How does one announce the end of a marriage, or does one? Do you tell only a few close friends and family? post it on Facebook or MySpace? blog about it? all of the above?
Yet, that is what I must do. Out of the blue my husband announces to me he wants out. No warning, no suspicious behavior, I saw nothing. Was I blind? Perhaps. I noticed some distance the last couple of weeks. I asked and was told it was summer jitters over the new school year. (I had them, too. I am changing grade levels, again. So, that made sense.) But, it seems he had been feeling a little different about me for about a year and still never said anything to me about any possible problem. And he insisted I did nothing wrong, it is simply his problem. We didn't have a problem, he did. Therefore, I couldn't have helped even if he had told me. Bullsh*t. We were a couple, it was our problem.
Yet, why he could still not tell me he had been struggling bothers me. Oddly enough, he did talk to two of our friends, one of his closest straight girl friends from college, and a gay male friend who had been through a recent break-up. But, he talked with them only after he had come to the conclusion it was time to go. He valued their help more than mine. Slap me in the face, why don't you? (It turns out, she insisted he take us to counseling, but no, he wouldn't go. And the gay male friend, he was the dumpee, not the dumper. So he was more sympathetic to my position, than to my ex-'s. Both did advise him to proceed with caution, because once he starts there's no turning back.) He also told another friend, more so to alert her, so she could check in on me and make sure I was doing ok. He thought of everything, isn't he sweet? Too bad he didn't think of talking to me first.
So, instead, he sends me a letter. From the sofa. In this letter, ok, an email, he tells me what's been bothering him lately. He can talk to friends, but not to me. I get an email. He does explain why; he needed to write down his feelings first, so he would be clear and focused. I get that, I really do. But to send it in an email, does he not have the decency to at least read it to me in person? WTF? Am I that horrible of a person he can't tell me; first, we have a problem, and second, asks for a divorce via email?
So, his feelings for me have changed. That was it. He now loves me as a friend (gods, I hate that phrase) and is hoping we can remain friends after all this. I don't think so. Not immediately anyway, if at all. I have only two men in my life I consider an 'ex-'. And one I never actually got to call a lover, let alone a boyfriend. We were sooo spiritually, and intellectually connected; but never physical nor emotional (well, not the same emotional level anyway.) He was just coming out and still felt he had some exploring to do, there was something about a leather fantasy, I think. So, I was just a real good friend who was helping him through a difficult yet exciting time. (Out of curiosity, I googled him some 15 years later and he is living in another state with his husband who probably looks as good in leather as Don Knotts would have.) My only other 'ex-' is a real 'ex-'. We lived together for about 7 of our 8 years together before he passed away, a month before our 8th anniversary. So, I do not have a collection of 'exes' like many of my gay brethren. When you walk out on me, it is for good.
One other point my soon-to-be ex-husband brought up in his decision to end our marriage; he never had the experience of being on his own. He left his parents' home after high school, lived alone for a while, moved back home, found some roommates and subsequently moved between roommates and his parents again and again until he moved in with me. Now he wants to live alone? Maybe he was too young. He was 20, I was 37. Ironically, he is now the age I was when we first met. I already had lived alone. Now, I was looking forward to not living alone, ever. Now I get to. Maybe. I will need help with the house. (Alimony?)
So, he says he simply fell out of love with me. After 15 years? With two years' legal recognition? We were legally married before Proposition 8 was passed. We were one of the 18,000 couples the California Supreme Court refused to invalidate. Bless them. Now, he is invalidating us. Curse him.
Ok, I actually don't want to curse him. You know, bad karma and all. And living well is the best revenge.