Yes, it happens and I found out the hard way. One minute you’re planning a big BBQ for July to celebrate your 50th birthdays with family and friends, and two weeks later he is asking you for a divorce. At first, you think it is just a sad joke until he looks you in the eyes and repeats it again, “I am sorry, but I want a divorce.”
A thousand things running through your head, but all that comes out of your mouth is, “Are you kidding me? Why?” Your jaw hits the floor, you’re holding back the tears and shock takes over. While you wait for the dreaded answers, you do not know if you should sit down, yell, scream, slap him, tap your fingers or just stand there with a stupid look on your face.
He stands there looking at you, wondering why you can’t figure it out on your own. Then has the nerve to actually tell you, as if he can’t figure out that you really did not want to hear it. Sounds like a bad comedy routine, when in fact it actually happens.
He tells you, after 26 years he needs a change; that he is tired of being married and raising the kids. Now they are grown he wants more from life than you. How there has to be more to life then what you have together. How he doesn’t have the same feelings for you as when you got married. He wants to have fun and you’re not fun anymore. Even though his lips are moving, all you hear is a form of Charlie Brown‘s teacher: “waaan waaan waaan.” Your brain is storing what he is saying but the signals are not getting through to your thought process.
Then BOOM, it rushes in like the Mack truck that just ran you over. You reply: “You jackass, I had those feeling too but I am still here. Wake-up! You’re no spring chicken yourself. If you didn’t want this life then why did you torture me by making me live it with you? I didn’t exactly make those children myself; I think you had a part in it. Only a fool would still have the same feelings they did when they got married. 26 years should make your feeling get stronger and change with age. As for fun, if you took me out instead of sitting on the couch watching sports all the time, maybe life would be fun for the both of us.” The topper to this conversation, you end with: “Trust me the grass is not greener on the other side for you, with those few extra pounds and your age; it is brown from a drought, big boy.”
A few days pass and you search the net looking for anything on a man’s mid-life crisis. He is a textbook case; you send him the link asking him to check it out. Of course, he denies it and looks at you with utter disdain for even suggesting it.
Then the reality sets in that he really is going to do this because his lawyer e-mails you asking for your lawyer’s information so he can set up a sit-down. Panic sets in and your calling anyone and anybody for a good lawyer. You comb the Internet, reading reviews until you find the one where it is all men raving about how they were taken to the cleaners by this guy and you know, he is the one for you! You set up an emergency meeting and with your husband’s credit card in hand, you place a very nice retainer down. If he wants a divorce then he can damn well pay for it, IT’S ON NOW!!!
As the madness and shock fades, you find yourself on an emotional roller coaster that just never ends. You realize you still love him even after all the things he said. You find yourself remembering all the good things as you are packing his stuff into boxes. The smell of his aftershave on a shirt sets your tears on overflow. You carefully pack his clothes into the suitcase as if he was leaving on a business trip, taking extreme care not to crease the dress shirts. The doorbell rings and there he is, standing there ready to pick up his things. In an instance, you do not know what happened, somehow the clasp on the suitcases came open and his clothes are spewed all over the lawn. All you hear is the door slam behind you and the biggest grin is on your face.
Just as he woke up as someone you did not recognize, you find you are someone you totally forgot about over the years. The first glimpse of your individuality and you now know that as time passes and the divorce moves forward, you will be OK. You will still feel the loss of the life you once had, but as the future unfolds you will move on to better things.
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We are not alone.