What I need to do now:

Get unstuck in my idea/concept/model of marriage.

Get unstuck in my idea of love.

Get unstuck in my idea of myself.

Get unstuck in any answers I have. I can’t figure these things out by figuring them out.

I need to dwell in these questions.



First step: start living life today as life itself.

My life today is that my marriage has ended. Yes, the legal end won’t come for five more months if the system works on schedule. But my marriage as a situation in my life is over.

So I took my wedding band off today.


I know my wife hasn’t worn hers for months. I notice these things. Even when more “officially” married she rarely wore her engagement ring. As with her dislike of my introducing her as “my wife”—that “wife” connoted property not a social identification—perhaps the ring connoted something similar. I don’t know.

I had planned on wearing my wedding ring until the day our divorce is legally final. Goddammit I’m married until under the law I’m not! I realized this morning that this gold ring symbolized my entire conception of what marriage ought to be, …and it was my prison. It represented my idea of marriage, and as such my failure to secure that future or create a new future.

Taking off my wedding ring was deeply sad. It was hard to hold back tears. A wedding ring is not just a wedding ring. Yet it was also a release, a freedom to be, a freedom to dwell in the possibility that there could be a new created future.

It signaled to me that I do not need to be defined by my marriage. Maybe my wife is right: we’re not two people trudging the happy road of destiny together. Maybe if I could separate myself from the hurt of her divorcing me I could actually listen to what she’s saying and understand her reality.

It’s not my reality and it’s neither right nor wrong. But it’s the reality she has acted on.

There’s a universal law of performance that states that how people perform correlates to how situations occur to them. Occurring exists as something beyond immediate perception and subjective experience. How situations occur includes our views of the past and the future.

Maybe if she actually listened to me—really deeply listened—she would understand what I’m feeling. She says I’m a broken record. Maybe I repeat so often because I haven’t experienced being gotten. There’s no completeness to the communication.

Maybe neither of us is listening to the other.

Our brains are wired to forecast the future based on what’s happened in the past: hence, the truth of the old French saying, the more things change, the more they stay the same. 

I won’t indulge in imaging how our marriage has occurred to her. The reality is that how it occurred gave her the “clarity of vision” to know that it could never work and could only be dissolved. No other possible outcome occurred to her.

And her decision to end our marriage occurred to me as a catastrophe. I had been going through our married life in the petty pace of tranquilized obviousness so that its end was a shock, a head-on collision with a monster truck. How had I failed to understand what was happening, what was occurring for my wife?

How could I ever know how life occurs to my wife?

My response was that this was a situation that could be fixed. I could change in the ways she  identified as invasive to her.

Her default already-always interpretation was that she had lost trust that I could be other than the way I was, coupled with a stated belief that people do not change.

Neither of us conceived of creating a new possibility for a future that hadn’t existed before. We both dwelled respectively in the paradigm of problem/solution versus problem/no solution.

I cannot change the reality of where we are today. I cannot change my wife’s reality.

Maybe that reality is THE reality of the situation.

I can only create a new reality, a new future, for myself.

Removing my wedding ring is the first step.

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