Alone

This is my final week in my wife’s house. I’ve begun to wrap up the furniture I’m taking. Evidence of my moving out is now in every room. The oddness, the peculiar stasis of our relationship pervades the days like stale, heavy air. My wife has withdrawn even more, rarely initiating even the smallest of talk. Basically we only talk about our dog, our dog that I must leave behind.

I know she wants me gone as much as I need to be gone. Still, knowing that hurts.

I no longer have any expectations that she might say anything meaningful to me. Why would I even want that, knowing where it would be coming from?   I don’t need more judgment. She has already rendered the sentence.

I, too, have clarity of vision—it’s not my wife’s sole domain to claim as a clairvoyant. She misjudges me in her need at every turn to nullify my thoughts, to make me lesser than. I’m not paranoid; others have told me this is what they’ve seen. And what she does to them. It’s born from fear, not from cruelty. My wife is not a purposefully cruel person. Her unwillingness to extend empathy—stated as a fact—is not intended to be cruel, but to be brutal. There’s a difference.

I think we’re both worn out right now, being together too long under the dark cloud of divorce. It’s a word I hate: divorce. It’s an ugly word, to describe an ugly act.

divorce (v.)

  1. 1400, divorcen, “to put away or abandon (a spouse); to dissolve the marriage contract between by process of law,” from Old French divorcer, from divorce(see divorce(n.)). Extended sense of “release or sever from any close connection” is from early 15c

I have been abandoned; put away. I have been severed from a close connection. Unilaterally.

An ugly word to describe an ugly act: a sledgehammered acknowledgement of what could have been, but what likely shouldn’t have been, and now won’t be.

No one likes endings. Sad endings. Unhappy endings. There’s too much real sadness in the world to inflict it at home, on someone you say you once loved, who loves you. It’s the smallness of the act, its essential smallness, that renders the person inflicting it a small person. Not an authentic person, a whole person; but a small person.

I know when the world shifted for my wife, and I became in no small part collateral damage. She may see it, too—though never expressed, how could she? She became severely depressed, stopped all intimacy, and withdrew. She couldn’t accept my support and needed to work out her life alone. That’s the place she resides today: alone.

Alone is a lonely place to be.

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