2019 was a year of unprecedented actualization for me. A short list of realized dreams includes writing my first script, first time jaunts traveling to romantic, remote parts of the continent and finally accepting that I was ready to end my marriage. The year prior, it seemed as if a slew of friends and acquaintances had uncoupled themselves from their relationships that were if not goals, at least rock solid. I was aware that many people had the same perception of my union.
Even on the day I got married, I’d always accepted the possibility that my union could end in divorce, and I was okay with that. After the ‘honeymoon phase’, I’ve generally looked at my romantic relationships through a more pragmatic lens than my culture and religion would allow for. My marriage was not exempt from this. If something isn’t thriving, I feel it’s ok to let it die. Problem is in this instance, not only was my marriage dying, but the state of affairs was also killing me in the process. I had to resolve things before I was consumed by the burn out.
I questioned if I should pen/publish this piece. Why would anyone care about the details of my crumbling marriage? I suppose we’ll find out together at the end of this piece. There’s plenty of blame to be flung about whenever a relationship fails, and so rather than focus on the unpleasant minutia, I think it might be more useful to share what happened after I said the words, “I’m not in love with you anymore” to the man I have given the major parts of my self to over the past 20+ years. But lets begin at the beginning.
On 4/20 I got blowed out of my mind.
I’d gone to celebrate Weed Day with my family and since I don’t smoke, my nephew brought me a rice krispie from Mr. Giggles. Well let me tell you, 20 minutes in and it was no longer a laughing matter. Did you know that you could see a kaleidoscope of light and color bursting forth from your brain, each dancing rhythmically to the pace of your pulsating heart? You could if you were high enough…and whew! Anyway, one of the side effects of that little jaunt down Alice’s rabbit hole was that it made me highly susceptible. Ask me a question – any question! – and I’d answer without filter. For example:
My uncle: Hey niece! Do you enjoy being a mother?
Normal me: Oh, you know…it has its challenges, but my kids are extraordinary people!
Me on edibles: Nah. That shit is hard. I get why men go out for milk and don’t come back.
Uncle (alarmed): …But you don’t regret it, do you?
Me on edibles: Nah. I don’t regret it…but I don’t enjoy it.
Me on edibles: …
Me on edibles: Why come you didn’t ever tell me our family were the Custodians of Black Knowledge?
The effects lasted until the next day, when I groggily drove myself back to my in-laws house where my erstwhile frantic husband was waiting. (I’d been too high to call him and too high to ask any of my family to ask the family to.) But an amazing thing had happened. In my stupor, I’d had more clarity about my life than I’d had in a long time. Being that honest was liberating. And being unapologetic about my truest irks and desires even more so. And the fact that the other party could do nothing about how I felt? Genius! So I took my husband downstairs for a private chat, looked him in the eye, and said the following:
“I’m going to say something that you’re not going to want to hear (my speech was interrupted by his drawing a sharp breath), but…I’m not in love with you anymore. I haven’t been in a long time.”
There. It was done. I said it. We could get a divorce.
My husband smiled. Not a real smile, mind you. More like a lopsided upturning of his lips.
“Oh. That’s ok. Because there are times when I’m not in love with you either.”
On what planet is that even possible? Who could not be in love with ME?
But this was good. This break up was going to be easier than I thought. Why had I spent so much time agonizing about it?
“But,” he continued, “what I do have is a strong sense of commitment to you.”
Well damn it. That’s just GREAT.
“We need therapy. And not church counseling. Real therapy. We need therapy for us and I need therapy for myself.”
So that’s what we did.
*Stay tuned for the conclusion and a more dramatic ending.