A big part of my angst over the collapse of my marriage has been the uncertainty of it all. One day in January I was cruising along like usual and the next thing I know someone is sitting me down and giving me the "I'm not happy" speech. From there, things moved with frightening speed. Our initial attempts to "fix it" failed, and we headed to some weird kind of counseling that wasn't about the marriage so much as it was trying to understand a depressed - and very angry - husband. Any initial denial on my part of the seriousness of the whole situation disappeared pretty fast, as I realized that this was going to hell practically overnight.
When the decision was made barely two months later to divorce (and not by me), I was stunned. How does almost twenty one years of marriage go away that fast? I asked that question of the only person who could answer it, and still never really understood the reasoning behind it. I've known people who gave their dog groomers a longer trial period, and I was resentful, not only over the end result, but over the speed at which it happened. Didn't twenty one years deserve something better?
But the more questions I asked, the murkier the water got. No answers were ever given that I understood, so of course I started filling in the blanks on my own. Another woman? Surely the most obvious answer. A nervous breakdown? A strong contender. A whoop ass mid-life crisis? The third goal in a really bleak hat trick. Which was it? A combo of the above? All of the above? An X factor? Alien abduction? Who knew? Not me, that's for sure. I spent the first six months of 2008 completely in the dark. And it was not a fun place to be.
Then, last week, a month after we had officially started living in separate houses, something happened. Something that made me sure that all the puzzle pieces had finally fallen into place. It all fit perfectly. (Here's a hint. Go for the obvious). And it made me angrier than I think I've ever been in my entire life. I have behaved beautifully through this entire process (and been gratefully thanked for it, too), but all that went out the window in a flash.
For the first time, I was acting the way I think I was supposed to from the start. I. Was. Livid. Ballistic, even. For five days my blood was at the boil continually. For the first time, I understood what makes people want to bad mouth their exes to their kids, their family, their community and CNN headline news. And while I left my kids and CNN out of it, I have a couple of people who put in overtime listening to me scream last week. It was a good thing I had no computer. I think Blogger might have banned me for life.
We avoided each other mightily, until five days later, when the bashed one called about some benign kid detail and something in me just snapped. Six months of pent up uncertainty was ready to be laid to rest. I wanted answers. I wanted the truth. I wanted answers that were the truth.
And I wanted them now.