Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.

4 Dec

2 bed.Big yard. Jan 1. That’s one thing off my list.

This is real.


Part of me wakes up each morning and thinks, briefly, that I can just reach over and touch him and it will be as it was, his arms welcoming and warm. That I’ll go downstairs and feed the girls and smile at the thought of him, of seeing him later, and we’ll be happy our hands linked, fingers entwined, skin burnished by each other.

But the fog lifts from my head, the tiny insects of futures past buzzing out from me, a moving halo. Much as when my mother died, and I watched her body let her go, he has left. In his head, his heart, he is long gone, even if his body and voice remain with me for now. My husband is leaving me. My husband doesn’t love me anymore. My husband, who once looked at me with lust in his heart and care in his words, has lost the pulse, let go perhaps, and the eyes are cool.

I’ve started calling him my ex, the words stumbling off my lips awkwardly, but yet not. In my dreams he’s still my husband, my lover, my alternate. In the waking land he’s yesterday, he’s what was,  he’s fading, much like my dreams. Standing still in the dark morning, breathing deeply, I miss him. I miss us. I miss that foggy dream.

I warn Vivian’s teacher, about the impending conversation, and she touches my arm with such concern that I find myself near tears, surrounded by schoolchildren and mothers. I tell her it’s fine, it’s for the best my worry, my only worry right now are those little girls and please, be gentle if she’s not herself for awhile.

I think back a year, a little more, standing there with him, and I wonder where our strength has gone. How I’ve gone from worrying about my first born, my baby going to school, to wondering how to break her parent’s divorce to her with as little trauma as possible. How did we get here? How did I get here?

Why can’t I wake up from this nightmare?


I’m more than a little toasted on a large friendly bottle of Pinot Grigio, and we share joking texts about when I’m coming home and how the stairs aren’t my drunken buddy. I’m warm inside, missing this calm friendship we’ve always had, that we had first. I don’t want to lose it. I want the father of my children to be my friend, to share a joke, once the smoke clears. I don’t want to lose him completely.

And I realize, through the damped fire of my anger and fear, that I need this too. I want this too. There’s a weight lifted from my chest, an effort I was so tired of making, the dank pea soup of two people trapped against each other, the oppressive daily unhappiness that had become us. I’ve missed whomever I’ve been, so wrapped in bondage to this thing we called a marriage.

I feared no one loving me. But now that it’s here, the ache is less than when I tried to force a reluctant hand.

Breathe. I can breathe.

It’s real.

9 Responses to “Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.”

  1. wn December 4, 2009 at 8:01 pm #

    This post leaves my heart in my throat because I waffle between sadness, relief, empathy and awe. Despite claims to the contrary, you are handling this transition as an opportunity for growth. That, my friend, is called grace.

    Breathing must feel so nice at this point.

  2. elorajade December 4, 2009 at 8:13 pm #

    You have to admit, having a friend instead of a hated ex is awesome. I;ve seen some really nasty shit, as a kid of divorce. All before I was 7, I saw my mother try to kill my father. I was dragged out of bed more often than I care to remember from an early age to watch them yell and scream at one another while she threw things at him.

    After that I endured years of him not showing up, her bad mouthing him and them constantly at one another.

    What you guys are doing is beyond awesome. It’s loving.

  3. Titanium December 4, 2009 at 8:53 pm #

    It brings back memories in a flood of thoughts and words…

    I never could bring myself to call him anything except “my daughter’s father.” It felt like if I called him ‘my’ anything, well, he might stay attached.

    It was clumsy at first, but I found I couldn’t say his name any more. Instead of mouthing obscenity-laden rage (a frequent temptation), I found that when I just referred to him as “her dad”- it hurt less. For her and for me.

    The implication of respect saved my daughter’s sanity. She never had to choose between parents, on my account. As she is quick to remind me- I’m not alone. She has been through a divorce, too.

  4. thordora December 4, 2009 at 9:00 pm #

    Oh it’s hard. It’s DAMN hard and somedays I’m still so mad and the situation is just so fucked up that all I can do is be mean and nasty. I know it’s wrong, but it passes. I just don’t know with him here still, how to be. Once he’s moved on, and we’re talking as we bring the kids over, it will be different. But now, it’s the same and it’s not.

    And the advice I keep getting is to keep our shit together for the girls. I intend to follow that.

  5. sweetsalty kate December 4, 2009 at 11:43 pm #

    I can feel that lifted weight from here, in your voice.

  6. Bon December 5, 2009 at 10:42 am #

    i remember so well the feeling, the in-between, both the weight lifted and the not wanting to lose him completely…the wanting to retain my friend, the best of what we’d been.

    i didn’t. but that was his choice, his protection from the choice i made of someone else. the only punishment he had left to wield, i suppose. it still makes me sad, a little.

    but we had no children to bind that relationship, to force us to try to be the best of ourselves. for you two, i hope that you’re both able to rise to that, at least in the moments that matter, while you heal and sort out the disorienting space of waking up in the morning.

    love to you.

  7. Quadelle December 5, 2009 at 10:42 am #

    It sounds like you’re doing a good job of keeping it together when you need to for the girls as well as letting yourself feel and process this major change. It’s a crap place to be, but you’re doing it well.

  8. Molly Chase December 5, 2009 at 10:45 am #

    What Kate said.

  9. Marcy December 5, 2009 at 6:23 pm #

    You’re doing good. Not making light of the pain and horror, but your commitment to doing what’s right for all involved is a good one, and you’re staying present, feeling it all as it is.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: