The most inspirational and wisest words ever spoken to me, came from a neighbor. This woman had lived across the street from me for 10 years. We became friends and shared ideas on parenting. Her kids were about 6 years older than mine. She was a beautiful person, who suffered in her life. I loved her dearly.
On a cold November afternoon in 1999, I collapsed outside next to my favorite tree, crying hysterically. My neighbor saw me after a few moments and raced across the street with a blanket to comfort me. She inquired as to what my issue was. My husband moved out on October 31 that year. I came home to from a kids costume skating party to hear from my new sister-in-law that my husband had moved in with them. There are no words to describe my emotional state, as I looked at her and told her what a coward he was for not telling me in person. The week before I had told him I was not in love with him anymore, and that he needed to help me find that love for him. I was lonely and miserable. I told him I sought out the attention of my co-workers to help my lagging ego. He needed to help me, what I was feeling was not right for a married woman and I knew our marriage was in jeopardy.
A week following that fateful Sunday, I told him we needed to meet. I had not been eating and living on caffeine. I dropped weight and felt like crap. He came over, I had sent the kids to his aunt’s house so that we could talk.
He was cordial, and asked if I was ok? I was melancholy and really only wanted him to answer one question. What do you want from me? Do you expect me to wait for you to figure things out, or should I just move on with my life? I was terrified of single parenthood. I had no confidence that I could make it alone. His statement infuriated me. He angered me beyond anything else. He stated that he did not know what he wanted, but the entire week I got a call from my sister-in-law about how he was out with Daisy all night and he never came home. Somehow I was supposed to fix this all. When he stated that, I got very angry and I stood up to him full tilt. I informed him, that his answer was total bullshit and that since he was too big a pussy to state what he wanted, I would do it for him. I pointed at the door and told him to get out and never ever, ever come back. He looked at me in pure shock, You cannot mean that!!! I stood my ground, I do and I will file for divorce on Monday first thing, which I did. His family then began to blame me, and to spy on me continually.
After a few weeks of harassment, I broke. I collapsed in my yard crying. This was when my hero showed up. She asked me what was going on, she listened as I blubbered about how my life was over, I had lost everything and that I couldn’t make it on my own. After several minutes of sobbing she shook her head and asked me the most crucial question anyone has ever asked me. “WHAT EXACTLY DID YOU LOSE?” In my sputtering of everything, she pointed out her perspective. Carol, I have watched you over the last 10 years and frankly you should be happy to be rid of him. I watched you raise those kids, go to school, work full-time, maintain the household, do the laundry, cook dinner, shop, do yard work, do home repairs, paint the house, do the auto maintenance, including fixing the vehicles, and basically be a single woman with so much energy it exhausted the rest of us. What did he do?” My only reply was he worked two jobs, in which she pointed out, only because he was not qualified for a real job.
I often think about that day, how much I needed to hear that. From that day forward, I took her words and held them deep in my heart. I ask anyone having relationship problems, what exactly are you losing? I challenge you to come up with an answer that makes the relationship worth saving.