It’s Just a Scratch


I am a fool for having loved you and a fool for loving you still.

This would be much easier if it were going on like television divorces. There has been no throwing of dishes or plates of food or malicious attacks of character, no serving of papers, no sitting across from each other in a conference room fighting over the turkey platter which was used once in ten years.

In fact, tears blinded my sight as I signed the acknowledgement of divorce. I am the plaintiff, you are the defendant, and you will sign the paperwork tomorrow. It will then cross someone’s desk and we will be nothing but a case number …and a statistic. The lawyer spoke plainly as I sat there listening to the explanation of paperwork and trying desperately to hold it together until I got back to the car, my car.

“My” car… you signed the car title over to me. We got the car back when we were young and arrogant. I remember pulling into the dealership knowing you told them to pull one in every color to the front of the lot so that I could just pick my favorite. They did and I did and now it’s a reflection of our marriage… many, many miles, a few scratches and one big dent that can’t be denied or unseen.

I can’t un-know what you did and you can’t undo the chain of events that have since followed. Has it really just been eighteen days? It only takes twenty-one to form a habit. When I looked back over the phone text logs after D-day, your new habit formed in much less time. And now, you will start your new life with a new car and a new girl, both shiny and new, and I will be left with a ding that can’t be denied.

The more I see that ding in the car’s bumper, the less severe it becomes and I wonder the same of me. Each day that I’m further removed from D-day becomes a bit easier and I wonder if you will slowly start to fade from my memory. We talk now as if we will be in each other’s lives for years but I can’t help but wonder if that is wise. I look back to the model that your family provides… a collection of broken relationships that gather each year at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Friendly enough but the occasional dig comes out and I don’t want that to be us. I told you on D-Day that forgiveness meant I wouldn’t hold this over your head. I’m not sure I’m strong enough yet to keep that promise, as evidenced by our conversation with the lawyer last week.

Our life together ends much like it started… with me working days and you working nights. It’s funny how that seems to be the pattern that starts off your relationships. Relationship – is that what you have with her? It still makes me nauseous. I told you on D-day that if you left you would never, ever come back to me and that I would never look back. Well, we know that the second part is not true. I have told you I would look back and that I will remember, both the good and the bad. However, the first part is very true and I will hold to it tightly. You will not come back to me.

I’m only now realize that might include friendship. Your life will one day lead you to know that you did have a good thing in me and that the only reason you find it easy to say that you are now sorry is because of the certainty that this chapter of your life is over. You crave being the hero – having the final say. Even that night, you tried to minimize the situation. You were unprepared for my response because you believed that by telling me that you had an affair, it would make it easier for me to tell you that I wanted out. You told me you felt like you were holding me back and that I couldn’t tell you that I wanted out. If you felt like you were holding me back then you should have stepped up and encouraged me to be more.

Thinking back to the ding in the car, you talked about getting it fixed but never did. Again, another reminder of how it is like our marriage. You saw something that needed to be taken care but instead of fixing it, you chose to ignore it. Yes, my ding may be here for awhile, but it can be restored and the part the replaces it will be stronger and more resilient. You see that is my new life – it may not be shiny and new but it will be stronger and more resilient.

Oh, Annie!


The sun will come out tomorrow, but it can also come out today.

I can feel myself transitioning from the sadness and into something brighter. The raw emotions are finding their way back to normal, if there is such a thing in my life right now.

Tomorrow you start your job at the U… we waited years for that job to come along and looked forward to taking time off together. I realize now that perhaps you weren’t excited about taking time off together, but rather you were excited to have a job that offered you benefits and a steady paycheck. Be assured of this my husband, I do wish you the best at your new job but never again will I wish you the best at the expense of myself.

My friends have rallied around me in a way I never could have imagined and I know that I am being held. The bitter sting of hearing the retelling of conversations you had with people about us, about me, is starting to lessen and I realize that it was not a reflection of me at all. The weekend you told me you had an affair you also told me that you didn’t think you owed me an apology and you weren’t sorry about it. I told you that the worst part was that I always had your back and I always fought for you but that you didn’t want to fight for me –you didn’t argue.  I now realize that I don’t want you fighting for me. You aren’t strong enough.

The reminders of you around the home are losing their shine… the empty shower caddy that seemed to scream at me each morning after you left now has a new home… the trashcan.   The “bat light,” our once common signal for a daily reminder now stays off. My mornings aren’t measured anymore by second glances to make sure the signal is set. It’s laundry day and there is just enough for one load of whites and one load of darks. I’m amazed at my free time.

Unfortunately, the reminder that is with me constantly is the impression on my ring finger where once my wedding band was worn. I used to spin it when I was in meetings … now, I twirl a pencil and it’s not the same. My fingers reach automatically for my ring each morning from the jewelry box and I have to conscientiously focus on just getting earrings. The house is still incredibly deafeningly quiet and I feel like this roller coaster ride of emotions right now is just at the top and I wonder if I’m going to come screaming down fast.

Sleep is still sweet when I can get it and I still hope that you are the tiniest bit uncomfortable on your “couch.” I shake my head writing that. When you came back to the rental and told me that she offered you her couch, I thought to myself…surely you think me a fool—she offered you her bed just two weeks ago, you think I believe you’re on the couch? I’ve questioned so much over the past fifteen days and rightly so. Even now I find that while what you tell me is not always a lie, but it is also not fully the truth and it’s hard to accept at face value what you tell me.

There is however much that I do accept. I accept that while you can’t/won’t love me like I need to be loved, that doesn’t mean that I am unlovable. I accept that I looked to you to be the things to me that that I should have looked to the Lord to be for me. I accept that my life will forever be different but that different can be good. I accept that you may never offer me an apology and I can’t put my life on hold waiting for one. I accept that today may be a good day, but tomorrow may not. I accept that choices have consequences and both of us are living with the consequences of choices we made, but only we can allow them to define us. I give myself permission to mourn the loss of a life that taught me so much and I give myself permission to move on.

As I look back over my journal entries, it is amazing how the first few days were filled with aches of reconciliation and revival and now they are filled with acceptance and forgiveness…of myself. Today is the day that the Lord has made, I will choose to rejoice and be glad in it.