My blog has become a very personal examination of my emotions, including the ongoing transition from married suburban mom of 4 to divorced professional mom of 4. By externalizing the sorrow, I can reflect on events that led to this change and continue the inner work necessary to create a joyful life.
I don’t like labels, because they oversimplify the qualities they describe, but when I tell you I’d branded the word “hero” onto my ex-husband’s chest, believe it. He’s brilliant and articulate and for many years we shared a wonderful vision of our future. We used to talk for hours and hours, never tiring of each other’s company. Gross as is sounds, I used to pick his socks and clothes from the floor and bury my face into them to inhale his scent. I adored the man. A previous post refers to this relationship as a ‘tsunami’ of love. I’m now in the midst of its destructive aftermath.
Somewhere along the way doubt, discontent and betrayal crept into our relationship. It’s easy to blame the powerfully destructive college girlfriend who never let go, or the alley cat childhood friend who needed to prove her seductive influence. I could make an easy escape and blame his male-ness; postulating that the male psyche dictates the urge to…ahem…’connect’ with a wide array of females. To do that, however, would indict the men who make and keep a commitment to one woman for life.
No. Betrayal, and it’s twin, disappointment, are a double edged sword of pain that’s rooted in each person’s personality. On the other hand, I believe in owning my role in the failure of my marriage. I was probably attractive enough, and accomplished enough for him, but I wonder what role my unconscious fears played in creating the debacle we are living through. I always feared he didn’t really love me enough to stay true. I’d feared that his upbringing, his self doubt and his need to prove himself would cause him to stray.
My fears could not prepare me for the utter and total lack of respect shown in the 200 emails I found on his work laptop. Think of history’s most despicable, hated figures. I assure you if Adolph Hitler or the Devil himself found himself discussed by a loved one the way I was discussed in these e-mails, we would pity him. Driven practically insane with grief, it has taken me years to discover and pursue an independent path that will maintain stability for my children.
Betrayal, disappointment, fear and grief are the four horsemen of the apocalypse as it related to my marriage. Any one of these feelings would have been be difficult to overcome. Together, they were a toxic stew that destroyed my relationship and threatened to extinguish every bit of joy from my life.