A long time ago, like more than a decade I think, I read a story (in the New York Times?) by a woman whose husband had a midlife crisis and decided to leave the marriage because he wasn’t happy enough, and she was like, Nope. She just didn’t believe him, went about her life as if his bullshit wasn’t happening, and eventually he just got over it.

(Oh look, found it on my first try, and it was almost exactly a decade: https://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/02/fashion/02love.html )

And I can’t help wondering why I didn’t remember this article back in April when he was leaving me. The story did stick with me through the years, and I thought of it – well, not often, but from time to time. But it left me when I could have used it. I wish I’d tried that. I don’t know that it would have worked, but it would probably have enabled me to show a little more dignity through a really grueling time. Even if it hadn’t worked, I might have less to regret now.

A co-worker in our old building has an empty desk in her office which she offered to me, so I’m no longer working a block from his new flat. I took a ballet class this morning and loved it – it really used all of my attention, which is such a rare thing. I really enjoy working with my students; their progress makes me feel useful. I have a plan that gets me out of here in November, with a whole house to fill with furniture and color and light and purpose. And a cat. I’m moving forward, however slowly.

It’s been five months and five days. I have better days now, and sometimes it feels like I’ve started healing, but sometimes I wonder if I’m just putting gauze over a very deep wound. And often I wonder if the wound was even necessary, if someone a little better at remembering things at the right time could have dodged that bullet entirely instead of sitting there like an idiot, weeping while it tore out her lungs.

3 responses to “What-ifs

  • Girl, Inappropriate (@akaMonty)

    I remember that story too! Only I remember always thinking that it was pretty unrealistic, and a little degrading to the woman, and that she was kind of a twat for basically sticking her head in the sand and embracing denial. I also wondered if she made the whole thing up because I am a cynical bastard and I think people tell lies about their shit lives just to get attention. :D BUT HEY THAT’S JUST ME. Also? If someone wants to leave you, FUCK THAT GUY FOR BEING STUPID. Also, side piece, ew, whorey mchoorson. I’m glad you didn’t remember that story and I’m glad you didn’t try that tactic because seriously YOU ARE WORTH WAY MORE THAN THAT.
    And can you imagine how you would have felt IF IT DID NOT WORK? That would’ve been a whole other layer of yuck.

    And PS: srsly, how often did that treatment work with one of your kids’ tantrums and lashing out, which she compared it to? Never with my kids I can tell you that. SO. Anyway. Don’t be think you could’ve changed things and fixed HIS midlife problems “IF ONLY YOU HAD” done this or that. Don’t take on that burden, my darling. It isn’t yours.
    Anyway FUCK THAT GUY. Did I say that yet? :D
    I hate that you’re hurting, I hate that he did this to you and I hate the way he did it and I hate him for you.
    But you are about to be LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE EVER because maybe you didn’t want to be set free, but now you can soar whenever and wherever you want.
    <3 <3

  • Girl, Inappropriate (@akaMonty)

    ONE MORE THING because I just read something in an article that has nothing to do with this and it’s out of context but I WANT YOU TO REMEMBER IT ALWAYS:
    “Let him start earning the right to stay married to you.”
    YES, ALL OF THAT, MISSY. Fuck that guy.

  • Arja

    Happy to see you are moving from survival mode into healing. ❤️

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