November 7th, 2010

I guess the best place to start is with the event or day that got me started down the road to who I am today.

At this point we had been married for almost 19.5 years, the last decade or so we had been roommates, friends and parents to our two children. There was not much of a marriage left. I went upstairs to put away clothes that I knew my wife was folding. When I came into the bedroom, she was crying. I asked her what was wrong and she said she couldn’t do it anymore and the needed out of the marriage.

It was not the first time we’d had this talk or that she had told me this. This was however the first time I heard her. As much as I knew it was coming, I still felt devastated. I finished putting my clothes away then went downstairs to feed the kids. By the end of the evening and after the kids were in bed, I was falling apart. I felt lost, alone, angry and all the negative emotions you can name. The next few days, I was a complete mess. My birthday was 15 days after I heard her and was the worst I could remember. Christmas was difficult, but I was making progress in dealing with everything. I was struggling with a great deal of anger, with myself and with her. I was also bouncing all over in the grieving process.

I won’t bore you with the next couple of months, there was a lot of self medicating with alcohol, self-doubt, you know, the usual things you would expect. There was also a suicide attempt in early December. I slowly started to process what had happened and what it all meant.

I wasn’t sleeping and this gave me a great deal of time in my head to think about things and process the situation. One of the things I kept trying to do was change how I felt about her. I kept trying not to love her anymore, to not care. This topic is where I had my first real breakthrough. I realized that my feelings for her would never change and that was fine. Why should I stop loving her? She hadn’t changed and either had I, only the situation had changed. The more I thought about this the more I understood that is was perfectly fine to love her, I also came to the conclusion that there were a great number of people I still loved from my past, but I had suppressed my feelings because I thought (and was conditioned to believe) I could only love one at a time. That to love more than one was wrong. When I woke up the next morning, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, I was more at peace.

It felt great to have finally made some progress, towards what, I didn’t know, but I felt different and better.


P.S. I will go more into the suicide attempt in a future post, and as always feel free to ask questions.


2 thoughts on “November 7th, 2010

  1. Doug:
    Vulnerability is our greatest strength.

    That’s what a very wise friend of mine often says.

    What you are doing here — cracking open your heart and sharing it with the people you’re closest to, so they might know you better and be inspired, too — puts you right up there with Hercules in my book.

    I count myself lucky to follow along as you retrace your steps… keep going! 🙂

  2. Doug – I am so thrilled you are writing and expressing…I’m confident this will help a lot in your healing process. I especially like the subtitle, “a work in progress.” Not only does that signify the importance of never really being finished with growth, but also upward with progressive action! It is so easy for people to get stagnate. The discovery that you can keep loving her even though you live separate lives is significant. I had that same revelation the first time I split with my ex. It is truly a giant step in healing. I once read that the ability to love (one or several) is really nothing that anyone can ever take away from you. It is within you and about you, not them. That was strangely comforting to me when I read it. I look forward to reading more! — Julia

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