I’m Protected

There’s some safety behind bullet-proof glass, behind a tightly fashioned door while sitting in a strong room. That’s where I am now. It’s been a few days since I’ve seen or spoken with my husband. I made the mistake — or perhaps it was a lesson to be yet learned — of asking him for help with my flat tire. After the sun set that evening I sat comfortably in bed, warm and secured in down and flannel, and I knew I had some changes to make.

I have recently decided that I am going to walk forward with my head held high and try my best to let go, trust God and put on my big girl panties and just deal with it. Not that this is easy, because lordie knows I have a long way to go before I can cross the finish line. I’m not graduating anytime soon, as many of my moments are still filled with utter agony. The tears are still just under the surface, but at least there are less of them. There are two clear facets of me: the body that fills time and space, the face that smiles and nods while you speak; then there’s the other part of me that screams inside, “I don’t care at all about what you are saying. My life is ending. Do you hear me? My. life. is. e.n.d.i.n.g. I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be anywhere. I want my child with me at all times. I want my husband back. All I am doing is passing time. Just passing time. So talk all you want right now but don't expect me to care, because you have no idea how awful this is.”

Of course, I don’t really think those things.

I just feel them.

*  *  *  *  *

So, I will say, it’s been very nice having a bit of distance — if only a few days’ worth. I’ve been feeling good about myself at least. I actually am happy with my appearance recently; I’ve been taking very good care of myself, my skin, my hair, my body. I care about what I eat and what goes into my body. Two years ago we agreed to feed Oliver only organic foods. Finally, I’ve begun to eat mainly organic as well. What a high. I am still a very savvy shopper, and I find lots of ways to save money on organics — coupons and sales make for great savings. It feels darn good to take care of me.

My home is starting to look so beautiful again as well. Since Matt left, I have cleaned out so much. I have also purchased a few things to make the home feel cozy and warm. This rug was a recent addition. It warms up our home so nicely. You'll often find Oliver under the table now, terrorizing the cats.

dining room  

Matt warned me at one point not to get attached to the house (he doesn't refer to it as our home anymore. He calls it by our street name). We wont be staying here much longer. It doesn’t matter. When Matt left, the home was a complete and utter mess. There were piles of stuff everywhere. Our own bedroom was a hoarder’s dream come true.

bedroom - before

But with help, I was able to get rid of a lot. Now it's a safe haven, a den of serenity for me most nights. I love climbing into bed. Oliver loves my room too.

big boy pants -cropt

I even gave away eight very large lawn-sized bags of clothing to Good Will and Purple Heart. A few friends benefited from my purging as well. Indeed, the home as of late has been practically spotless at times.

It seems my plate is getting bigger as I have found time to make sure dinner is on the table each night, our home is cleaned, laundry is fresh and folded, our pantry and fridge are stocked, lunch is made for the next day, and still I have time to bathe, read to and play with Oliver. All without stress.

The last few days have been good, save for the occasional crying jag, which — I’m learning — is just a given right now.

And then there are the butterflies in my stomach each day, each morning. Is he planning on divorcing me after the holidays? Is his mind made up already? Is he sleeping with someone else? Is he home right now or in another woman's bed? Having coffee with her? Is he loving his bachelor life style? Is he hiding money from me? These are the fears that pump through my veins. Like a warrior, I fight them off, for I have to move through my day. Dress myself. Dress Oliver. Head to work.

I’m still not looking forward with much anticipation to the holidays, but I am very glad my brother, sister-in-law and two nephews will be here from Missouri, as well as my sister from Florida. And I know now, I cannot be alone at all. So I wont.

I’m even making plans for New Year’s eve.

Stay tuned. I just might pull out of this thing alive. :)

*  *  *  *  *

UPDATE: one email, one off-hand comment, one distant message from my husband and all my good feelings come tumbling down. I don't even have to see him to begin to feel bad again. When does this crap end? So right now, I'm slumped in my chair, feeling rejected and like a big unloved loser. Days of work, lots of work, is crashing down. My heart broken again, my spirit fallen.

Some days I think there is no hope and I had just better give up and face the facts. He's gone and he's never coming back.

Why can't Matt see that D isn't for sissies? Even under the best of circumstances, D creates new and unintended problems, particularly when children are involved.

Oliver's Chalkboard

I'm going to share a few quotes by Michele Weiner Davis, an author I have been reading since my husband left. I completely agree with her take on D, and I have been given so much inspiration and hope from her words. I'd love for my husband to read this too, albeit, he is no longer reading my blog. I feel comfortable sharing this with you as I have given up all attempts to persuade or change his mind these days, although it is tempting! I feel it's just best for me to move on, pray for my marriage, hope for the best, but trust that I will be OK no matter what. And trust that God is working in his life too! I know Matt has some things to figure out and work through on his own.

If you've been fighting a lot, or are overwhelmed with feelings of contempt or, even worse, apathy, you probably believe your marriage is beyond repair. That's because you have grown hopeless. And it's hopelessness that ultimately ends marriages, not the differences between you. Hopelessness is the real cancer in marriage.

“Do you think a couple should stay in an unhappy marriage if they have children?”
First of all, the question implies that once a marriage is unhappy, it will stay that way. This is an unfortunate assumption. We have come a very long way in the last few years in deciphering the formula for making marriages successful and happy. Couples can learn how to transform an empty, unhappy marriage into a more loving one. It isn't magic. When you have children, you owe it to them to leave absolutely no stone unturned if you are considering dissolving your marriage. Once a marriage dissolves, so too, does the family... forever.

Research tells us that children benefit from divorce only in those situations where there is extreme abuse. It is estimated that only one third of the divorces in our country fit this criteria. In all other cases, children lose out on many different dimensions when their parents split. Even when the adults feel happier as a result of divorce, research shows that there is no "trickle down effect" in terms of how the children fare.

With only minor exception, anyone in an unhappy marriage can do something about it. You don't have to and shouldn't live in misery. Once you choose to bring children into the world, divorce isn't a solution to an unhappy marriage. Fixing it is.

In my three decades of work with couples I have seen hundreds of thousands of couples fall in love again, many of which reconnected at the eleventh hour. It's never too late to create a happy marriage; all you have to do is decide to explore the idea of staying married instead of throwing in the towel.

Bottom line, if your marriage is on the rocks it's a wake up call. Before you make the final break, be sure that you leave no stone unturned. The worst feeling in the world is the nagging sense that you could have done more.

Michele Weiner Davis

I've followed her suggestions and all of them have worked, spot on. Of course, it all takes time. Thank you for allowing me to document my story online, and for my loyal readers and friends who care enough to send me their prayers and good thoughts. I just have to remember, “Don't go to the hardware store for bread!” It still hurts though, the fact that he wont talk to me, that he refuses to help us out, that he thinks so incredibly poorly of me, that he is gearing up to leaving our family forever. Only a sheer miracle will change the course. I can't make him listen to Michele Weiner Davis, Mort Fertel or any opinion like theirs. What can I do when someone closes a door to their lives and wont look back? Wont work on the marriage so it can be fixed?

Amidst this pain I feel right now, here's the bright spot of my day. I get to see Peanut tonight. I pray I can let these bad feelings go so that I can enjoy my time with my son. Most of the time I can, but there are times when the rejection I feel is too strong to open up my heart to my very own child. Those are dark moments, and I pray tonight is not one of them.

oliver eating an orange


  1. Think about this:

    You feel worse after interacting with your husband... and time apart from him allows you to start feeling better and stronger about yourself...

    a sign?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Did you get my comment?
    Michele Weiner-Davis

  4. Andrea...I'm a friend of a friend, and I started reading your blog for the recipes. I've been reading your journey, because I think about you and pray for you and Oliver, and even Matt.

    Please know that there are a lot of people sending positive and hopeful thoughts your way, even when the weight of this journey is pushing down on you...let those warm thoughts and supportive feelings buoy you up. Let them reach down and pull you through the weight of the fear, the uncertainty, the doubt. And above all, know this. You are doing the BEST you can for your son...there is no shame in that, there should be no fear in that, there is no uncertainty in that.

    and when you read this, think...wow, this could be anyone in my life. or anyone 1 or 2 degrees removed from me. That's a powerful number of people hoping for the best for you.

  5. Thank you. Your comment made me smile. I'm so glad you shared those thoughts. Really. Thank you....


  6. Andrea,
    I wrote you before and apparently, it never appeared!

    I just want to let you know that I am delighted that my work has helped you in some way. I also want you to know that you seem like a beautiful person inside and out and that you will land on your feet no matter what happens. Your husband is missing out on an opportunity of a lifetime if he chooses not to be with you.

    You son is gorgeous and I am glad that you are remembering to be present with him. Children grow up far to quickly. I am sure he brings great joy in your life.

    So, big hugs to you, Andrea. You are an amazing and strong woman.

    Happy holidays,
    Michele Weiner-Davis

  7. Oh Michele, I could go on and on about you. I have your book, Divorce Remedy. It's the best thing I could have ever read on the subject. I have worked with Joanne. I have applied your principles. I have found a SB therapist in Milwaukee as well. I've seen some positive changes, but still, its a bit of a roller-coaster.

    In my latest post (about Hope) I have placed post-it notes on my computer based on what you have mentioned in one of your videos.

    Thanks for checking in. Thank you for what you do. I am holding out faith that this works out in the end.

    And if not, like you said, I am doing the things I need to do so that I will land on my feet.

    Thank you a million times over.



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