'Knowing is not enough'
by Patricia Walker Chatman
"Till death do us part" comes a lot faster than Alex expects. Her husband, Jake, is very much alive, but they are apart as two married people can get.
Jake has cheated on Alex yet again, but this time, public betrayal is more than she can stomach or ignore. Alex can't defend or justify staying in a marriage marred by infidelity and elaborate lies anymore, so she decides finally to deal with the reality of her life; it's a mess.
After seven years of marriage, 40-year-old Alex is a newly single woman who hasn't been without a man since college. Before embarking on a new relationship, she must take time to figure out why she is constantly attracted to men who are emotionally unavailable.
Through the help of friends and family Alex learns painfully at times, that before she can attract a "real man” she must first become a "real
Happily-ever-after ended sooner than I’d expected.
Women are the only people who can find truth in a lie. Especially when it comes to the men in our lives. I conned myself into believing our lies were true. To the outside world we had the perfect marriage, but all houses look good from the curb. Our marriage, not unlike any other, lived amid accusations and disappointments. Then it hits you, somewhere between washing dishes and folding clothes—
I didn’t know the answer to that. . What I did know was happiness would never exist for me in this union.It was time. Neither one of us would get what we needed to stay in this marriage from words alone. I didn’t have the passion or the energy to do anything about us. Not anymore. It was time to let go of the lie and embrace reality. Jake was being written out of my story. Now all there was left to do was tell him.I invited him back to our, soon to my house. I sat down at the kitchen table, reflecting about how we’d argued over the buying that very piece of furniture. Dressed in clothing I’d picked out for his birthday, Jake pulled out a chair and joined me.I examined his eyes in search of the love I knew a century ago. Initially, separating for a while seemed to be a good idea. Looking at him, I’m not so sure anymore. He appeared to be a new person, different, from the man I’d known. We both have lived six months of life apart. Considering all he achieved with other women living in the same house, I can only imagine what or whom he’s gotten into without me. Starting over would mean getting to know this man, accept his lies, and his mistakes. I had absolutely no desire to do that.I said, “Our lives are such a mess. Let’s just get this over with.”“I’m not going to argue with you Alex. I know what it is, but I don’t think divorce is the answer. You need to try to forgive me.”“For what?” I got up and poured myself a cup of coffee. “Why would I do that with someone who doesn’t love me?” I returned to my seat next to him. He frowned. “You misinterpreted what I said. I didn’t mean I don’t love you at all.”“I’m confused. Exactly what doesmean? You either love me or you don’t, and you clearly said you didn’t.” I took a sip. “Am I missing something?”Jake made a dismissive gesture with his hand. “I only meant the romantic love I felt for you is gone, not that I don’t love you. Of course I love you.”“Do you see,” I waved my finger, “those kind of statements only make sense to anybody with a penis? I love you enough to live in the same house with you, but not enough to touch you?”“Don’t twist my words Alex. I think marriage counseling could help us find what’s missing.”I quickly lost patience with him. “Okay—again, maybe it’s me, what exactly did we lose? Considering you never stopped dating.” I threw my hands up in exasperation. “I’m so tired of us. You can’t misplace what we never had.”“So you don’t even want to try?”I didn’t meet his eyes. “Jake—you cheated on me days before our wedding. These wounds aren’t healing anymore. I’m carrying them and it’s causing permanent mental damage now. I can’t keep doing this—I won’t.” I paused. “Nobody walks around raindrops Jake . . . not even you.”“Alex, just think about it. We’ve got to much invested in this, but if it’s what you want me to do—I’ll sign the papers to file right now.”I stood up and walked out of the kitchen.“Where are you going?”“To get a pen.”
GUEST POST by Patricia W.C
Good Things and Bad Things about Getting Divorced
Imagine your surprise, all those years sleep walking through your life together; liking yourself to America’s favorite upper-middle class black family “The Huxtable’s”.
Then “it” happens and it feels like a punch in the gut. Those rose colored glasses you’d worn for all those years were darkened by the truth you’re not the Huxtables. You’re the Simpson’s, and Homer’s been unfaithful. In the words of Princess Diana, “there were three people in our marriage.
It got a bit crowded.” The pretense that shrouded you from reality, and lulled you into a blissful ignorance was cracking. I had been betrayed by the person I stood next to in front of God, family and friend vowing to let no man put us asunder. There was no turning back, adultery was our new normal and I had a decision to make. I could either let this incident tear what we had built apart or I, not unlike most women, could stay and painstakingly work through our issues. Forgiving and forgetting wasn’t coming easy for me. I couldn’t get past the betrayal and I didn’t know how or where to begin to rebuild trust.
I remained in the marriage and struggled to move forward for a few years. I probably could have done it indefinitely, if for nothing else just to torture him, but as fun as that could’ve been for me in the short run, it would’ve been misery in the long.
So, I went on a self-imposed time out, compartmentalized my life, and took a hard look at how our decision to go our separate ways would affect our lives and the life of our child as we transitioned into a new role of co-parenting. Where we didn’t succeed at marriage, could we learn to communicate better, trust one another’s judgment, cultivate and nurture the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual growth of our child?
The bad thing about getting divorced is facing the unpleasant truth about you, the marriage and your life. A house divided cannot stand, and we were as divided as a couple could get. I believed, and still do, kids need two whole parents, even if that means they have to separate to be whole. There are no good things about divorce.
The only positive about getting divorce is when you can put your own pain aside and focus on what’s best for your children. You will be selfless, putting the needs of your child before your own, and that becomes your new truth.
International. One winner.
International. One winner.
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