Angry is the New Black

If angry is the new black, then today I am in style!

I went grocery shopping today for the first time since D-Day. It’s the first time I’ve felt like planning ahead. Each day until now, I’ve just gotten up and started my day hoping that it would be easier than the one before. Eating consisted of whatever I could stomach which wasn’t much.

I felt like I had a sign on my head that said “Broken-hearted person shopping” … I got three $1.99 frozen meals, one of those being a two pack of breakfast burritos and three bananas, three. I always tried to have bananas in the house, not only did I know you liked them but I knew they would be good for you and be a quick snack you could just grab and go.

Breakfast was always something I tried to make sure that you had. I was thankful when you said that you picked up a nighttime part-time job to help with our budget needs. On those nights when you had to work from midnight to 7 am; I got up early enough to make sure you had a breakfast sandwich or breakfast burrito waiting for you when you got home. I have to laugh at myself now, how many of those nights that you said you were working did you really work? I already know for sure about one shift that you had covered so that you could be with her. How many mornings did you let me look the fool having breakfast ready for you while you had been fooling around with her at night.

I remember watching you on Saturday, just 12 hours after you told me about the affair, watching you scarf down food from a fast food joint. It was the most aggressively I had seen you eat in awhile. I remember wondering how it was that you could eat. By this time, I had not eaten in 24 hours and just the thought of food was enough to make me sick to my stomach. I was still trying to wrap my mind around the events of the night before and you were already moving forward.

I wanted her to apologize. I wanted you to apologize. But neither of you did and neither of you have so far. Sure, you have told me that you are sorry that you couldn’t share your feelings in a way that I understood and that you are sorry that you let it get this far. But you should be sorry because what you did was WRONG! Not only WAS it wrong – it’s STILL wrong. You are living with her and have been living with her since the day you left the rental. Your new bank account has her address on file and her address is on your checks. Perhaps I should stop considering it just her address…since now, it’s clearly both of you.

At first, you used to tell me that you went from one friend’s home to another. You should know that I believed that about as much as I believed you were (and still are) sleeping on her couch. If you were really sorry for what happened, you would not have anything to do with her. Your stomach would be in knots, your conscience on overdrive because you would know that what you are doing is wrong. Your words to me are just chatter. They don’t align with your actions. And until the day that they ever do, I will over-analyze, I will over-think and I will question everything you tell me.

Yesterday, I saw you briefly to give you the keys to the rental so that you could start moving your stuff out. It was the second time I had seen you since you started your new job. It was also the second time I saw that you had a lovely sandwich made for you and when I asked you “oh, who made your lunch?” your response was delayed as you knew that I knew the answer. When you did reply, instead of being honest, you said that she gets these fancy rolls that were delicious and YOU made up some sandwiches for yourself. I don’t believe you.

It’s been 28 days since D-day and you seem to be moving on. You have a daily routine that includes her and her daily routine is now incorporated into yours. You say to me that you didn’t move on with your life and that you aren’t acting as if life was normal for you but you are wrong. Here is how I know…. you are living in the very neighborhood that you looked at buying a house with me, you are dating a girl that is also a brunette, wears glasses, was born in August, is going to college and you have the job that we prayed you would get. I almost feel badly that she is living my recycled life … almost.

Yes, I’m angry today. I’m angry that you don’t see just how wrong your actions were and are. I’m angry that you can’t even wait 45 days for our divorce to be final before moving in and on with her. I’m angry that you say things to me thinking that I want to hear them, I’m angry that I listen to what you have to say, I’m angry that I respond to your texts, I’m angry that I care so much about a marriage and a life that you so carelessly, casually, and thoughtfully threw away.

Yup, today I’m dressed to the nines.


What Are You Waiting For?

Take your records, take your freedom, Take your memories, I don’t need them…. Keith Urban

Packing up my things uncovered a lot of memories. We’ve been taking selfies for ten years. I have entire albums of our selfies, micro-documents of memories that we made. I found our box full of ticket stubs…arena football games, movies, ASU vs. anyone football, hotel matchbooks from anniversaries, Mr. & Mrs. place-cards from weddings we attended and pictures, lots of pictures.

I found emails you sent to me professing your love. Your love letters were digital, but it didn’t stop me from printing them out and keeping them. I reread them. Bad move. I took the mix CD you made me (think Ducky, Pretty in Pink) and played it one last time. Again, another bad move. I kept that CD in my car faithfully from May 2003 when you gave it to me until today. I reread the handwritten cover note one last time. You will never know how many times I listened to those songs and read that cover note. For the seven years you were struggling with the pain of the auto accident to the dependency on prescription pain pills to the stint in rehab to the struggles with your depression to the happy times that you were truly present with me…. Good and bad times, I would pull out that CD and find a familiar song to carry with me throughout the day. Tonight, I added my own note to the cover and tossed it and those old emails into a box of your things. I don’t need them anymore.

I watched Tommy Boy tonight and it took everything in me to not send you a text with quotes from the movie. I will always feel badly for the friends who watched movies with us. The way we would quote lines both actual and ones that we made up. The way we would ask questions knowing that the next line in the movie or in the song was the answer. We loved to laugh at ourselves.

No doubt you will give her a mix CD or a song to think of you, laugh at the same movies we laughed at, take silly photos and recite movie lines, listen to the one hit wonders of the 80’s. She will think you carefree and fun… I will know you recycled my life and gave it to her.

You alone must forever bear the consequences associated with your choices. I, too, will however bear the weight of that decision for the rest of my life. It’s been 25 days since D-Day. Do you think about me? Do you think about what we had? Do you think about what you lost? Or do you think about how good life is for you now with your new job. Do you relish your “role” as right-hand man? Do you think that you’ve gained some freedom? Do you still feel justified in your actions – telling people that we “mutually” grew apart? You should know that I am calling “bullshit” on that one from now until forever. You are the last person I need trying to protect my feelings by saying it was mutual – you didn’t want to say that you had an affair (are having an affair.) Let me be clear again, you wanted nothing to do with reconciling and were dismissive of me because I wanted to save our marriage.

As you pack up your things and move on with your new life, I don’t doubt that you will toss any memory of us into the trash. Why make it just metaphorically? Do it for real, throw it all away, no reason for sentimentality now. You should know that I’m still surprised that for someone who just 25 days ago was convinced he didn’t want anything to do with me or be married to me, that you are dragging your feet on severing the connections you have with me. You still have not signed the bank paperwork to split the account access and Verizon hasn’t separated our accounts yet (grrr) because you haven’t made one call to say that you are taking your own line.

What are you waiting for? Just do it. You are the one that wanted this.

No More Questions

Sleep, sleep everywhere, but not a wink for me. 

I love sleep. More so now that I don’t get much anymore. Regardless of when I go to bed, I wake up faithfully at 2:45 am every day. I wonder do you sleep? Is it easier for you now that your secret isn’t a secret? I try to force my eyes to stay closed because opening them to the bleakness around me only serves as a reminder that you are gone.

I’m gone too; at least my stuff is gone. It’s partly in storage and partly at the new place, which I move into later this week. Currently, I’m sleeping on the couch, your couch. Our living room looks the same and walking into the rental no one would even know at a glance that anything is amiss until your eyes adjust and you realize the pictures are gone and the kitchen is empty. Was it the same with our marriage? On the surface, people, including me, saw what they wanted to see. But when looking more closely (or in my case, looking back) could one see that this was just a shell of a life? A lie you were living?

I think back to a conversation we had a week before D-Day. You questioned me as to when my parents were leaving since we were going to housesit for them. When I told you the date, your reply was odd. You said it wasn’t soon enough. You wanted to use the time we had watching two homes, theirs and ours, as an opportunity to formally separate. Now I see that you wanted the separation so that you would feel justified doing what you were doing. It would have been easier on your conscience to say to me, “while we were separated, I had an affair.” And since we would have already been separated, your reputation would have been intact in the eyes of your friends when we divorced because you could just play it off that it didn’t work out between us never having to give up your dirty little secret, never having to answer any questions. But I said no to a separation and you weren’t strong enough get off of the train you were already on.

Your lies haven’t all caught up to you. I’m still amazed when I discover yet another one, although the amazement is wearing thin and becoming more the norm. Your friends have stopped asking me about you. Maybe because I don’t know about you or maybe because they do. I’ve stopped asking questions because it really does not matter anymore. Twenty-four days ago, you told me you had an affair; today you are still having an affair. Those are my facts, those are my answers and this is my reality.

In just a matter of weeks, you and I will be divorced. I will become just someone that you used to know and eventually you will become someone that I used to love. Yes… used to love.

The Back-up Wife? Nice nickname.

Thou shall not commit adultery. The plaque of the Ten Commandments in OUR living room.

I moved out of our rental. You worked a Red Cross event. Isn’t it ironic that you will come to the aid of a perfect stranger but wouldn’t do anything to help your own family in crisis? I love how you go on with your life as if it’s just another Saturday. As if 23 days ago, you weren’t telling me that you had an affair and that just 15 days ago, you had not packed up your stuff and moved to her house. I look at the Ten Commandments plaque that YOU hung on our wall- I think you forgot to read it. But you shouldn’t have to read that committing adultery is a sin, let alone illegal. What about thou shall not lie. Hmm, that didn’t seem to be a problem for you either. What about having no other gods before the one true God—you seem to have exalted yourself into that role of doing what you wanted at the expense of everyone else.

I used to think that things came easy for you and to be honest, I still do; however, what I’ve come to realize is that they don’t stay easy for you. It’s been just 23 days and your shine is tarnishing. It’s amazing to me that you have no sense of remorse. I don’t understand how you cannot feel the least bit sorry or sad about what you’ve done to another person — and by that I mean her. You may have hurt me because I am your wife, but you have hurt her reputation. You walk around in a bubble thinking that people don’t know what she did and whom she did it with? You are a married man. She was the girl who didn’t get you first and she’s not even going to be the girl to get you last. She is just a girl…shiny and used and one that makes you feel special because you don’t know how to be satisfied within your own self.

As I think about conversations we used to have, you used to tell me that you hated that we were poor, we weren’t poor, but you didn’t do anything about trying to help the household save money. You hated that we didn’t do things anymore…I’m not sure when you thought “we” were going to do things since you were always off with your friends. Well, let me clarify, when you said friends you were meeting her.

I asked you if you used protection that night and you said it wasn’t planned. Funny, because you had time to send a text to get your shift covered at work… if you had time to send a text, you had time to get a condom. Then to hear that you both walked into work together the next morning… really? There was no walk of shame, you felt perfectly justified in your actions and paraded that poor girl around like a trophy. I found out you referred to her  as the “back-up wife”. You don’t even consider her good enough to be anything more than a back-up? How does that not tell her everything she needs to know about you at that moment?

I respected you and the situation we were in enough to say that I did not want to speak with you while you were on vacation so that you could think about us and I asked if you would ask the same of her. You didn’t ask her and she certainly didn’t let you alone to think about things. Your chat log was on fire! I’m not surprised that you told our Preacher that you didn’t have time to check in with me throughout the day. I’m amazed you had time to get your work done… 1800 texts in a fifty-two day span! Is it a wonder why I told you the first thing we were doing was getting you off of my phone plan?

I understand that this happened to her in her first marriage and I’ve come to understand that she didn’t want to “lose” again, so she wasn’t going to let you go. You see, if you had come back to me, it would have validated her feelings (wrong as they are) that she has for herself— that not only was she not enough for her own husband but she also wasn’t enough for her lover. I am NOT saying that she’s not worth it because that is my prayer for her—that she would heal from the hurt she has been carrying around all these years and realize that there is more to her than being this other woman. She doesn’t need to find her value in the affections of men but rather realize that she is more valuable than gold to her Heavenly Father. But all I can do is continue to pray for both of you.

I didn’t think that I could pray for the Lord to “deal” with you. I love you and for those we love, we don’t want them to go to Hell. So if it takes the Lord dealing with you in the manner of your health, your work, and your strength than so be it. There are only two choices, Heaven or Hell and you know the saving grace of God but you need to get right with Him. He knows your heart and now so do I. Going to another church isn’t going to change His line of sight. He still sees you for what you are, not who you are trying to be in front of a new group of people. I shudder to think that you might be bringing her with you and the spiritual direction you are trying to provide.

I used to see and hope for the best in you but if what I received was the best then this divorce is the best thing for me. You hurt me but you are no longer in control of me. You held my heart in your hands and crushed it but the Lord can restore me greater than before and in that crushing produce a diamond. You see I am precious in His sight, even if I wasn’t in yours. You didn’t deserve me as a wife.

Running Numbers

I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring? Tom Hanks, Castaway

I’ve been asked a lot of questions, and I ask a lot of questions myself. We had a joke for it when we were together – you said I was “running numbers.” Well, I’m running a lot of numbers lately, trying to figure things out and having moments of clarity accepting that there are things I will never know.

You left me to deal with our church family and our friends. When asked Where are you? I now reply “You have made some choices and decisions that mean you will not be around anymore.” For a period of time, I contemplated simply saying that you had an affair, you didn’t want to reconcile and we are getting a divorce. I struggled with trying to protect you and I don’t know why. You didn’t have an affair, you are having an affair…we are still married and you are still with her. There is no effort to show me how much you are sorry regardless of what you say.

What hurts the most, the fact that he said those things on D-day or that you are no longer his woman? This one took less time to answer than I expected. It really is a combination of both. In recent months, your actions were more cooled towards me. I attributed that to your extra work schedule and the stress you were under while working two jobs, albeit part-time jobs. I didn’t realize it was the stress of living a lie. One of my concerns that I shared directly with you was that you didn’t make me feel like I was a priority to you. If you wanted me to sit next to you at church, then you would have saved a spot for me, but you didn’t. You wouldn’t withhold affection, you would want to hold my hand, you wouldn’t walk three feet in front of me, you wouldn’t jump at the offer of a friend to go hang out and leave me at home. So hearing you say that there wasn’t a spark between us, that you weren’t “in love” with me, that there wasn’t anything in me worth fighting for would have only been words if they had not been validated by your actions. So what hurts is that your actions backed what you said and that’s why I can’t accept your apologies right now. They aren’t just words to me.

How are you? (Meaning me) Well, at this moment I am (insert assorted answers.) At any given moment I go through a range of emotions. I realize that I’m like the Georgia weather…don’t like it? Give it five minutes and it will change. One lesson you taught me is an old AA technique: if I don’t have a beer right now, I can have one in an hour. I’ve applied that technique a lot lately but sometimes I can’t wait an hour and I have to just get through the next minute. If I don’t cry right now, I can cry in a minute. And the next minute, if I don’t cry right now, I can cry in two minutes.

Why are you paying for the divorce? Well, I’m not paying for it, but I am paying half. And after that, I really don’t have a reason.

How can you forgive him? Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)

How can you not hate him or her? Love… And I don’t mean my love for him, but rather the love of my Heavenly Father for me. ….And walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:2 (NIV)

Where is he going to live? I don’t know but yes, I do care. The Lord has blessed him with a great opportunity at a new job and whether he succeeds or fails is up to him.

Are you going to move back to Arizona? Tempting but no. I have created a life here that will go on even without him in my life. And now maybe I will be the one taking the opportunity for the one available ticket.

Now what? Well, I guess I will continue to rise up each morning and breathe in and out and pray that tomorrow will be a bit easier than today and I won’t have to remind myself to breathe.

No Doubt

I’m trying to pack and I can’t. It’s not the physical task involved, it’s the emotional weight that putting things in boxes represents. Each time that moving boxes have been involved, there has been some life-changing event that we’ve always tackled together and now I’m left to pack up my own stuff and you will come later and pack up your own stuff. And maybe it’s that your stuff is the “big stuff” so no matter how much I accomplish, to anyone looking in from the outside it doesn’t look like much has changed.

My craft studio contains so much “stuff”…. Stuff that I did by myself. Each piece of paper, each inkpad, each stamp was selected by me. It was mine and I spent a lot of time in that studio. I always said that I was blessed to have a husband who let me have a space of my own. I bragged about your support of what I did and I was thankful that you never held it against me. I was grateful for the opportunity that my little crafts would bring and the cash that would come with those opportunities. Often, they paid for some extra groceries or even take-home when we’d do dinner and a movie from the comfort of our living room.

Your space consisted of the couch or the bed. No matter which, you always had your computer and were always playing online games. I didn’t fuss at it because like you let me have my space, I figured you needed yours… a way to just find time for your mind to unwind. Looking back, it was just a way for us to not talk — to have Netflix playing in the background, to share a common laugh or gasp at what was going on, but we forgot to talk to each other.

I remember saying to you as we were driving to the airport before you trip, and after a particularly tough weekend of talking through a lot of things, that I felt closer to you than I had in a long time and yet, I couldn’t just reach over and hold your hand. We dealt with a lot of feelings those first two days…D-weekend. It’s a shame we couldn’t deal with them earlier.

You sent me a text that said you were sorry that you couldn’t share your feelings in a way that I understood. So am I. You said that if I had only asked if something was going on, that you would have told me. I should not have had to ask. You said that you were sorry you let it get as far as it did. I agree. And yet again, I wonder, is it easier to say sorry now… now that you are sure this is over?

I paid my half of the lawyer’s fees; will you pay yours? You were so anxious for this to end and confident that it would just 19 days ago but you struggle to come up with the full half of your responsibility? You tell me you have just $8 in your wallet until payday and I want so badly to offer you some money so that you can get some new pants for work but I don’t. There are things I want to tell you but don’t. Things that I think you should know, things that would make your life a bit easier but I won’t.

You see, for so long, I was always taking care of the loose ends while you were making deals. And now, you say you go from couch to couch between two homes, one being hers and the other a woman who knew exactly what was going on and didn’t speak up. I know where each lives and it doesn’t make sense. You are always driving her car no matter where you say you slept. I think you are lying and even if you aren’t there isn’t much now that would convince me otherwise. I question your questions, I question your answers, and I question your motives.

Yesterday, I received a text from you asking me if I was going to “shaft” you with the rest of the bills (namely, because the house bills are all in your name). Where in the world did that come from? Again, my response to you is have I proven myself to be so unfaithful to you and my responsibilities to this marriage that you doubt I would continue? You have no sense of boundaries with the chatter that is going on around you. You doubt me, because you doubt yourself.

But you see, I don’t doubt you. I don’t doubt that you will find a way to figure it out. I don’t doubt that you will have your cake and eat it too, I don’t doubt that you will come out of this feeling as if you have been justified in all of your actions and I don’t doubt that you will wake up one day and realize that I’m gone.

Queue Stupid Boy by Keith Urban