The Heaviest Laundry

Maybe we'll never get there if we keep carrying all this stuff.

Maybe we’ll never get there if we keep carrying all this stuff.

I pulled the sexy underwear from the dryer.

Black.

Lace.

Hot.

It had been months since I’d touched her. But it felt longer. I’d been sleeping in the guest room for what felt like an eternity.

That is the loneliest place in the world. A different bed in your own house. The one situated just below your old bedroom. Where the sound of each soft footstep feels like an air hammer being shot into your head.

The second loneliest place in the world is the laundry room in my basement. It’s just dead silence if no one else is home or awake. And you just stand there folding laundry, piece by piece, and it takes you a long time because you’re not good at it, and even with a very bad cat meow-meow-meowing at your feet, there’s so much quiet that each minute feels like five.

When you never have sex with your wife, but want to, something bad happens to you. Or maybe just me. I don’t know. It was like a switch was flipped.

The old, traditional, safe, Catholic version of me turned into someone else. Whatever I am now.

I’d always wanted her. I’m a red-blooded male and she looks exactly like the kind of thing you want to see first thing every morning.

But now something else was happening. You know how you always want the thing you can’t have? It’s exactly like that except a million times worse because she lives in your house and everything’s different now and it’s in your face, and you have to see her walk around the house or imagine her behind the closed bathroom door while she’s undressing before a bath.

If the emotional and psychological beating from knowing your wife no longer wants anything to do with you doesn’t destroy your soul while you’re hoping and praying and unsuccessfully trying to reconnect with her every day, then this physical longing combined with that will come close to finishing the job.

If you don’t go crazy, something close to that happens.

I’m not a particularly jealous guy. I always prided myself on that, too. I knew girls who dated jealous guys and I was friends with jealous guys.

I liked not being that way.

If my high school or college girlfriend went out in groups and to parties without me, I didn’t even think twice about it. I was confident. Secure.

Even my wife, in the first year we dated, wanted to go have dinner with an ex before she and I moved to Florida. She asked me how I felt about it.

Wasn’t thrilled. But I’d like to think I hid it well. Sure, babe. We’re about to move to Florida together. Go have dinner.

But everything changes when you spend a year sleeping in separate rooms after more than a decade together.

A little bit of crazy seeps in.

Every business meeting or after-hours work event represented an opportunity for her to find my replacement.

Every text on her phone from a guy—even if I knew him—caused jealous feelings that up to that point I’d never before felt.

I can see why guys lose control sometimes. Jealousy hurts.

And if you’re honest with yourself, you realize how pathetic and insecure you are now.

Then you feel shame, too.

And you sink even deeper.

I held the sexy lace underwear. Just breathe, asshole.

I felt something I have never felt before. My entire body, tense. Breathe.

Maybe women wear sexy underwear just to feel pretty, or because they’re wearing a certain outfit and the underwear offers some utility that a moron like me could never understand.

Maybe there was no reason for me to lose my breath. Or feel paranoid. Or feel jealous.

But I was a new person now. Different. I was scared now. No more confidence. No more security.

Your mind starts telling you what an unlikable person you are since the person you want to do everything for thinks you’re shit.

I wasn’t funny. Or smart. Or successful. Or talented. Or strong. Or confident. Or sexy. Or desirable in any way, shape, or form.

I was just some loser she’d made the mistake of marrying. Just a stupid bum folding her sexy laundry in the second-loneliest place on earth.

And when I was done, I retreated silently to the loneliest place to lick my wounds and feel sorry for myself some more.

Prophetic poetry.

Thirteen Months and Nineteen Days Later

Your mind is so powerful. That’s why all the self-help gurus try to remind you to stay positive and believe in yourself and focus on abundance and gratitude and success and the belief that you can be anything you want to be.

That might be true. I want it to be. I’m trying.

I just know that in the absence of information, your mind will fill in the blanks for you. I’ve been blessed (and cursed) with a pretty talented imagination.

It doesn’t matter why my wife wore that underwear. Because my body created the worst-case scenario and then felt it.

My mind made it real.

After she left and started dating someone else… I don’t know. It was—literally—my biggest fear coming true.

There is no way that being brutally murdered doesn’t feel better than that.

Like, if you could choose, based purely on anguish, you totally pick being murdered.

“Hey Matt! Two choices: You can receive confirmation that the woman you love is having sex with someone else and feel the shit actually festering inside your soul…”

“Or?”

“Or we can have you murdered.”

I would have had to think about it 13 months and 20 days ago. But not anymore.

“Murder, please. Let’s go with the murder option.”

And it doesn’t stop.

You don’t get to shut it off. Maybe it shuts off on its own one day, but you don’t get to decide when.

She called me yesterday. My ex-wife. A totally reasonable conversation about a few odds and ends. She mentioned in passing that she’ll be out of town this weekend.

I don’t know what she’s doing. I didn’t ask. It’s none of my business. It’s not.

But, still.

Panic. She’s met someone else. I bet he’s funny and smart and successful and talented and strong and confident and sexy. I bet he’s everything she thinks I’m not. I bet she thinks he’ll make the perfect stepdad for my son.

Maybe she’s going to visit family with a relative.

Maybe she and some girlfriends are getting away for a weekend of relaxation.

Maybe a million different things.

In the end, it’s no one’s business but hers. I am not owed any explanations. And it’s my bitter pill to swallow.

And it doesn’t matter.

What matters is what’s inside me. What happens to me. Down deep on the inside.

Those months in the guest room fundamentally changed me.

I emerged from the laundry room a different person—giving me yet another reason to not want to go down there anymore.

My favorite writer James Altucher wrote this in his latest post “How to Deal With Loss”:

“One time I was driving around a private racetrack, taking racing lessons. The only one before and since to ever go on that track without a driver’s license. The instructor told me I was the worst student he ever had.

The instructor, a former professional race car driver, asked me what I should do if I spin out of control.

I, of course, said, “slam the breaks” and he said, “No! That’s the worst thing. Just look the opposite way you are spinning.” Otherwise you crash into the wall.

He said, “its hard to do that. It goes against your natural instincts. But you have to do it or die.”

I will tell you how I deal with loss now.

I don’t.

You only can lose what you cling to.

Practice unclinging. “Unclinging” is not even a real word. That’s how much “they” don’t want you to do it. The aliens outlawed it from English.

Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m clinging to but I can feel the residue of ancient clinging that’s still there.

Something in my gut and chest and head that won’t go away. Loss. Fear.”

This is part of the luggage that comes with you after your marital journey ends. And all that heavy shit is filled up in your bags. Maybe they have broken zippers like mine.

And it’s really hard to carry all of it around.

Really hard.

It’s taking me so much longer to get where I’m trying to go because I’m dragging all this crap along with me. Maybe you’re pulling around luggage, too.

And maybe there’s a better way.

Maybe we can lock it away in the attic and hope it doesn’t try to come out at night.

Maybe we can find someone (or Someone) to help us pull all this along.

Or maybe we can stop. Right here, right now.

And let it go. Just abandon it. Right in the middle of the sidewalk. No more.

And then maybe we can run.

So fast, so far, so free.

Maybe we can.

Just run.

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64 thoughts on “The Heaviest Laundry

  1. Another haunting post.You have a way of taking us along…emotionally. My ex – went right into the relationship he left me for and when that hit the skids, he jumped into another. I find myself struggling with the idea that after 20 years of being with the same person, that somehow, it’s suddenly OK to give my heart to someone else….even less…Hold hands with someone else. That leap is so far mentally. Physically. Emotionally. How can any person just drop that luggage and run? yeah – there’s heavy stuff in there….but some precious belongings are bundled up with it. My hand refuses to release it all. do you think I can just stop in the middle of the road, sift through my belongings, leave some in the street and carry around just the good stuff? (sigh) now you’ve got me all thinking again! Curse you! ;-)

    Like

  2. ksbeth says:

    yes, just run. otherwise you are stuck in the tar pit of emotions.

    Like

  3. Or maybe you just repack it in a better bag, toss what you no longer need and repack what you still need to carry and just keep moving forward. :/ Not sure why it has to be an all or nothing situation!

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    • Matt says:

      I don’t know if it does have to be an all-or-nothing situation.

      Every day is a new day and something else either does or does not happen to me. In either case, I learn something about myself.

      I’ve only got 13 months and nineteen days in the books.

      And today? I’m still dragging everything around.

      Maybe everything can be different later.

      Always hoping.

      But in the meantime? I need to capture the now.

      Like

  4. This won’t help, or maybe it will. I don’t know. Women wear sexy underwear to make them feel sexy when they don’t feel sexy. It doesn’t really have anything to do with you, except maybe that we (all of us) have our feelings / egos hurt just like you do and this (our underwear) is one way we can feel better without advertising. Letting you find it, touch it, fold it, well that is one way to say I an still sexy and desirable even if you forgot to tell me / make me feel it.

    Matt, this was a wonderfully gut wrenching read. I come here and read your words and think, you are not speaking just for you but for a great number of us going through the same thing. Not just for men but for women too. We all stumble, we all fall down, we all hurt, we all take on the guilt of the failure, whether it was our failure or not.

    We all wonder what the other person is doing now and how they could just turn their backs. Frankly, when I think about it it pisses me off. He made me feel ugly, unsexy, undesirable and ultimately stupid, naive and unworthy of love.

    I still feel some of those things. I will tell what I don’t feel though, I don’t feel like it was all my fault.

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    • Matt says:

      Thank you. I do believe everything you just said.

      I didn’t mean to make the story about the underwear anything more than how my mind and body reacted to it.

      And how little moments like that turned me into a different kind of person (not necessarily in a good way) than I was before.

      And now, a simple comment like “I’ll be out of town a few days” can make my mind and body do a bunch of similar things even all this time later.

      I’m not trying to place any sort of value judgement on that.

      I just think maybe other people have been there too, or are heading that direction. I want them to know they’re not the only ones.

      Just like you’re doing. Thank you for saying it speaks for everybody.

      Thank you for always trying to help me categorize these thoughts and feelings.

      Because I’m not kidding when I say I have no idea what I’m doing.

      I just wake up every day hoping it can be better than yesterday. Sometimes, it is. :)

      Like

  5. Janelle says:

    Sometimes your posts scare the hell out of me. But being real is not always neat and clean, pretty and positive, so even when I have flashes of worry about you I appreciate the blog and what you share.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      I try to just write what’s on my mind.

      I was planning to leave this one off these pages. Hard to let go of baggage when you’re thinking about it and writing about it.

      May I ask what you worry about?

      Like

      • Janelle says:

        I think the “victim of murder” hit a bit too close to home … my kids’ dad recently took his own life (my kids are young adults now but it was still a huge blow to them). I understand your feelings and appreciate your writing them out. It just REALLY took me by surprise.

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        • Matt says:

          Goodness. I am incredibly sorry, particularly for your children’s loss, but yours, as well.

          I’m also sorry I asked. I didn’t see that coming. That was none of my business.

          I just try to write as honestly as I can about the things I think and feel.

          I’m sorry I used a murder analogy.

          Perhaps that was an insensitive way to illustrate just how painful I think the end of a marriage can be for some people.

          I don’t like myself sometimes.

          But I do love myself.

          I have a lot of self-doubt.

          But I do, at the end of the day, believe in myself.

          I love my son. I love my family. I love my friends.

          I find beauty in the little things.

          I believe in hope.

          I adore the written word.

          Whether a bunch of people read it, or no one, I consider it my job to tell stories.

          I hope I get to do it for a very, very, very long time.

          And if this was my last post, I never wanted it to be.

          I’m so sorry I dredged up those ugly feelings for you.

          Thoughts and prayers for your children. Near as I can tell, you’re never too old to love and miss mom and dad.

          Like

          • Janelle says:

            Matt, shortly after finding your blog I wanted to know more about your backstory and what else you had written. It took about a month, but I have read every single entry in this blog as well as many, many of the comments from other readers and your replies. I feel almost stalker-ish in my curiosity yet genuinely enjoyed the journey.

            I am just one person and was deeply affected by your phrasing. It’s only been a short time for my ex, so it’s still very fresh. I also think my comment was meant as a compliment, because I was startled and frightened by the idea of something so awful befalling you or anyone else. Such stark honesty is not always sensitive or politically correct, and there is no need to apologize to me for expressing it so eloquently.

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            • Matt says:

              Thank you so much for investing your time and energy into what’s been written here. That’s really flattering. Turns out you know me pretty well, then. Better than most of the people I see and talk to just walking around in the world.

              I don’t mean to whine so much. I just want to be real, emotionally.

              Thank you. For all of it. Your time. Your concern. Thank you.

              Like

  6. Jennie Saia says:

    Oh friend. You can. Just run.

    …do you wonder (you must) what she would think if she saw these posts? Because here, the way you come across… there’s a lot to love.

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    • Matt says:

      She sees them, Jennie.

      I try not to think about it when I’m writing because I don’t want to write afraid.

      I don’t think she cares.

      We have a polite, child-centric relationship. We’re considerate. We help each other out and back each other up.

      I try to count my blessings that I at least have that. Some divorced fathers aren’t so lucky.

      But yeah. Gotta let go. Gotta run.

      Like

  7. suzjones says:

    How heavy is a glass of water? Well it can paralyse and numb your arm the longer you hold it. The same with a feather. It can weigh as much as an elephant if you keep holding on to it.
    Never forget but stop taking it with you.

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  8. Sarah says:

    I hope you’re giving yourself some credit for the fact that you didn’t ask your ex-wife where she’s going on her trip. THAT’S HUGE. Sure, it’s none of your business and maybe she doesn’t realize that she’s lucky to have an ex that doesn’t grill her about her personal life, but it’s a real grown-up move on your part.

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  9. Chris says:

    Reading this post made me feel like you’re sort of a wreck sometimes. The whole laundry thing sort of creeped me out – but in fairness, I don’t do the laundry. Haven’t been allowed to since my wife and I got married, because laundry to me is 2 loads: white and color, whereas she sees a rainbow. I don’t even look directly at her underwear.

    As for you, you need to cut the line. Reach into your psychological pocket, pull out one of those fancy serrated knives we all see in sporting goods stores or online or the back of magazines; the ones we wonder “what the hell would you ever use that thing for?”. Pull that out, admire its anodized handle, then reach down and cut the parachute cord. The shiny red cord with the black inset fibers.

    Yeah, that’s the one.

    Close your eyes and cut it.

    To your surprise there are a whole bunch of other cords keeping you from falling, but that one you just cut had an anchor on it.

    Go on a date maybe? With anyone, anything. Take up a hobby, in addition to writing about your ex. Something with your hands like carpentry or gardening.

    It’s good to get this stuff out, but at some point you have to lock the truck and encase what’s left, lest it consume you.

    In fairness though, you have to deal with her virtually every day so I don’t know how that feels. But there has to be a way.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      We’ll get there, sir. I have my moments. These are the things that need written.

      Next month, there will be new things.

      Next year? Even newer.

      I’ll get there. Promise.

      Like

      • Chris says:

        By time the Browns start playing, talking about the ex will seem uplifting by comparison. :)

        Like

        • Matt says:

          If the point of this exercise is self-exploration and growth, then you’re going to have to accept that stories about the only person I’ve ever been married to and share a child with, are inevitable.

          Someday, I’ll be with someone else. Someday, maybe I’ll be thrust into a stepdad role. Someday, my son is going to have a strange man in his life that he will theoretically consider a second father. Someday, I’ll have to make decisions about how much I’m willing to let someone back in.

          Not quite 14 months later? It’s just not time for those other stories to be told.

          In time.

          Like

  10. Kelly says:

    Very beautifully said.

    Like

  11. Nephila says:

    I think murder is right. I often said I wish Paul and Argyrodes had killed me instead of having an affair. At least I would have been spared the pain, and with any luck they’d have been punished in prison which of course no one does for cheating. It is soul murder Matt.

    I strongly feel though that accepting the guest bedroom was giving in. When she was coaching him to ask for a “trial” separation, I saw through it. There’s no such thing. You can’t save a marriage by creating more distance. You can’t get intimacy by running away.

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    • Matt says:

      Oooh. Soul murder. Yeah.

      And, you’re right, of course. You can’t save a marriage by creating more distance.

      Any adviser or counselor or therapist that would suggest such a thing would be someone I feel strongly should be in a different line of work.

      Like

      • Nephila says:

        Oh it was his mistress who was coaching that request. Obviously that would have suited her. I told him he would have to either stay fully or go. None of this trial thing. I found it really hard to sleep with him after the affair but it was never going to work if I didn’t. More distance.

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  12. Dawn says:

    I agree 120% about the laundry room. I hated it for a long time…too much quite, just me and my thoughts. Ew.

    Let me say there have been many many MANY days I have wanted to run…sometimes I still wish I could.

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  13. It sounds like you’re still grieving. This is a huge loss for you and grief is a tricky bastard. But damn if you don’t write about it beautifully! Good days and bad days… hey, at least on the bad ones you’ve got some brilliant writing pouring out of you! (I hope that doesn’t sound like I’m making light of it, I’m not intending to). What little I know about grief is that everyone does it differently. There’s no instruction book for it… here’s to more good days than bad!

    Like

    • Matt says:

      By all means. Make light of it.

      I fear people who don’t know me offline don’t appreciate just how much laughing and goofing off and childish antics take place EVERY DAY.

      I just think these stories about marriage and divorce are important. No one will ever take me seriously if I’m just metaphorically air humping things and cracking immature jokes all the time.

      I save that for the office!

      Anyway, yeah. Maybe. Grieving. I suppose that’s possible. I think I’m cool. Then something happens. And I’m not cool. But I will be. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next week. Maybe next month. But certainly, some day. :)

      I really appreciate you taking the time to read, Gretchen. Thank you for the kind words.

      Like

  14. Jeff says:

    Thank you again Matt for speaking directly to where I am. My downstairs dungeon was my parents house 20 minutes away. All those nights, knowing she was out, telling me she was “healing” from all the hurt I caused. Listening to my son say goodnight to her on the phone and hearing bar noise n the background. Him asking her where she was and who she was with.
    She finally admitted last week that she was involved with someone else, after denying it for months. Not that she intended it to happen, but still allowed it.

    When do we stop blaming ourselves? When do we allow some of the blame to be shifted away? All Ive heard is that its my fault. Can we ever look at them and say “Yeah, I screwed up, but didnt deserve this?”

    So I told her we were done. No more long talks or texts. Our marriage covenant completely severed. And I dont believe its all my fault. Not for one minute. Not anymore.

    Trying to start to run. One foot in front of the other.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Ugh. You just found out? There are only a couple things worse, in the whole world, than what your insides do when you hear something like that.

      I’m immeasurably sorry.

      On fault and responsibility…

      My marriage ending was not entirely my fault. In the end, I fought my ass off for us. And her? The opposite of that.

      I’ve gotten all of my angry writing and finger pointing out of the way for now, and God-willing, forever.

      Let’s pretend, for just one moment, it was ENTIRELY her fault. What good would it do me or anyone else for me to write it?

      So, amid pain and sadness and anger, I choose to ask the hard questions. The inconvenient ones. Had I done X, Y, and Z differently, isn’t it likely that none of this would never have happened?

      And yes. The answer is often: Yes.

      So I think about it. And regret it. And try harder. And tell the story. Not the part where I think I got screwed. The part where I brought this on myself.

      Because from those stories, real healing and growth can occur.

      Healing and growth will never occur if I am forever a victim.

      I’m very sorry for what you’re experiencing. This is what we risk when we give ourselves to another.

      It’s a lot to risk. Too many sad stories.

      Like

      • jeff says:

        I kind of knew all along. But you just keep hoping. And staring at the ceiling. And hoping all the tears wash it all away. Part of the process I guess.
        But you’re right, I’m done being a victim. So I finally grew a pair and said enough. Since then, I have been at peace, for like a week, haha.
        So she asked me to go out for dinner tonight, with our son. Hard to say no, I miss my son so much. What do you think? Is it OK to go and expect nothing? Or should I just stick with seeing him on weekends and resist anything with her?
        I know you can’t tell me what is right, just respect your opinion

        Like

        • Matt says:

          I would never dream of advising you one way or another.

          Here’s what I believe, and you can take it for what it’s worth.

          There’s nothing your wife can do that will prevent your son from being the most-important thing on this planet.

          So, going just to see him can NEVER be the wrong choice.

          But, if you’re anything like me? You’ll find it nearly impossible to keep it (inside your heart and mind) just about him. You’ll feel all kinds of bullshit stewing around inside of you. There isn’t a word in the English language for what your body does in this situation, so I just call it “fuckness.”

          My son is worth any and all discomfort. I’ve put myself in a variety of uncomfortable situations on his behalf. And I believe it was the right thing to do. Treating my ex with politeness and graciousness was ALWAYS the right thing to do, because she is my son’s mother.

          If you’re like me, you’ll want her to explode in a fiery accident one minute, and want her to jump back into your arms, the next.

          I don’t think we can trust our feelings for, like 18-24 months after the split. (That’s me talking out of my ass. I just know I’m not there yet.)

          There is no universal right and wrong. No one wrote a book about how to behave after something like this.

          But I would always encourage a fellow dad to err on the side of loving and supporting your child.

          To walk tall. Brave. Strong. Even if you don’t feel it.

          Smile, even though you don’t want to.

          You won’t always have to fake it.

          Good thoughts heading your way. Sad story, sir. The entire thing. If it’s in your heart to do so, go hug that boy.

          Like

  15. panikikubik says:

    Such a great post.
    I think the pain and grief always will be there- But thar you still can get a good life and find a partner standing beside you.,someone who accept you and your history and grief. You are so much worth it.

    Hugs/Lotta

    Like

  16. You are worthy of feeling loved again by a woman Matt. You must start believing that. Maybe not that woman, but another one. Once you believe that, you have no more use for that broken-zippered luggage. It belongs at its final destination, in your memories of a beautifully tragic life lived to its completion. Don’t torment yourself any longer with the contents inside those bags. You deserve another ticket, to take another journey- but it will come with another set of baggage. All journeys do my friend. Beautiful piece. Your writing seems to be evolving every time I read it. Just love your work. Best~

    Like

    • Matt says:

      I’m pretty good at tormenting myself. And I’m not even sure it’s a bad thing (from a writing standpoint–it totally is from a healing one).

      Thank you for being sweet.

      Maybe someday. Many many days from now, I’ll share a drink or a meal or a night with someone just like you’re describing.

      Hug yourself for me, please.

      Like

  17. John says:

    I admire your courage! I think all of your followers would agree that while your writing is helping you, it is helping us as well. Thank you.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Thank you very much, John.

      I’ve come to believe that reading and writing (at least the kind I like) is mostly about people recognizing themselves in the details. That comforting feeling of realizing you’re not the only person who thinks or feels a certain way.

      It has a way of bolstering courage. Of making it easier to accept certain things about ourselves.

      Not everyone is going to read anything here and feel that way.

      But it means the world to me that you have and that you believe others have, too.

      Thank you so much for taking a moment to say so.

      Like

  18. Vince says:

    A few nights ago I had a dream. She was in the living room and told me she wanted to come back home and for us to work on things. I felt a huge weight off my shoulders like I was waking up from a nightmare. I even asked her, in the dream, if this was real or a dream. It was very strange but seemed so real. Then I woke up to a large bed and me on my side and a big empty spot on her side. I totally felt cheated when I woke up like what a cruel ass thing to dream about. I can’t control what I dream about.

    The baggage is in my room. Actually it’s in every single room because I can place each object with a time in our marriage. But the baggage is also in my mind. Even if I burned this house down and moved to Arizona I’d still have the baggage.

    When I feel sad I work out, do something with my kids when they are here, go to the park, do something I enjoy. I am going to manage the baggage until it no longer feels like baggage, just memories.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Our subconscious is especially cruel some nights and mornings. I know exactly what you’re talking about.

      I certainly don’t know what I’m doing, Vince.

      But it would appear you have the process as close to figured out as one can.

      Like

  19. autumnstrength says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading all of your marriage-breakdown posts. I’m 32 and I’ve never been married, or even ‘in love’, and I haven’t been in a relationship in quite a few years. Recently I’ve been thinking about whether I’ve been missing out because of this, but, and I’m sorry if this is offensive in any way, reading your story has caused me to think I probably haven’t been missing on that much! So many people on here talk regularly about relationship problems and how they dissatisfied with their partners, and it really makes me think that relationships and finding ‘love’ isn’t as great as people like to make out it is. It seems like sometimes people are so desperate to find it and settle down because TV, films and books constantly tell us that’s what life is all about and if you don’t have that, you’re not happy. At this point in my life, I know I’m not in the right place for sharing my life with someone else. I need to fix my life, get a decent job and figure out where I want my life to go before attempting anything like that.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Keen observations, all around.

      I would only say this: SHITTY marriage is shitty. Divorce and brokenness and heartache is terrible.

      But it’s not supposed to be shitty. And it doesn’t have to be.

      Good for you for not rushing into anything.

      I think there are always trade offs in this life. No matter what. Some things are probably better single. Some things are better with someone to love.

      Life can be very beautiful no matter what. And it can be very beautiful with a partner. And if you can just find someone willing to give what needs to be given… and if you can commit to giving the same…

      Then, smile. And dream. And hope.

      Shitty marriages should not deter people from getting married.

      Shitty marriages should lead people to resolve to do things the right way.

      I really appreciate you reading. Thank you so much.

      Like

  20. jadedwildcat says:

    When I read these types of posts that you write, it sends a shiver down my spine because I wonder if this is how my ex feels now…
    I wonder if after years of coming up short during the 12 years we were together, and of neglecting me and hurting me and cheating on me and always leaving and coming back to me, if now he truly feels the hurt and loss and regret.
    Unlike other women, it causes me real physical pain to think of him experiencing this, because no matter what he ever did to me, I know he was just very troubled and unsteady on his feet, ever since his own troubled childhood… and I never saw clear to blaming him or hating him for the things he said or did.
    It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, in my ENTIRE life, when I walked away from the relationship… because we still loved each other so fiercely, even though we could never seem to make things work.
    And now, when things seem to be looking up for me somewhat, I get terrified thinking of him lying in bed alone at night with the cat that we used to share, perhaps ruminating on where he went wrong, even though we were BOTH wrong. I worry so much about him blaming himself and hating himself…
    Sigh.
    I don’t know why people have to go through this.
    Why, why, why…

    Like

    • Matt says:

      The human experience. We don’t grow without stumbles. We don’t achieve without obstacles.

      Most of us, I think, sit around thinking that if X, Y and Z happen, that we will finally be happy.

      And I just don’t believe that lie anymore.

      It’s the journey. It’s about how we walk it. It doesn’t feel like a destination. But maybe it should be.

      Nice to hear from you, lady. So glad things are looking up. :)

      Like

      • jadedwildcat says:

        A good few things are looking up yes, and I always appreciate your kind sentiments. Problem is, I think I am still afflicted by the whole “if X, Y and Z happen then I will finally be happy” sort of dynamic, and it is a dangerous way to live indeed.
        That being said, I kind of have to ask myself if things really ARE looking up or if I’m just again falling prey to that way of thinking. I have a bad tendency to find happiness in things that can be (and usually are) taken away from me…
        Because of this we really all should learn to be self-sufficient and yata yata yata,.. you know how all of that goes.
        But you’re certainly right about it being part of the human experience.
        Hugs to you.
        x

        Like

  21. OHkls says:

    Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t comment on certain posts because I’ve never been in your situation. I’m not able to offer any words of wisdom or insight that might help you navigate through some of the things you’re dealing with. This is one of those posts…but it had an impact on me. Just wanted you to know that.

    Like

  22. Prov Erbs says:

    Matt, my condolences. I’ve been spending a few weeks reading this blog, and frankly I can see all the things that happened to you happen to me. I’m not divorced (yet), but am separated – first to another room and now to another place. Something interesting happened though, I started feeling more and more that if we were to divorce – that I would hurt more in the beginning but frankly I’d have a much greater chance of long-term happiness with someone else than she would. The pain must be so intense, yet as an outsider – it would seem to me that your prospects for the future are good. Like me, you still have oneitis, and boy that’s rough. I’ll come to check this blog out regularly, you’ve actually inspired me to be stronger and to work harder to save my marriage. Many thanks, all the best to you. – Prov

    Like

    • Matt says:

      I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you saying you want to work harder to save your marriage on account of things you’ve read here.

      I’m not likely to read anything today that makes me feel better than that. Thank you so much.

      Like

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