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

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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.