D.I.V.O.R.C.E.

My husband texted me from Boy Scout Camp where he has been the past week. This is what he wrote:

“I do not have the love and passion that is required for me to sustain our relationship. Please forgive. I ask for your grace and dignity.”

There it is. Thirty years down the drain.

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An Open Letter to Hillary and Melania

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Dear Hillary and Melania:

During these days of campaign rhetoric and insults flying as hard and fast as missiles; there is something you both share that you have failed to recognize. You are both women who have been emotionally abused and publicly shamed by your men. Like it or not you are in the sisterhood of the betrayed.

I know both of you didn’t ask to become the poster child for women with men who stray like wild dogs in the night. I know that their poor choices have nothing to do with you and you are not to blame. They both did what they did of their own volition, their lack of morals, and with no concern for you or your children’s welfare. You were a background distraction while they cheated to appease their own egos. Their dishonesty to you and all involved is nothing you need to take on yourself nor defend. That is for them to do. You are the innocent here. You both need to realize that old song, Stand By Your Man, is seriously outdated.

Yet, just because you are not responsible for what your men have done, there is something that I would like you to consider. Like it or not you are role models for millions of women and girls out there. You are both women of privilege. You are women who have worked hard to get where you want to be. And in some small way your actions or inaction influence other women. So my question to you both is…why do you stay with men who value themselves, their penises,  and their egos more than they value you?

Yes, the choice to stay is your choice and yours alone to make. I do not presume to understand the complexities of your relationships with your husbands. But I want you to think about this … there are millions of women in the United States who are beaten by their spouse, cheated on, or disrespected in front of their kids. These women are actively contemplating getting out of a situation that is physically dangerous or crippling to their psyche. They know they are in relationships that are emotionally unhealthy for themselves and their families. Yet, they are attempting to be brave, strong, and do what is right by their children even if it is just one step at a time until they have a plan in place and they can safely leave.

We all know that deciding to leave a marriage is never easy. But it is especially difficult for women without power, wealth, and fame. So when we see the two of you, women with all sorts of emotional and financial resources stay with men who have hurt and emotionally abused you on a national stage; it makes it just that much harder for any woman to leave her own tormentor.  How can girls have the courage to move on when you don’t? How can women separate when they see you defend a man who has not earned the right to that kind of loyalty from you? If you can’t do it with all your privilege, how can other women who are less fortunate than you?

I am so glad we live in a time when you have earned the legal right to do what you want in regards to your personal relationships. You have the luxury of being able to choose. I recognize that it is not your job to divorce for the sake of all women but dammit perhaps if we saw you refuse to put up with the crap your spouse has heaped on you, it would give others women the courage to do the same. Perhaps if we saw you value yourselves we could value ourselves in the same way.  And perhaps if we saw women like you be bold and refuse to put up with men who love themselves and their desires more than they love their wives; we wouldn’t have to have these kinds of discussions thirty years from now. For the future for women everywhere will only change when those at the top lead by example not rhetoric, show courage not complacency, and love/value themselves more than they love power or money.

Yes, it is up to us to stand on our own two feet, but I have to wonder, that if perhaps if you stood just a little higher, if it would make it easier for the rest of us.

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Six Hours Later…

It has been interesting to me that I have been composing these recent pieces in a somewhat poetic form. I ponder why because I never choose to write in this particular style. And what occurs to me is that right now I feel raw, sad and the confusion is deep and so in writing in an unfamiliar style it almost makes it feel that it is not me that this is happening to. I am incapable of organizing my thoughts in a traditional piece so I must not be that OTHER woman, that sad one, the poetic one, who might very well end up divorced.

Yep, I am just floating down De’Nile.

THREE HOURS POST GWENNIFERR

CRAZY
Sometimes I feel like Hillary Clinton
Ignoring what appears to be in front of me for the greater good
But sometimes I wonder if you are the type of man
That slowly drives his wife crazy
Sweet and caring
Sexy and funny
Giving and kind in so many important ways
A good family man folks would say
With a part that is hidden from the public that longs to stray
I did my sexual experimentation when I was young
You didn’t
Are you wishing you had?
What is it you think you are missing?
It’s true
I’ve never “caught” you with another woman
There have been uncomfortable/inappropriate texts
A picture of another woman
And a very strange business card belonging to a woman
You swear you have no idea how THAT got in your wallet
There have been entire nights you were unreachable on business trips
We even laughed that you must be the most unlucky man in the world
When you are alone…even the front desk messes up
Must have rang the wrong room
Even though they were different hotels, different stays
Because you were in your room…all night
Oh yes, and there was that condom under our bed that I found when we were moving…maybe it was our teenager
And now Gwenniferr…again
Why the lie if everything is innocent?
But even worse, it is a stupid reckless lie
These are small things….distant enough from one another
Occurring here and there…not everyday…not every year
But when added up
Make you appear to be untrustworthy to me
Why don’t you just come clean?
There is nothing to come clean of you insist
And so I feel crazy
Maybe look crazy too
And you accuse me of not trusting you
And I don’t
For good reasonS
How can you have a marriage without trust?
We have for a while now
It’s made our bones brittle, our lungs empty, hearts heavy
And finally I realize that you can’t live without trust
Can counseling fix this?
I don’t know
Maybe it is over
And we just don’t know it yet
FOUR HOURS POST GWENNIFER
SPECIAL

I used to think our marriage was special

I really truly used to believe that with all my heart

When did that stop?

Today for sure

Before then…probably

We were friends, I thought

Fantastic lovers, I knew

Allies, maybe? sometimes

And I always thought

That you would be the one holding my hand when I passed on

Now I realize we just had a marriage

There was nothing special about it at all

It was just a plain ordinary marriage

Like everyone else has

A marriage of ups and downs

Of good and bad

Of happiness and sorrow

Of kindness and love

Of children and grandchildren

Of travel and adventure

But now the only thing left is the fantastic lover part

And that is not enough for me anymore

Trust….gone

Admiration…fled the scene

Truth…never

Friendship…well the therapist says we don’t have it

You wanted to like me again

I wanted the same of you

And then Gwenniferr re-emerged

Once again reminding me

We have less than a marriage

Because a marriage is built on truth and trust

And at this time ours appears to be built on sand

FIVE HOURS POST GWENNIFERR

HARMLESS

Your innocent flirting you said was harmless

Your unhappiness you felt until you wanted a D.I.V.O.R.C.E. was harmless

Your dishonesty was avoidance and therefore harmless

Your relationship with Gwenniferr is nothing, it’s harmless

She is like a sister to you, harmless

Your relationship to me that is imploding…harmless

Destroying our family…harmless

Your look-me-in-the-eye I’m telling you the truth, harmless

Your relationship with your children, maybe on your way to becoming a weekend father…harmless

Your innocence astounds me

And your harmless actions seer my soul

Permanent scars carved into my skin

One at a time over years

Looking like a tattoo of dragon talons swooping down

Cutting and digging into flesh

You BRAND my soul with your harmlessness

And it doesn’t feel harmless at all

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How did we get from this this song that we played at our 25th Wedding Anniversary to where we are now? I don’t understand

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZwdj1ALvf0

All I know is that we knitted this marriage for all these years and with one tug, one pull of the thread it is unraveling and the speed with which it is astounds me.