the bad news

So you may or may not have heard the bad news.

James and I broke up.

The only reason it’s more complicated than that is we’ve been married for four and a half years. So I guess we have to do lots of complicated legal stuff now.

It might be a cliché, but clichés exist for a reason – because they’re true a lot of the time – so here it is: we’re different people now than when we got married. We’ve both learned a lot about how we want to live our lives and how we each interact with people. And maybe we’ve been slow about it but we’ve finally realized we’re not right for each other.

So here I am in a place where I never thought I’d be. When I said my vows I meant them. But I guess all I can say now is that we’re human. Don’t judge unless you’ve been there. The straight and narrow path only works if you’re actually standing on it. Sometimes you have to backtrack a little to find it again.

Sometimes I think “it’s scary how well I’m handling this.” But I don’t think I have anything to worry about because other times I am bawling my eyes out. Of course I’m sad. But I’m trying my best to take to heart all those little things I’ve heard. Your happiness does not have to depend on another person. People just fall out of love sometimes and it’s not your fault.

The hardest part, honestly, has been facing the world. Culture and religion have been telling us all our lives that it’s very bad to get divorced and that you should keep working at your relationship even if it seems futile and makes you miserable. Well, I believed that until last month. Now it’s just an oppressive cloud that’s keeping us from telling our friends and family what’s happening to us because we don’t want to disappoint them. No one in this situation should have to feel more alone than they already do.

Now, more than ever, I appreciate the comparative religion class I had in college, and the Buddhist phase that resulted. I believe a lot of things from a lot of sacred books but right now what’s giving me comfort and the ability to endure is the stuff I learned from Buddhism. One of the things I love about it is the acceptance of life as it is, of beings as they are. Buddhism doesn’t teach you how to make your life better. It teaches you how to deal with the life that you have. Which is great, because sometimes life just sucks.

Despite all this acceptance stuff, which I do believe, I still feel the need to make it clear that this was not my idea. In my mind this is a clear cut case of “if you love him then you have to let him go.” It isn’t love to force him to stay with me. It would be for my own comfort and for our reputation, neither of which mean anything to me if he is miserable. He’s seemed much happier since we made the decision, which is the ultimate piece of evidence. I can’t deny him what makes him happy.

I was caught in a cycle for a while. When I’m in a good mood I think “This is going pretty smoothly actually.” That leads to “It’s not like we don’t get along.” Then comes “Maybe we could work things out.” After that, “I should be fighting harder. Isn’t this something worth fighting for?” But I don’t know how to fight this, so then I’m miserable. I have to remind myself that this is all in my head. I believe James when he says that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship with me and there is nothing I can do about it. And no one is going to benefit from me being a bitch about it. So I try to keep my spirits up and make things go smoothly. And the cycle resets.

A lot of people are going to want to know what went wrong. Well, I don’t know, and I don’t have much interest in exploring the issue if it isn’t going to do me any good. I am convinced that this is the case. I’ve asked James “Are you sure?” enough times, and at some point you just have to stop asking and get on with life.

We’re still going to be housemates for a while. Neither of us is anxious to live alone, and with my sister here, it’s just a house full of friends. I don’t see that changing until one of us starts dating someone else. I like my life here. I like having people to cook for and parties with mutual friends. For me, getting on with life means getting back to being happy and doing the things I love, and for that, there is no reason to move.


1 Comment »

  1. hainted said

    I was afraid to tell a lot of my friends and especially my religious family when my first marriage failed.To this day I remember what my Uncle,a very faith driven man whom I respect very much, said to me:”God doesn’t want us to be miserable.He wants us to be happy.”As someone who has been down this road I can tell you it is rough,but it will get better.
    I am sorry for what is happening to you,and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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