The one in which we all act like mature adults.

“Where do you think you’re going?” my mom asked as she saw me preparing to leave.

“Oh, nowhere,” I replied. I smiled. I couldn’t help it. I always smile when I’m hiding something.

“What? Do you have a hot date or something?”

“No, mom! Ugh. Gross. No. I do not have a date. Geez. Leave me alone.” (Warning: moving in with your parents can absolutely, and will most likely, turn you into a whiny teenager all over again.)

I left and when I returned three hours later, I saw her still up on her computer, playing Farm Land, or Cafeville, or whatever the hell it’s called.

“Hey,” I said, “You still pretending to work?”

“Yep.” She turned to face me. “So, where were you?”

I rolled my eyes. “Nowhere. Geez.”

“Oh, come on! Just tell me! Were you smoking pot? Robbing a bank? What, do you think you’re going to get in trouble or something?”

“No,” I mumbled, “But I’m afraid you’ll disapprove.”

“Steph, you’re 27-years-old. You’re an adult. You can do whatever you want! I’m just curious as to what you were up to.”

I sighed and admitted in a weak voice, “I was with Jon.”

“Honey,” my mom said it the most reasonable tone I’ve ever heard her use, “You’re getting divorced. How you handle it is up to you. Everyone is different. If this is what you needed, then that’s your decision and no one has a right to approve or disapprove. You have to do what’s best for you.”

After a pause, she asked, “Do you want to talk about it?”

“No,” I sighed as I turned away, “not really.”

“No problem. I’ll just read about it later.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. ‘Cause she’s right. Here I am.

I skulked off to bed and opened my laptop to spill my guts about how I got hung up on just one simple statement: “you’re getting divorced.”

As soon as the words left her mouth, I was filled with shame. Because the truth is, I haven’t been able to bring myself to say (both out loud and here on this blog), “What if we don’t?”

What if we don’t get divorced?

What if we tried AGAIN?

I haven’t been able to get my fingers to type the words because a, I fear you’ll all look at me as if I’ve just sprouted horns and a tail and b, I’ve been having this out-of-body experience and there’s this whole other me following me around shouting, “Really? REALLY?! Again??? Are you effing kidding me?!”

It’s difficult to come out and say that The Husband and I have been discussing the possibility of maybe, one day, trying again. Because, well, I DON’T KNOW. I don’t know anything. Seriously. This is all a giant mystery to me. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO.

I’m stuck in this black hole of doubt and there’s a rope around here somewhere that I could use to pull myself out, but I Can’t. Effing. Find it.

I have never, ever, felt so incredibly unsure in my whole entire life. Also, I’ve never felt so incredibly afraid of making the wrong decision.

Of course I want to be with him! Well, aside from the lying, my complete lack of trust, our incredible communication skills (please note the sarcasm) and the fact that we’re two very different people. I mean, he’s my HUSBAND. I love him. If not for all the bullshit, I would have happily stayed married to him forever.

But, good God, there’s been a lot of bullshit. A lot of pain. A lot of anger. A lot of frustration. So much, in fact, that the other me is, at this very moment, sitting in the corner with her arms wrapped around herself, rocking back and forth while staring blindly off into space and humming. She has totally lost it.

Which means this relationship has finally done it. It has driven me insane.

So, I’m doing the only thing that makes sense. Putting it out there for the great WWW to discuss.

I want to know your thoughts and opinions on the subject. (Try to be gentle.)

How do you know when it’s time to say enough is enough? How do you wade through all those muddy emotions to figure out which decision is the right one? How important is it to fight for a marriage? (Especially during a time when divorce has become a solution to, oh, everything.) And when do you finally realize that I’m a total imbecile, a masochist, a glutton for punishment, and you just quit reading my blog forever?

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20 Responses to The one in which we all act like mature adults.

  1. kerryanne says:

    I like reading your blog because I like you from what I have read so I have no intention of stopping ;)I will try and be gentle. It seems, based on what you spill, your ex does not put much effort into your relationship. It seems as though he has an expectation that you will say/do the things you are- leaving the door open so to speak? For him to have control, for him to be the one to take advantage of your emotional state.I say (try to) take control of the situation for your own sanity. (Try) to let this relationship go. You have given an amazing effort and now it's time to take hold of the fact that you are young, lovely, talented, smart and have good things waiting for you! I'm sure of that. From what I know based on what you reveal, I am going to be all judgmental and say he's not worth fighting for anymore. Married people shouldn't lie to their partners and you should not say 'don't trust' in the same breath as 'my husband'. Try and stay away. Move on and focus on things and people that you love and who love you back.That's my 2 cents. I'm sorry if it was at all harsh, that was not my intention.xx

  2. Lan says:

    i guess my question is: what are you afraid of?actually, i have a few questions for you.i haven't been reading your blog long and i do intend to read it for as long as you intend to write it. what do you have to gain in working things out with him? so far, you've listed things that make you guys an incompatible couple, things that do not put him in a positive light. if i remember correctly, he eats crap cakes in bed when he could be eating your delicious homebaked goods! the only things i can think of that would make staying with him attractive to you are that he is familiar to you, he is stable, he is safe.but how stable and safe is he if you guys aren't communicating, if you guys aren't compatible? and if he's pulling shit on you?i know you love him, i'm not belittling your feelings for him, i am however saying that in some instances, love is not enough. and in fact, love can fuck shit up if you let it. 10 years from now, do you want to sit typing on your laptop another blog post saying “what if…” or “if only…”?

  3. MichelleSG says:

    We aren't going to stop reading your blog. Seriously, I never get on line anymore but when I do I come here. Just to see if you're all right, if anything at all. Doubting your major decisions in life is totally normal. That doesn't mean you made the wrong decision, I think you are doing it right. BTW, this has a lot to do with change. No one likes change. OK very few people like change. Most people will go with the flow even if it kills them just so they don't have to change. Human nature sometimes makes no sense at all. In this case change is good, you were in a relationship that wasn't working, it NEEDED change. Big change. Divorce change. That doesn't mean it won't have future possibilities but for right now it needs to end. Here. let me give you a positive anecdote/example. My hubby and I dated 10 years prior to us actually getting married/kid/etc. We would have ever ever even had a remote possibility of making it work long term had we done something more permanent when we were first together. No way in hell. 10 years later, we're like soul mates. We may occasionally want to strangle each other but we don't let anyone see that dirty laundry. We broke up, went out and had other relationships that we learned from and today we are much better people/spouses/parents than we could ever have been. Now is not your time for you and your ex to be together. Now is your time to go out and grow as people, maybe learn a thing or 2. Maybe even some day be able to work it out again. Not right now though, move on and expect him too also. You'll both be better off. Promise.

  4. Eve says:

    You have to believe that you deserve better than this and decided for yourself not to continue playing this familiar game with him. If you stay, the man that's out there who will love and respect you will never get the chance to do so. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is painful. Was I too harsh?

  5. Mia says:

    oh honey.. I hear the hope in your voice.. and truly… you never know. Let me just share one link with you that changed my life and helped me understand what I was dealing with and gave me strength to move on. You need to do what you need to do but check out the link anyway.. k?http://lovefraud.com::hug::mia

  6. Jen says:

    Theoretically, I accept the premise that people can change. In practice, I know that the best indicator of someone's future behavior is his past behavior. In my own experience, I have never seen anyone–not even me–change.

  7. Melissa says:

    Oh, Stephanie. I too hear the hopefulness in your voice, the yearning for things to be good, for your relationship to be again what it once was. Deep down I think we all know that the worrying, the suspicions, the “dare I believe what he says” will come back at some point. I hate to think of you going through that all again. I too, have been the wife to a man who had an “emotional affair” and the trust is so, so, difficult, if not impossible, to restore. You know that whatever you decide, all of us are behind you, encouraging you and hoping that whatever decision you make will be the one that's right for you.

  8. Debbie W. says:

    Question…..are you willing to settle for “all the bullshit”? Do you really want to live the rest of your life that way? If your answer is yes, than you should try again, go back together with him. But..If there is even the tiniest doubt in your mind….that you hold the belief that you can live a life being happy and bullshit free…you should continue your quest to move forward and leave the bullshit behind you. I have to agree with Eve ~ there was a reason for your separation and expecting different results could be painful..

  9. amhealy says:

    I agree with what everyone said above, but I also still think that if you need to see Jon, then go see him. One day either you guys will decide to get back together, or one day you will realize that it is a closed door and then you'll be ready to move on. But it's for YOU to figure out.

  10. Gayle says:

    I've got to go with what your mom said. None of us can tell you what to do or know what is right for you.

  11. christina says:

    I cant tell you what to do but I will say this: We spend our lives agonizing over decisions, what is wrong for us, what is right for us, what might make us happy, what might be bad for us. The time we waste frozen in motion is precious time that will never come back so dont decide anything. GO AND LIVE and you will be surprised how much easier it will be to know what you should do. Go volunteer somewhere that is of interest to you, learn something new, help someone else with their life and you will find your mind will eventually clear and you will know what to do. Get off the carousel, its the constant circle that will make you nuts nuts nuts. If your mom is okay with you being there then just be okay there too. It wont be forever.I like reading your blog and I hope you dont mind a newbie chiming in.

  12. Emotional strings have the habit of pulling you deeper and deeper into this web of doubt. When is enough enough? No one can answer that but you. We all have our breaking points, but that doesn't mean you need to wait until you reach breaking point to do something.Just be honest with yourself (same goes for him) or you will be shortchanging yourself.

  13. Rachel says:

    As mom said, no one can tell you what's best for you except for you – I think you're lucky to have such a wise momma. But my honest, gut opinion? I'm a firm believer in doing the best to remove yourself from the situation so you can see it all from the outside for a split second so you *can* make that choice. (And that's a big reason I've been so gung-ho about you taking a leap of faith and removing yourself from your familiar daily world for a few weeks or months.) It's much the same as what kerryanne said: that you need to stop and attend to your very own, singular needs for a bit. And you need to resist giving hubby-man a chance to come into your life for a while, NO MATTER how it all ends up, either with renewal of your relationship or with the divorce. And I also am keenly aware of just how simple it is for me to sit here and type it versus carrying out the act of cutting communication. That's exactly where the fear of the unknown starts. But we're right here, all your readers. Right behind you.I met an interesting quote today, about loss of a loved one. “And I scarce know which part may greater be — What I keep of you or you rob from me.” (Appeared at the end of an EXCELLENT book: Everything Matters! by Ron Currie, Jr.)

  14. Violet says:

    First of all, this is my very first stop since jumping back on the Internet superhighway after my trip to heaven. Literally the first stop. I didn't even visit P-Dub first. (Oh, if you could hear the giggling over here!!) So never fear that you will lose your audience…When I read, “But he's my HUSBAND. I love him,” my immediate thought was “yeah, you love your mother, too – do you want to live with her for the rest of your life?” (Sorry, mom, I am sure you are a lovely woman, but just making a point…y'know…) There are a lot of people we love but couldn't live with for any length of time. That was ultimately the problem with me and The Ex – he's a decent guy but we are SO different that living together and trying to make a life together was miserable for both of us. I wish him well but do I still think about getting back together with him? No. Way.It's a long, shitty, black hole of a process. You don't have to make any decisions (nor should you) until you are ready to make them. You will know the moment you are ready. On the days when even deciding what to eat is too hard, let your mom feed you. Let her care for you in the ways that work for both of you. Talk to us, talk to your family, talk to your friends, talk to God. Lean on everyone who loves you and DO NOT WORRY about leaning too much. We want to support you however you need and however we can.

  15. rory says:

    Dude.Decades and centuries ago, long before I met Miss Carol I was briefly married and even more quickly divorced. A coupla months later I was talking to my child bride, thinking that maybe a reconciliation might be the way to go.She had the maturity to tell me that even though she loved me that, after a few months of lusty afterglow we'd be right back where we were.It was tough, but she was right.I moved on and you need to, too.

  16. Alias Mother says:

    I'm late, I haven't read the other comments, and I'm not even going to address your question directly. I'm AWESOME.But, listen. Here's what I believe about marriage. I believe that marriage is a choice. It's a choice that you make on your wedding day and then every single day after that. I believe that most of us will fall out of love with our spouse occasionally. I believe that most of us will fall back in love eventually. I believe we will want to murder each other, kiss each other, separate and come together. A marriage can last through all of that, but only if both parties make the choice, every single day, to continue the marriage. Sometimes that choice is obvious and easy, sometimes it is murky and hard. But you make the choice yes or no, and you roll the dice, and you take on your risk either way.That means that, no, I don't think you are crazy. I do think you need to choose. Truthfully, it doesn't matter if the choice is the “right” one. There is no “right decision.” But you need to choose, you both need to agree with the choice, and then you need to move forward. Because the only thing that there's been enough of is indecision. For your sake and sanity, I think you need to make a choice.

  17. Hat Chick says:

    I read all the comments and agree with all of them that are telling you to focus on yourself and move on. It takes two committed people to make a relationship work (friendship or marriage). You can't do the work of two people. Do you know the words of that song “According to You”? I think you need to look for the “Him” in your life.

  18. Violet says:

    Yes, ma'am, Alias M, you are awesome! I completely, wholeheartedly, 110% agree with you about marriage. If more people recognized (and were willing to slog through) the worse and sickness parts of marriage as well as the better and health parts, we would be a happier, healthier, less-divorced society.I also agree that it is a choice. Seems to me that Jon isn't interested in making the same choices that Stephanie might make. It never works unless both partners make the same choices.

  19. GrumbleBot says:

    I'll come in after the ads and ask”What do you want for yourself that you could never do with him and how important is it to you to do it with or without him?”I wanted a stress free life. I wanted to feel like a person who mattered. I could do that better without him than I could with him. What is it for you?(FYI TMI – I'm back in therapy as I deal with overwhelmedness (not a real word bit a real state of mind!) at work and they keep asking me dumb questions like that but at least I always have a few weeks to think about it)

  20. Puna says:

    Hi Stephanie,I admit I did stop reading your blog for a while, but not for the any good reason. I have thought about you though, and I always hoped that you were doing well. I for one, am a huge fan of your talent, what an incredible cook and photographer you are. Love your recipes. And though your life seems in turmoil, I want to let you know that you are also an incredibly talented writer. I've looked through some of your posts over the last year, yes, it's been that long since I've been here and at the same time my heart is breaking for you, I am enthralled and read every word. Not really sure that makes any sense. I do look forward to your book though:) and whatever you are getting paid at work is not enough. Anyway, just sayin' hi again. Hang in there…

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