Wednesday, July 9, 2008

in the beginning

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.


LCM said...

OOOOOHHHHH! I am laying here in my pull out couch contemplating what I just read. I hear stories like this and think, how well do we really know anyone and it terrifies me sometimes. Oh I mention the pull out couch because the snoring got too much and instead of laying there contemplating homicide, I removed myself from the situation. Suddenly I don't feel so put upon. You are certainly entitled to your anger and I am glad you were able to direct some of it exactly where it was supposed to go. I hope things start feeling better soon and I am so sorry.

Maggie May said...

I was sitting on the edge of my seat. You are a good writer. I feel sorry that you had no clear cut answers till last week.You are entitled to be angry. It is normal to be angry.21 years is a long time to be with some one and then have them behave like this.Don't think I could have handled it so well! So congratulate your self that you did!

Anonymous said...

21 years of marriage, and you get punched in the gut. You deserve better, so much better and you are owed respect. You have every right to be angry. I hate that you were treated in such a manner. It is so wrong, on so many levels. It sucks. I am sorry. I hope you take that anger and channel it into positive steps to get what you deserve.

Sending lots of love and light your way, my friend. You deserve so much better.

PinkAcorn said...

Well, I just can't imagine 21 years...maybe if I add mine all up, nah. I have to agree you write quite well.

I hate bed baths, too, but my most, most, most hated task in inserting an NG. I'll poke anything else but the nose gives me the willies.

belle said...

You deserve better. And you're allowed to vent your anger. Really hope things start to improve for you soon.

Keep on writing, you do it so well.

CrazyCath said...

Oooohhhh RC I am angry for you! The audacity!

You deserve the truth. Absolutely. After 21 years and it takes this long to be honest with you? I would have ranted too and I think you showed remarkable control to keep CNN and the kids out of it - a great mother. A real mother.

I'm off to catch up on the rest of your posts now but just wanted to comment on this quickly that you are soooo respected here for your calm posture throughout this drama, only to be kicked in the head in the last moments. Only when he is at a safe distance does he have the courage to be truthful... Says a lot about the man.

My thoughts and ((((HUGS)))) are with you. And you are a great writer. You have us totally feeling your emotion.

Frances said...

I'm reading with caution.
A very close, very dear friend of mine amazed and shocked all her friends a few years back. She had gone to the kitchen to get the dinner ready one evening - dear hubby was watching tv. Some time later nothing had happened. When he looked for her she had gone. He phoned all of us, none of us knew anything. She disappeared for a couple of weeks. Then she phoned us all, husband included and told us all she had been unhappy with him for a long time, unhappy with her life in many ways and that she just wanted out. She planned it for a good long time and then did it without telling anyone or confiding in anyone. We all thought the obvious - but it wasn't. She was just really not a happy person and none of us had known - it was like a blow to the gut to her friends, so I can't imagine what it was like for her husband. She never explained anything more as far as I know.
I guess she just had too many of those times when we want out or want to wake up and find everything is all better.
I do hope you got answers last week and they were ones you could accept and that they help you to cope - life is such a bitch.

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

Lawks RC, I hope he had the decency to finally be honest with you.


softinthehead said...

RC - I feel your anger. Sometimes it is the sheer predictability of it all that is so frustrating. At least knowing that there was actually a "reason" will help you to move forward, He was weak but you are strong. Sending you only good thoughts:)

Rudee said...

A woman of Arabic descent who "loses it" is an impressive thing to behold.

Now that you know the truth (if you tell us she is/was a student, I'll need an emesis basin), you can stop being so nice. You've shown considerable strength in this area, but it is time to think about yourself for a change. Don't sell yourself or your kids short in settling this dispute and I'm not talking about money.

Now, where the hell do you keep your shish kebab skewers?

Flutterby said...

Wow... Wow again... Please note your support team is here. Getting it out and demanding answers is so necessary to constructing your new life. You are a wonderful person and a wonderful writer. Very best wishes for an exciting future that is yours to create.

kitten said...

Bless your heart! You have the right to be angry and all the other emotions waiting. Most and fore most, the truth. Hope you get your answers, then comfort in all this.
Double hugs!!

Happy in the Abyss said...

I want so badly to write you something that will somehow answer all of the questions that you deserve, but I cannot give you that. Honestly, in your shoes I am not sure I would want to hear the truth so soon. I am not into the tortured artist thing...or maybe I am. I am torn between one of the greatest friendships I have ever had and a sibling that I have known my entire life. I won't choose between the two of you because it is still impossible for me to see you two as separate. I am sorry that things turned out this way, I really REALLY am. The tears running down my cheeks scream that pretty loudly! I hope that when you get all your answers, if you haven't already, that you are strong enough to turn and punch the wall and not him. Although, he might deserve it. You are one of the strongest women I know and I trust and love you muchly.....

Devon said...

I am so sorry for all of the chaos and confusion, loss and sadness you have been going through.

In the end, people are just people. Flawed, sometimes so unaware of the pain they inflict on others as a result of trying to please themselves!

You have so many people supporting you and wishing you only good things.

May your week be filled with friends, respectful doctors, clean patients, more friends, the absence of 5150's along with the absence of selfserving spouses... or perhaps that is redundant? And, the awareness that you are loved by so many!

aims said...

Gosh RC! I don't have any words for this one - just a question.

What is the obvious? (well shit - someone had to ask it!)

Kaytabug said...

Excuse my french but I sure hope the SOB finally gave you the truth that you SO deserve.
I am so sorry that this had to happen. I am happy to hear that some of your rightful anger was unleashed on the person who need to get the brunt of it. I really do not like men and it is no wonder so many women give up on trying with men.

Sending you loads of love and support. I really really feel for you. Do and say what you need to. Take care of you! HUGS!

Akelamalu said...

My guess the obvious is - another woman?

No wonder you're angry, you have every right to be after 21 years. The least he could do is be a MAN and tell the truth.

I so feel for you. xx

Amy said...

I'm delighted to hear you got some answers, despite the fact those answers hurt so much, and that you unleashed a bit. Unleashing is ever-so-healthy, especially when directed at an ex.

My husband was cuckolded by she who came before me. He believes that in divorce it's always someone else. People just don't have the energy to leave otherwise. I don't think that's always true, but it seems to be often true.

Wishing the best for you because you are the best.

Potty Mummy said...

What. A. Shxt.

I think that says it all, for me.

Stacie said...

I haven't anything wise to say, here. Instead, I'll go with my version of the obvious--you deserve respect and happiness, and if he can't/doesn't give you that, then it is good that he is gone. I hope that you have finally received the answers you are looking for, and I hope the pain will start to fade and the healing will begin. Much love.

Jettied said...

it's not my place to swear but it's what I did when I read your post!!! Answers sometimes are jerks!! I think it is great you vented and I hope you hold your head high and know that all those months of wondering made you a better person!!!

Gill - That British Woman said...

I stumbled upon your blog, and I am so sorry that this has happened.

They say that its the seven year itch in marriage that's a problem. However, you are the third person I have heard recently whose marriage is in trouble at the 20 to 21 year stage.

I will be thinking of you.

Gill from Canada

Hey It's Di said...

I have been lurking but just felt like I should comment. My husband and I have been married 21 years. He has had issues that about brought us to divorce but to date we are still together. I am so sorry for what he has done to you! There is nothing worse than dishonesty. You deserved then to know the reasons and you deserve to be angry now. Keep your chin up because it should only get better from here.

Irene said...

You do actually get over being mad and pissed off like hell too. It is another phase that you go through, Don't destroy yourself in the anger, don't let it take you down. Be mad as hell and then walk away from it with your head held up proudly. You are the queen, remember that. You are the winner!

Nearlydawn said...

I am soooo lucky it appears you've already written the "what happened" part of the story. I haven't peaked yet, but I am so glad not to have to wait to read it.

I am so angry for you. Right now I'm thinking how long it would take to organize a blogger-based mob to kick his ass. :) You think we could do it? I bet we could!