Leave a 3 decades long marriage to the only person who ever knew everything about you, but forgot you were there while he got on with his life
Meet and fall in love with another, heart first, sight unseen, and for whom there was no question that he was my future and I his
Make plans together for that future
Share every detail of yourselves and your lives with each other
Become THAT vulnerable
Learn too late that you love too much, yet are not enough at the same time, and figuratively get left at the altar
Wonder why you are not worth loving, while you fall apart, feeling in your heart, it must be true…for the old one forgot you and the new one didn’t want you
However, be asked to return to that 3 decades long marriage to that one person who knew all along you didn’t belong anywhere but with him, no questions asked
Spend months trying to come to terms with being tossed out of one heart and not understanding why
And allowed back into another and not quite trusting why, but feeling grateful and wondering if that feeling is justified
Working to keep a friendship alive while the question still burns “where did the future go when I wasn’t looking?”
Working to keep a marriage honest and true, yet at the same time, struggle with the two questions “how can he still and how come he can’t” love me?
Helping a husband find a new path in life
And willingly so
While feeling the ghost of pain as the other follows another without you
Clearing your life of all material possessions because it’s all become too much
Watching your life put into boxes and carted off like box lots to auction
Standing in an empty shell that once held a family’s heart
Heading into the unknown in the second half century of your life with nothing more than you started with
Wondering if you’re strong enough to handle starting over
With the old love
Without the new one
And not sure you deserve either
And through it all, come to grips with your own past and its demons
Shedding light on a life spent in the dark in the most public way possible
Light that will hurt and help you…as it hurts and, you pray and hope, will help others more
Light that allows you to be okay with the similarities/contradictions of love and hate
But still leaves questions, burning questions, about whether you are doing the right thing
That and whom, which does not want to be needed
No one wants the burden of constant reassurance
No one has the responsibility of convincing me I’m worthy
No one deserves the mantle of “someone to watch over me”
I’m a lot of work
And the only one up to the job
Equipped for the job
The job of re-assembling my life
I’m sorry if these words or these thoughts spoken out loud hurt anyone
That is not the intent
As it is when assembling anything
We must first lay all the pieces out on the table
And (if female) read the instructions
I’ve found the instructions of my life are complicated, often in a foreign language, and perhaps even missing a step or two
But I’ll stick with it
Trial and error
Use my Yankee Ingenuity if I have to
So that in the end, I’ll be reconstructed, reassembled, or re-purposed…
Whichever it is…it’ll be me.
And it’ll be great
We must first break it down to build it up
Let the rebuilding begin
Let the rebuilding continue…for this journey didn’t start today or yesterday
It started November 3rd Nineteen Hundred and Sixty
A long project…a lifelong project…with a punch-list of changes ten miles long
A worthy one?
Did I ever mention “I had a hammer?”
31 thoughts on “How To Dismantle a Life”
Breathtakingly honest post and yes life is like a jigsaw when you seem to have all the pieces you realise instead you are missing one of the corner pieces – I have a feeling you will continue to travel your road well my friend
Thank you Tink…not always easy and NEVER a straight path yeah? I know you know where I come from, and for that I’m sorry for your pain, but glad for the strength you found because of it. xo
I can honestly say that the journey was worth it as it brought me to where I am now and friends all over the world – now that can’t be bad!
never a bad thing. one can only hope that one day, the virtual will be a reality. that’s something to strive for yeah?
You prove yet again why you have earned your WW status…You deserve to build a life that is full, a life where you are loved for all that you are..Perhaps there will never be satisfactory answers to some of the questions in this last chapter; perhaps it was the universe’s way of keeping you on a path that will ultimately bring you the greatest happiness. What I do know is that this next chapter is going to be reflective of all the work you have done and are doing. And it’s going to be fantastic. xo
Mimi…for once, I will not argue or qualify or side step. You are right…it’s going to be fantastic. xoxo I love you
I love you too honey..
Sending big hugs ~ I love your honesty and your ability to be an open book which makes me want to hug you more! You deserve the best, we all do ~ so let’s start to put the puzzle pieces together the way we want and deserve! xoxo
if putting the pieces together was as simple as doing it as we choose, that would be enough. learning to put them into place when we have no control over it? that’s the trick…and the lesson…and the best lesson we can learn. Adaptation, ingenuity, always seeing the bigger picture, knowing that we don’t always get what we want, but usually get what we need…good things Yvonne…good things. xoxo
Rhonda, you are blessing to all the lives you touch! I’m with you xo
Glad you are too…(with me)
Glad, you are too…(a blessing)
My favorite analogy was shedding of the light. That’s where I am. Also breaking up after 34 yrs, never had a relationship with another man, it is scary. I’m learning about myself by grabbing the bull by the horns. I’m dating all I want, and turning them away after two to three red flags. I know I deserve better than what I’ve had.
We are still under the same roof, house for sale four months now. Finally had a court date and get the ball rolling on this whole thing. We’re behaving at the moment. But when it gets ugly, I let that light shine on him, stand back and highlight all the crap I no longer have the patience to hear a syllable of….that light is giving me strenghth, helping my self esteem, and giving balls the size of melons! Some men have even called me intimidating, which maked me laugh, I’m just tall! But they love the confidence, and so do I!
Wallow in that light, it is warming!
Bless ya Karen…melon sized cajones huh? lol. I’m working on the confidence, one baby step at a time, so I thank you for coming up on my porch and dropping a massive dose of yours. xoxo
How could you write this and not contact me and let me care for you?
I don’t have the answer to that…except to say there are times when I think of the people in my life and think how sick of it they must be. I would like to bring some light into the conversation for a change…working on that.
Wow, Rhonda. Beautifully said and beautifully sad, but wrapped in hope, as well. Sending you hugs.
Thank you Susan…and hugging you back.
You are a hero.
Beautifully written. I can relate! I love your analogy of ‘putting it all out on the table’ and “So that in the end, I’ll be reconstructed, reassembled, or re-purposed…” and your concluding remark of the hammer. You and your sweet, kind, and very courageous heart completely ROCK in my eyes! Sending you huge, loving hugs of solidarity, sister. 😀 Gina
Thank you so much Gina…here’s to our Sisterhood of the Traveling Hammer! 🙂
You have a hammer hun but you have more than that you have a whole cyber family of friends with a bunch of power tools ready and willing to help build scaffolding around you to support you whenever you need us. Me I suffer the other way in some ways I never really needed anyone, wanted them yes, enjoyed them, were happy to be with them but I never needed anyone and that brings a set of issues all of its own because so many times others need you to need them to validate their own existence.
I am so grateful to you Paula, and to the many, many supportive friends here. And I know of others who don’t need anyone, don’t want to need anyone, and sometimes don’t understand how the needy mind works. validation? yes, perhaps there’s more than a little truth there…not a happy thought. i’d say for those that can want, enjoy, and be happy with..you’ve got a leg up. yes, i’m certain there are issues associated with not needing someone…but you have to feel pretty confident in yourself to feel that way. that is never a bad thing.
There’s that wordsmith again. Sharing your heart like no one else can. That in itself is therapeutic…. I wish I were a brave soul as you. Love you. Hugs ♥
you know i understand exactly where you’re coming from and i am now nine years down the line of having gone back, i am glad i went back and i hope in the future to come as it unfolds that for you it becomes as it for me happy natural and better than that has gone before and i know it sounds maybe difficult for some to understand but rhinda i have to say i prefer where my marriage is now not because of everything we went through nor even despite but because i am glad sometimes no matter what we think we want and go for life puts us back on the track that is in fact the best, just be kind to yourself my lovely take time to just sit and be where you are right now, and be happy and proud you are a fantastic person and you inspire me and i send you hugs and love xx
thank you kizz for sharing that with me. i totally get how it can be a more enriched, stronger, deeper, relationship for all that’s gone before. i see that happening here. there are struggles, internally as well as externally, that need to be felt, faced, and dealt with…and that’s where I (we) are now…but I have faith. We’ll never be what we were, and that’s okay, because the whole point is to move beyond that and be the best we can now..right here. love you friend xoxo
You have a hammer? My epitaph will be ‘mallet afore thought’.
I do! And haha….brilliant!