My husband cheated on me. Then he tried to convince me that maybe we should get divorced. COMPLETELY OUT OF THE BLUE.
I am doing what I can to find others who can relate to my situation so I can figure out how to make it all work. Recently I hit a wall of reality, and was forced to let some people go from my life who for whatever reason didn't fit anymore; some were simply uncomfortable with trying to keep me in their life AND be friends with my ex and his new "girlfriend", some were too busy with their own crazy lives to return my calls (which is understandable), and some simply just didn't care. After finding out my ex had cheated on me multiple times, after finding out that some of my "friends" knew about these flings and didn't tell me, and after adjusting to him bringing her into our town and replacing me with her in our huge group of friends who I also considered family, I began the painstaking journey to figure out just where I fit in.
It turns out I didn't fit in anywhere. I was cast aside by almost every one of them, I was told I wasn't welcome at their functions (or if I was invited that I would have to leave when the new girl showed up), or told that I needed professional help and was basically "crazy".
"Falling Apart in One Piece" by Stacy Morrison has become a sort of literary lifeline for me.
The similarities of her situation to mine are absolutely uncanny. She was with her husband for a total of 13 years. Check. He told her he "didn't want to do this any more" after almost 10 years of marriage. Check. They had a son and a new house that they had just moved in to. Check. Check. He didn't support her in anything she ever wanted to do, criticized her hobbies and her friends, and made her feel completely insecure in every aspect of her life, including mothering. Check-o-rama.
I can tell that when I'm done reading this book I will be able to move on in my own life in a totally new way. For the last month or so I, like her, have been wondering if perhaps I HAVE lost it; when friends you've had for over a decade imply that you need some sort of mental help, you start to wonder. But after reading her accounts of her nights spent sobbing until she had no breath left, hiding in the furthest corner of her house so as not to wake her son, lying on the cool kitchen floor and analyzing the crumbs underneath her stove, feeling like the darkness she felt would simply overtake her, I know I'm not "crazy" at all. I experienced eerily similar circumstances myself. There are millions of men and women who have gone through the same "craziness", but a very small portion of those people have ever or will ever be diagnosed with anything other than being the victim of a very bad person who made them feel so worthless that they had nothing left to do but collapse.
The pain of adultery and divorce isn't anything another human being can empathize with you about or understand unless they have experienced it themselves. One of her comments is that she realized that "none of my friends could meet me in my alone." She hit it right on the nail.
Some of her friends did the same things as mine, they either cast her aside or tried to help until it just became too uncomfortable for them. But she did have a few who understood her enough to know what to offer, and were caring enough to hang in there with her and not take the easy road. They understood that being a friend sometimes means having to live and speak outside your own comfort zone, no matter how uncomfortable it may make you. It means digging down into your gut and doing what is right for another human being, not what is easy.
I'm not crazy, never have been, never will be. The people who truly know me laugh at the thought. They know what I've been through, they at least listen to my pain even though they know they can't fix it, and they love me for the woman they know I am. They know the horrible things that my ex did, and continues to do, and they don't just let him off on a technicality and say things like, "sometimes things just don't work out". My situation, and that of Stacy Morrison's, go way beyond anything a person with a happy marriage could ever imagine.
For any of you who might be reading this with a knife in your back, with a marriage that's falling apart, or one that already has and is not fading into your past as quickly as you had hoped, pick up this book. If you have a friend or family member who you know is going through divorce, pick up this book. It will be one of the best ways you can show you care.