Friday, September 27, 2013

Welcome to Sunny Splitsville!

So how does it actually happen? When do you know that your husband of more than 20 years is leaving? Well, for me, it was kind of like a car crash. Time stopped, but the wheels of action kept spinning.

“I need to talk to you,” he said slowly and deliberately. “Just sit down, Esther.” I could not remember the last time he had used my full name. “I have been seeing another woman for a while. I met her through work. She’s another lawyer, and I saw her at a conference. We had a drink and ended up together. If only you had come with me to that conference, this never would have happened!”

“Are you in love with her?” I asked as my jaw dropped and my hands shook.

“Yes, I think so,” he replied. “I packed some of my things and put them in my car outside in case you want to kick me out.” I did not tell him to go just then. I was not ready yet. We had three children, and I never wanted the kind of life for them where they would have to shuttle between homes. Sure, I knew the divorce statistic hovered around 50 percent, but I never thought it would happen to me.

In the beginning, I felt as if I had been hit by a truck – just flattened. It was hard to breathe. I struggled to find my footing and looked for guidance, but there was not much to lift my spirits. Friends kept giving me a book entitled When Things Fall Apart. It was bit too New Age for me. It just did not ring true in my experience.

Next, I looked in the self-help section, a new area for me. I found little there to buoy me either. All that really made sense was Nora Ephron’s memoir, Heartburn.  In it, she detailed how her husband walked out on her just as she was about to give birth. It made me laugh, and I appreciated that a lot back then.

People told me it would take a year for me to feel better, and I thought, not a chance. How could it take so long? Over time, I succumbed to the fact that they were right, but I kept thinking that if someone could just tell me about the positive side of divorce, then perhaps, recovery would not take such a long time. I kept hoping that if I could provide solace for just one person, then that would be worthwhile. So I set out to do it.

Welcome to Sunny Splitsville!!!