I Believe That The Words That (S)He Told You Are Not Your Grave

I didn’t initiate this process. I know it’s the right move, now. But at the time, it was not my decision that set us down this path. I want to believe I would have gotten there on my own – given enough time and work in therapy I would have seen the eventual truth as just that. At the end of the day, I’ll never know.

Leading up to everything, we were in couples’ therapy. My ex was angry, and it came out in very negative ways. I was blamed for all of our faults. Everything I had done over 14 years were brought to bear – listed endlessly in an affront to my senses and mind as I tried to wrestle with what was happening.

Now, one of my biggest flaws in my life has been my drive to keep everyone happy – so smooth things over and not cause ripples. That choice often manifests in a way where I am left holding the bag, deferring my own needs, and/or allowing myself to get “screwed.” My ex took advantage of me multiple times by using this character flaw – but she wasn’t the first. A learned behavior from my youth, it’s clearly something I needed to address.

As I was assaulted with all the way in which I was the cause of everything poor in our marriage – I went to what I knew. I apologized. I took ownership. I asked for forgiveness from, her and others. I let her let me believe I was at fault here – that I had failed her, our kids, everyone.

I was devastated by her words, and my willingness to accept them as fact, broke me. for some time after that day, I felt broken – more broken then I ever had. I wondered if my kids would be better without me, if I was able to even manage here alone – without any family or friends by my side. She had her family, her life-long friends, our neighbors. I had none of it – I was isolated and my failure to stand up for myself caused deep hard to my psyche.

I wasn’t sure I was worthy of much in life – friends, love. I was truly broken.

I want to say, “and now I am great.” But I’m not. Have I turned a corner thanks to my friends, family, and therapy – yes. At least I hope yes. At minimum I don’t feel like the broken man I was 6 months ago. But the truth is, there are days I’m not sure, and lack confidence and self-love.

I am a work in progress, and every day I get stronger. I know her words are not my grave, and they only hold the power over me that I let them. But progress is not a straight line, and understanding that my journey will ebb and flow has brought me peace.

I Believe If I Knew Where I Was Going I’d Lose My Way


I’m getting divorced. What now?

It may be one of the most daunting moments in a life. I read somewhere that divorce and the death of an immediate family members are the two most stressful experiences you can go through. Pretty sure whoever write that was right.

For me, one of the hardest issues was trying to figure out what came next. I knew I was going to move out – I didn’t want to live in the home we bought and shared with all the memories and demons that came with it. I also felt I needed a fresh start – to break all connections with my married life that I could, and create my own space that I felt safe in.

I also felt like I wanted to start dating again, and found myself wading back into that area of my life much sooner than I anticipated. While I know intellectually that I needed to take it slow and now be too serious too fast, I found myself spending too much time thinking about what a future may look like with this person, or that person. I overly restricted my interests to get the “ideal” partner, and ended relationships with women who didn’t fit that description.

I had an image in my head of where I wanted to “get back too” to make myself whole again.

It was stressful. I felt failure when relationships ended, or potential partners were not interested. Clearly trying to force my life to get to a certain place – I was unhappy, and overly stressed.

And then I asked, why is that where I need to go? How do I know that is the destination where I will be happy and fulfilled?

By trying to force where I was going, I had lost my way. That was the start of my journey, realizing that I needed to focus on the journey, not the destination – and I hope you come along for the ride.

I Believe That Tomorrow Is Stronger Than Yesterday

At the start of the year, my partner of 14 years asked for a divorce. It was terrible. No-one “did” anything wrong. There was no infidelity, no abuse, no substance issues. We just didn’t work romantically anymore – maybe ever.

I sat in my living room asking, ok. Now what? Seriously – what? It’s not like I have experience of getting divorced to fall back on, and every movie plot with a divorced dad shows him living in a run-down apartment with hand me down furniture, and no clue how to take care of himself or his kids.

So I Google it.

Not helpful. Pretty much found the same thing. The focus was on simple things like how to keep a house or take care of your kids. I found it pretty amusing, and at the same time insulting and overly stereotyped. What I needed was real-life support, and it jus wasn’t there. I wasn’t ready to meet up with other divorced dads – it was all too raw and new to me. I was still trying to figure it all out.

9 months later, I still am. Some days are easier, some days not. I was in therapy prior to the separated, and I still go weekly. I talk to friends and family. But at the end of the day, these months has really been about me, what’s in my head, my fears, my grief and loss, and an undying question I cannot answer – who am I?

Many days I struggled. People asked how I was. I said fine. I put a good face and spin on it. But behind it all was the fear of telling the truth. I’m not ok.

I have dark moments – darker than I ever experienced in my life. But it felt like I couldn’t be honest – with them or myself. I needed to put on a show.

Now, I am not one who has ever claimed that something like music has saved me. But here I am, saying music saved me. or more that music caused a reaction as the lyrics caused me to rethink where I was, what I was doing, and how I was seeing the world. I heard a song by a female artist on the radio, and I liked it, and asked Siri to find it and play it for me. Had no idea the artist or title, so I pulled out a lyric I heard over and over again “I Believe” and went with that.

First, Siri in all his/her widow, went with the Jonas Brothers. No offense to them, but not what I was after. Then Siri suggested that maybe I meant Christina Perri’s I Believe.

The singer was a woman, so sure – why not. Except it wasn’t the song, at all. But I listed to it anyway, and a chorus caught my attention. Over and over and over she sang, “this is not the end of me, this is the beginning.” I couldn’t get it out of my head.

So I went back, and listened to the whole song, closely. Every word, every moment. And it just struck a chord. It started a movement in my psyche, a change in perspective and thought.

I was not alone. Many have been here before, have felt what I feel. And many more will come after. It was time to renew myself, to find purpose and direction – without any preconceived ideas what that meant.

And I needed to talk about it. For now, anonymously because I’m not there yet. Maybe one day I will be. But for now, this is my way of saying I’m not alone. You’re not alone.

And this is not the end of me or you, this is the beginning.