Thursday, March 02, 2006


They become increasingly occupied with the partner's failures, going so far as to re-invent their history together, seeing nothing but a "negative chronology of events." The significance of the relationship is diminished and re-interpreted to be consistent with the way the Initiator is now feeling. Furthermore, still at home, the Initiator only notices the daily activities (flaws) that fit with and feed their immediate mindset.

I wrote the above in what is now known as The Great Divorce Post of '06. It's not? Well, it should be. That post has made me a Poster Boy for fractured relationships everywhere and you know what? I've kinda gotten to relish the role.

Bad me. Why? Because what I wrote up there, while true of my wife's thought process, is the exact thing I'm doing right now in regard to her, both in my head and in the blog. This life-altering decision, which I still don't fully understand, has caused me to re-examine every inch of our life together, including the present, and it has been very easy to subscribe to a "negative chronology of events."

Many of you who've come here recently haven't read the many complimentary items I've written about my wife over the life of this blog. And there are plenty. Which is part of my lack of understanding right now, because her recent actions are SO out of character with the woman I've always known. And my emotional reaction has been to find (invent?) flaws in her that stretch way back, possible seeds for this hurtful path of hers. Maybe I have, maybe I haven't, but regardless, it's all conjecture.

AJ is a good boy. Smart, precocious, thoroughly loving (he was recently reprimanded at daycare for kisssing people goodbye too much). No, he won't eat his vegetables, but we've rarely had to deal with any destructive behaviors out of him and he never repeats his more grave mistakes.

The point is, he didn't get that way without two loving and good parents. Neither of us are perfect in that regard, but we are both equally responsible for his easy development into this young person with so many possibilites before him. So, while I think we can all agree that my wife's judgement has been altered a bit in recent months, it has been unfair of me--if somewhat understandable--to focus solely on the current negative.

The truth of the matter is that I remain hopelessly in love with my wife. As much as I try to talk or think or feel my way out of that, it's not possible just yet. I don't know what went on inside her that she could do this to me. Maybe I never will. I wish she'd have had the guts to come to me with her unhappiness before she put herself in this tangled position where I have no chance to reach her. And, believe me, I've tried. Desperately. I've tried to get her angry at me, to make her blurt some essential truth. I've tried to find that spot I'm (naively?) certain exists inside her, where I can tap any remaining emotions she holds for me. I've tried to inspire empathy for the pain I'm in. All because I'd still like that second chance. Even now. Why?

Because that's me. I am not an individual. I am part of that. My family. In turn, that's what makes me complete. And no mattter what happens to me in life from this point on, without that, I will never be complete again.


Tonight, we're telling AJ. I'm not sure I'll be able to get through it. The experts say you're not supposed to lie to them, be upfront and honest. But when we say, "Mommy and Daddy don't love each other any more," that will only be half-right.


At 4:05 PM, Blogger Absinthe said...

If I could cry, this would get me there.

As a child of two divorces, I gotta say, tell it to 'im straight-up.

At 4:50 PM, Blogger April said...

I can cry, and so I did. I think I covered us both Ryan.

I know it's not the cure, but I just can't squelch the desire to shower AJ with presents right now. Does he like kittens?

At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Tennyson said...

I too watched my parents divorce.

I remember clearly feeling a sense of relief when told the news, AND MY PARENTS ALMOST NEVER FOUGHT.

I was not old enough to understand my feelings then. And dont expect that reaction of course. But I think you know where I am going.

As a matter of fact I remember feeling overwhelmingly guilty for those feelings. "Why am I not as upset as I am supposed to be?"

And my parents never fought.

Remember what Houdini Said.

And yes Poster boy, your speaking to everyone. Everyone can relate to what your going through in some way, you have the "Healing... Keyboard?"

And when you say: "And my emotional reaction has been to find (invent?) flaws in her"

That my friend is Self Preservation And at times that is best for all that is concerned.

Just DO NOT put AJ into the middle.

Your a good man with a good head on your shoulders you'll handle it with grace, I am certain.

At 5:04 PM, Anonymous doogman said...

My prayers are with you this evening.

At 5:36 PM, Blogger iamhoff said...

Thank God I'm home alone reading this. I'd hate to be crying at work. Joe, you have done and are doing nothing wrong. I know you're attempting to take the high road, partially for AJ, partially to protect the person you're still in love with, and partially because you're just a helluva great guy. Just don't stay on the high road if it's going to be at the detriment of you, your sanity, and your health. Remember that.

You're better than that, and that's why you and AJ will come thru this. As always, we all got your back.

At 5:44 PM, Blogger Tony said...


You are one hell of a strong person--remember that. To pour your heart out like you have is just amazing. All I can hope is that this is a sort of group therapy for you. The best of everything to you and the little one.

You are in my prayers, buddy.

At 5:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the matter with you? Screw her! And don't listen to any of these fags and pussies who don't know the difference between "your" and "you're." And by the way, being somewhat of a phrenologist myself, note that the photo you chose to include- found you with warm and bright eyes, and her with too far apart and dead eyes.

Practice phrenology.

Go Dodgers.


Audie Murphy

At 6:26 PM, Blogger Bloody P said...


I was listening to Elvis Costello's "Spike" album tonight, and when this song came on, it reminded me of what you may say to X. Here are the lyrics:

One day you're going to have to face
A deep dark truthful mirror
And it's going to tell you things that I still love you too much to say
The sky was just a purple bruise, the ground was iron
And you fell all around the town until you looked the same


The same eyes, the same lips, the same lie from
your tongue trips
Deep dark, deep dark truthful mirror
Deep dark, deep dark truthful mirror

Now the flagstone streets where the newspaper shouts
ring to the boots of roustabouts
But you're never in any doubt, there's something happening somewhere

You chase down the road 'til your fingers bleed
On a fiberglass tumbleweed

You can blow around the town, but it all shuts down the same


So you bay for the boy in the tiger-skin trunks
They set him up, set him up on the stool
He falls down, falls down like a drunk
And you drink 'til you drool
And it's his story you'll flatter
You'll stretch him out like a saint
But the canvas that he splattered will be the
picture that you never paint


A stripping puppet on a liquid stick gets into it pretty thick
A butterfly drinks a turtle's tears, but how do you know he really needs it?

'Cos a butterfly feeds on a dead monkey's hand,
Jesus wept he felt abandoned
You're spellbound baby there's no doubting that
Did you ever see a stare like a Persian cat?


There's another Costello song that fits your situation, I think, but I'll save that for another time.


At 6:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I told you yesterday, son, I am proud of the way you can express yourself. I'm especially proud that you used no "cuss" words today!. You are my "joy", always have been. My heart is breaking.

At 6:27 PM, Blogger Shelly said...

Thinking of you and AJ... there just aren't words to make the destruction of a family feel any better :( My heart goes out to you and your son.

At 8:59 PM, Anonymous Kel said...

"I wish she'd have had the guts to come to me with her unhappiness before she put herself in this tangled position where I have no chance to reach her."

My husband and I have an agreement that we will be honest with each other first before taking any action should we decide we are no longer in love with the other person.

In light of that, what I read here is that she did respect you enough to tell you the truth - even if the truth was "I don't know what I am feeling right now"

try not to diminish what you had, but give yourself a break - you have expressed emotions as you experience them, as you process the event unfolding in front of you

we know that you were once in love and by the emotions you share that this has been a shock to you and that you wish you could "fix" it

At 9:00 PM, Anonymous Kel said...


did not respect you

At 10:10 PM, Blogger BSN said...

Good karma wishes to AJ tonight.

At 4:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You give 'em hell, Bev. We love you out here!

A. Merrill Smoak, Jr.

At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Hang in there and stay strong. Don't say or do anything stupid while you're going through this.
Just follow your heart thought life and keep making the right choices. I went throught the same thing and now my life 10x better.


At 9:34 AM, Blogger StudioGlyphic said...

I found the excerpts from the book interesting as well. At times I wasn't sure as to whether the pattern was supposed to fit her or you.

Good luck.


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