He left the following morning with several packed bags, saying that he would stay in touch; letting me know where he was at all times.
I thought I would have screamed and shouted, maybe even lashed out physically, but I did none of those things. I just let him go. What was the point of begging, when he wasn’t listening or interested in my words? I felt the raw pain of my heart breaking, there was nothing that required defending either to myself or to him. My world, as I knew it, had ended, but I also resolved in that moment, that I didn’t want to have any regrets about my behaviour and would be the best me I could be, no matter what happened. I was going to be kind to myself, allow myself time to heal. I had seen first hand, how bitterness and anger only serve in the short-term. Anger can ease the shock and bitterness, but gives you nothing more than the illusion of being hard done by. Then the anger starts to consume you, eat you up from the inside out and can lead you to say and do some very regrettable things, words spoken in the heat of the moment, actions performed that can never be undone. I was not going to become that person. I was going to be guided by my intuition and my heart. Accept that I was going to have some seriously wobbly days, but that they would pass and over time, those wobbly days would slowly disappear. When someone asked me how I was doing, his or her own ego searching for the drama of my situation, I would never be disrespectful about my husband, or engage in what would undoubtedly become gossip fodder. Regardless of what friends and family thought, I asked them to keep their judgements to themselves, as I was determined that anger would not fill my heart and become the overriding emotion I sought refuge in.
Honestly, looking back on it all now, I know without a doubt, that I was keeping a space in my heart for him to see sense and come home to me and rebuild our marriage. I just couldn’t believe that this was what the Universe had planned for us. Yet at the same time, the Universe was pushing me to be honest with myself and to accept that it never gives you more than you can handle. I was starting to let go of my perceived control and learning to allow the world to unravel; for life to unfold of its own accord. Because, to be perfectly honest, at that moment in time, everything had most definitely gone tits up…
Untitled (16th December 2011)
A union, a promise, a declaration of love
A marriage meant to fit, like a kid glove
A desire to work, to keep our hearts safe
Now it’s up in the air, just suspended by faith
My husband, I love you; help make your heart whole
So you can face the dark corners, that lurk in your soul
My love is so pure, I’m an Angel of your heart
Don’t make this the end, when it should be the start
Dear guides of my spirit, what should I now do?
Iron out the wrinkles and give me a clue.
My strong resolve evaporated quickly and gave way to sheer panic and shock. Some days it was all I could do to breathe. I missed him so much, so very, very much. He had been my best friend, my lover, my sounding board and my confidante, all of those things and so much more besides. How could I just erase over a decades worth of love, like it had never existed? How could I have got it so wrong?
It’s fair to say that mentally and physically I was not in a great space. I was drinking every night, taking sleeping pills to get even a few hours respite and smoking far too much weed. I wanted to make it all go away and not feel anything.
Purely by chance, a girlfriend came round the morning after an especially low night for me, when I desperately needed to talk to my husband, yet despite his promise to answer my calls, the answering machine continually kicked in. The night culminated in an unnecessarily nasty conversation, in which he intimated that he was allowed to do whatever he wanted now we weren’t together and that my behaviour was unacceptable. The man had broken my heart, left me, cheated on me, come back begging forgiveness, only to leave again and seemed incapable of having even one iota of respect for how I was feeling.
I was spiralling quickly. My parents didn’t yet know about the cheating. For some reason I was still remaining loyal to my husband, protecting my husband’s honour and had only told a handful of girlfriends about his affair. I know, I know… So my girlfriend called my Mother and told her what was really going on. Three hours later they arrived and gathered me up like a child and for the second time took me back home with them.
The cat was now well and truly out of the bag. I hadn’t wanted to say it out loud, hadn’t wanted to make his actions real. Yet the truth was starting to dawn and with it, a huge gaping hole between the man I thought I knew and the man he now appeared to be. I remember telling a close friend, that it felt like my husband had been abducted by aliens.
Untitled (22nd December 2011)
My chest’s in a vice, I feel like I can’t breathe
You’re gone from my life, just taken your leave
You’ve reneged on your promises and left me alone
And not one ounce of caring or love have you shown
I don’t want to hate you, to reduce us to nothing
When my heart is so full of you and our loving
I do not deserve, the way you have treated me
And am left still not knowing how this can be
You’re a coward; you are! If you know that it’s over
Show some respect, just as much as you’ve shown her
Christmas is a horrible time for a break up. Oh I’m sure it’s shit whenever it happens, but festivity surrounded me and I felt as flat as a pancake. Happiness filled the radio waves and everyone was making plans to celebrate. I was the counterpart to all of this festivity, the true Antichrist of Christmas. I was miserable and I could feel my husband slipping away at great speed. I was still trying to reach out to him and desperately needed to know where he was and whom he was with. Was our marriage really over? I had no closure and had not believed him, when he had told me he felt nothing. No one feels nothing!
Cocooned at my parent’s house, an email arrived, a couple of days before Christmas. The subject matter may well have been, ‘the marriage is over’. It was brief and all about him. He said he was feeling under enormous pressure to make a decision and had left the UK, going back to Berlin, to spend Christmas with some friends and he would be back in January or February and we would talk then.
Untitled (22nd December 2011)
The coward sent me the news by email
Couldn’t tell me to my face that he wanted to bail
The past ten years mean nothing to him
I feel like someone has severed a limb
You bastard! I gave you my love and much more
You’ve reduced us to nothing, for you alone to soar
You have no respect for my head or my heart
So a new life for myself, is what I must start
I stayed when I doubted, because I believed in our vow
And I carried on giving, what a fool I am now
You lied to my face, reduced our life to a sham
I don’t want to hate you, feel like I don’t give a damn
How dare you treat me, like your father before?
I trust your fate will arrive, come land at your door
I was furious with him. I needed to speak to him. How dare he send an email like that?! The written words, were those of a stranger. Who was this man? The email didn’t explain anything and I wanted, no, needed, to be told. Was he with her? Had he lied about what had happened between his head being turned and sleeping with her? Was he in love with her?
@sarahklugman (23rd December 2011)
My chest’s in a vice, I feel like I can’t breathe. You’ve removed yourself from my life and just taken your leave.
On Christmas Eve, he finally returned my call. He was obviously in a room with other people and uttered monosyllables only. I was forced to ask all the painful, pertinent questions. When the five-minute conversation ended, I had been informed that he loved her and that he had stopped loving me a year ago and that our marriage was over and that was that.
@sarahklugman (24th December 2011)
I was sat in my childhood room when I heard, the truth I knew, but hadn’t wanted observed.
I screamed at the top of my voice, ‘Let him go. He has gone. Let him go. He has gone. Let him go!!’ How could he behave like this? How could any human being treat another with such disrespect?
Christmas Day was just another twenty-four hour period to get through, aided and abetted by champagne, Valium and far too much wine. I was numb. I was in pain. I felt lost in the world.
My day was spent keeping a low profile, I walked the dogs for most of the morning, attempting to clear my head, but more importantly, remain as strong as I possibly could. But I was heart-broken and I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. He had taken my love, my trust and my unwavering belief in us, and turned it into something of such little value. My family skirted around me trying to get me to eat something, eat anything. I was as fragile as a porcelain doll, and the weight was dropping off me. My Mother attempted to keep me grounded, asking me very pertinent questions. ‘Who I was crying for? Myself? Him?’ She was also trying to make sense of the situation and understand why he had stopped working at our marriage and why our family now meant so very little to him. We all felt like we had been conned. Completely and utterly conned.
@sarahklugman (25th December 2011)
On Christmas day I bit my tongue, for there were adults with their young. I sat alone without my mate, drowning thoughts of his new date.
I woke up with a surprisingly clear head on Boxing Day. Undeservedly so, given the self-medicating that was going on. I knew I could not wallow in self-pity indefinitely. I knew that I was doing myself a huge disservice, sidestepping all the possibilities and potential of my own life.
I had to get my mind clear, gain clarity of my situation. Yes, I was sad, hurt, disappointed… I had a monopoly on every adjectives ever used to describe the end of a love affair; the end of a marriage. I screamed and screamed, a primal cry from my very source.
@sarahklugman (26th December 2011)
Sarah enough! It’s time to move on! Regain your composure and keep yourself strong.
I didn’t understand how he could behave like such a coward. I have always had such a strong ethical way of being, a clear code of behaviour toward my fellow beings, be they man or beast. He had insisted during our Christmas Eve conversation, that the issue was that he loved me, but that he was not ‘in love with me’. I honestly don’t think he even knew what love was, not beyond a conscious, thinking concept. It did not coarse through his veins; only his neurons. Did he even love himself? He appeared to be so very, very lost. Was this why he had no empathy or compassion? How could this just be all about him?
Then out of the blue, I received a text from him. Some vocabulary strung together grammatically, with a slight semblance of intention. He had read the heartfelt, honest texts that I had been unable to stop myself from sending and they had pulled at his heartstrings. Oh hindsight where were you? I had been so desperate for him to see what we had, to see the potential of us, that I had recklessly thrown my heart back into the land of dreams, in countless texts, that I berated myself for as soon as I had pressed ‘send’. The love forlorn should not be allowed near any form of communication devices; for no other reason than their own safety… So, without any thoughts of self-preservation, I instantly replied to his text, believing his regret, projecting my own feelings onto their meaning.
I said that I was only interested in certainties. That I was not interested in maybe’s. How could I, my heart had been battered to within an inch of its life? The reply came back saying that there were no certainties in life. I sat there stunned. There it was in black and white. He really had no idea what he wanted.
But why had he even sent the text? If he was wavering, did that mean that he wasn’t in love with her? It was all so confusing. I had to remind myself of the facts, in terms of what I knew. He had chosen to walk away from our marriage, to walk away from our friendship. He had chosen to sleep with another woman. He had chosen to return to Berlin. In that moment, I also saw a glimmer of the reality that I too had choices. I was choosing to open up my heart again to the man who had broken my trust. I was choosing to put his wants and needs above my own. No one had a gun to my head. I was choosing to hold myself in his dishonest limbo land.
I had to remind myself that my own needs had to take priority, that I had to be honest with myself. Remind myself of the facts, because if I didn’t do that, I would remain very unsafe in my own world, yet at the same time, all I wanted was him…
@sarahklugman (26th December 2011)
I’m raw and I’m sore, but I’m all kinds of sure, that the Universe is belly laughing from it’s very core.