was at the news-gathering process.

      Thank you for the kind compliment in the form of a question. I’m so grateful you took the time to read and comment.

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  21. Big hug Matt. Events like your God-daughters birthday will stir things up. Keep hope and smile, there’s plenty good coming your way :)

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  22. April says:

    I can’t identify with the experience of divorce because I have been with the same man for 28 years. Some of them weren’t all that great, but we made it. One thing I can identify with is forgivin and accepting myself for being human. I make mistakes, but have learned to move on. Memories travel along with my mistakes, but I strive to turn them into lessons learned. There is nothing a person can do to return to the original moment in time where recognition would have changed the outcome. All we can do is acknowledge what we learned, and to find solutions to create a more fulfilling life…from this moment on. I know you are writing to work through your thoughts and healing, and you probably have a fulfilling life. I’m just curious, are you recognizing your worth? We are only reading about one aspect of your life, but if I were 20 years younger, single, and read what you have to say, I would know that you would be the man I was looking for. ;)

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  23. jgroeber says:

    First, great writing. I love the way you write from the heart.
    Now this is the “Quote Pretty Woman” portion of the comment. But which to choose? “Take care of you.” Because you have to take care of you first and then immediately next is your son (like the oxygen-mask thing on the airplane.). You need a relationship with your son’s mother, sure. But taking care of you is always the key. Be healthy and strong. Do good each day. Be creative. Make enough money to sock some away for your son’s future and your future. That stuff. I know you probably already know that but just keep saying it anyway. (Gees, did you see how nice April was right there before me? See? Honestly, here’s another PWQ: “The bad stuff is easier to believe, you ever notice that?” But even Julia Roberts holds out for a prince, and she was a prostitute. Doesn’t sound like your son’s mother was your prince…)
    I’m way too filled with unsolicited advice tonight. Really what I mean is good luck. You deserve good luck.

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  24. It is never easy, loving someone, it is never easy. Owning that love, even harder. When I say to my husband, I love you, I hope you find the love you want and I am sorry it wasn’t me; I mean those words, even when they make my heart crack open. When he walked out without a backward glance, I thought it was me, that I had failed. I was exactly where you were.

    You know, it wasn’t me. It was him and me together. Sometime in the next couple of weeks he will sign the papers for the divorce. Then within the next 30 days it will finally be done. Will it ever stop hurting? No, like you I still love him. I promised I always would. So did he, but he changed his mind.

    It happens. I am sorry it happened to you.

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  25. Jennie Saia says:

    New friend,

    I read this and could barely breath. Your words have a physical effect.

    If you had to get just one right – say the universe wouldn’t let you have two, no matter what – would you choose love or marriage?

    And thank you for thinking that any of we anonymous strangers are worthy to see this deeply into you.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      I get a lot of kind, meaningful comments. More than I deserve.

      But this one.

      *shakes head a little*

      In the context of the healing process, I’m not sure I’ve been asked a more-important question.

      Love. Always. I’d choose love.

      I’m going to keep thinking about this. And then I’m going to write it. Hopefully today.

      Samara said you were awesome. Thank you for being that.

      Like

      • Jennie Saia says:

        I’m honored. Truly, madly, deeply. Somethings in life are so vast it seems like even our most powerful words can’t do anything to ease them… so I’m really glad these few little ones helped.

        Told you were were gonna get along! (And had you chosen the other answer, I doubt we ever would have.)

        You make me think of this: “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” -Lao Tzu

        …you might feel weak right now, but you’re probably braver than you’ve ever been. All the best to you on this particular journey.

        Like

  26. Jeff says:

    Just wanted to say thanks. Been reading for a few weeks now. Helped me to realize many things.
    This Aug 20 will be twenty years. Been together for 22. On Nov 25, she said “I don’t love you like that anymore.” Been hell ever since. Finally told me a few weeks ago she wanted a divorce. Ive known since Nov 25, but tried fighting. She waited to separate until right after Christmas, for the sake of my almost-five-year-old son. Realized just how depressed I have been for the last few years. Still no career-type job, sudden loss of my mother, and a sense of hopelessness for our circumstances. Realized just how shitty as husband I was. Didn’t want to live for most of these last few months. Spent a week in a mental hospital because I told our counselor I had suicidal thoughts.
    Think Im through that phase, although I still wish for death sometimes. Cant stand the thought of my son going through what I did. Parents were divorced when I was four. Feelings of inadequacy ever since. But I realize he needs me. I see it in his eyes. Still struggle feeling as though I have forever let him down. I hope he is not destined to repeat the same mistakes that I and my father have made.
    Also get physically ill thinking of the first time I will see her with someone else, with my son. I hope I can handle it. She has been with someone else, although it was not a relationship, just a loss of judgement during a vulnerable time. Says she is not seeing anyone else at the moment. But as I sit here on a Saturday night with my son sleeping in the other room and her “out” with her friends, I cannot help but think it wont be long.
    Many people say to go out and find somebody, anybody, right away to help ease the pain and I will feel better. I cannot stand the thought of this either. Although, as a man, cheap sex is appealing, I know that I would feel terrible guilt. Guilt is not something I need more of right now.
    Thanks for letting me vent and being open and honest

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Hi Jeff.

      Ugh.

      I’ve avoided the hospitals. But otherwise, we share nearly identical stories.

      I’m so sorry. I was the kid, too. Four, almost five. And then it happened to my son. Four, almost five.

      And now, here we are. Just trying to figure it all out. Just trying to figure out what we’re supposed to be doing as adults. We’re trying to raise young men, and find ourselves, and not die of some mix of anger and sadness at the same time.

      You’re quite welcome for the vent session, sir. Don’t ever be afraid to do that here. That’s what we do.

      And it really does help. When you figure out that other people understand and feel all these same things.

      This shit happens over and over and over again. To so many people.

      We can be more than just a bunch of broken people wrecking relationships. I know it.

      We’re all going to feel whole again.

      Some day.

      Can’t tell you how much I appreciate you reaching out. Hope there’s a next time.

      Please take care of yourself and that boy.

      Like

  27. […] Jennie Saia (she’s married; calm down) asked me the following question in the comments of my last post, something inside me […]

    Like

  28. girlseule says:

    Wow, you have a real way with words, this piece even broke my heart a little bit.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Thank you. :)

      I was poking around your blog last night. You’re quite the character, miss. I had no idea.

      Really appreciate you reading and saying hi.

      Like

  29. Dude!

    I so feel where you head is at when you wrote this post.

    My Ex left me after 9 years of marriage.

    He left me for another woman – not younger (I’m 47 he’s 49) but the same age as him. He grew up with her. They went to high school together.

    ANYWAY.

    I’ve spent the last 2 years working on myself. Doing whatever it takes to learn from this. To turn this into a positive. To grow and evolve.

    One thing I’m not doing, is dating because I’m not ready and my therapist agrees. There is much work to be done and I am “under construction”.

    I will say this, I question people who leave someone for another. My Ex left me without doing the work.

    He withdrew.

    He gave his mistress (now his wife) a window in our marriage.

    In turn, he gave me a wall.

    He (probably) told her every flaw in our marriage. Every little or big thing that was making him unhappy.

    And yet, he told me nothing.

    As I said, I question people who leave one for another — people who leave without doing the work are going to carry the same shit into their new relationship.

    Even if 98% is your fault, 2% is hers and she has to own it.

    Even though my Ex left me, he wanted out, I have to own what is mine. I cannot lay 100% at his feet.

    Right?

    I’m sure he blames me — blames me for all of it. Why not? It’s easier that way. He was able to justify his behavior (his affair behind my back) by acting like I was nothing to him.

    AS I said, I question people who leave one for another…

    Time will tell my friend, time will tell…

    -Susan

    Like

    • Matt says:

      It’s excruciating–at least it was for me–to get left by your long-term partner, and learn they’re in love with someone else.

      But.

      If I had to choose between that and being the person who tried to trade up?

      I’ll choose being the dumpee EVERY time.

      I got a lot of things wrong. I’m trying to work all that out, and help myself, and maybe others, along the way.

      But my heart was always in the right place. Always.

      I sleep at night because of it.

      Thanks for checking this out and saying hi. I really appreciate your time.

      I understand the not-being-ready-for-dating thing.

      I really do.

      Like

      • I’m with you: I’d rather be dumped. What happened to me made me realize how resilient I am. How resourceful I am. It also made me realize I would never want to hurt anyone as deeply as my Ex hurt me.

        Like you, I sleep at night knowing like you, my heart has always been in the right place.

        :-)

        Like

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