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Goodbye to Love Composition: An Essay about an End to a Marriage

I did not remember the flowers... Yeah, the house is too much to deal with right now. Just not sure how it would fit into this life. How are the divorce papers coming? I have a few things to say to you that I thought might be better said in writing... The decision you made to end the marriage was, as you know, a terribly difficult one for me. I didn't want it and never would have chosen it myself. I still believe that there's great value and honor in the commitment I made to go through together whatever comes, and I am changed by the fact that that was not a commitment we shared in the end. It changes my sense of safety and trust in the world-- though I don't think necessarily for the worse.


I can accept my powerless over people, places and things better somehow now; I feel less expectation; but it's been hard to let go of the dream that we would be together, working out the problems as they came. There's been a great deal of sorrow and tumult in my life this year as a result of your decision. Naturally, and only now am I coming back to my "true self" in a consistent way. By that I mean, only now do I wake up every day and feel like myself again. I know you know that this was a painful event for me. I am sure it was painful for you. I still have times when I just don't get it, but I'm learning to accept that I don't GET to get it all the time when it comes to other people's choices. (You taught me that.) I will grieve for a long time that I won't get to hear you in the other room singing to the pets; that I will never return to "the space" and the love and safety I felt there (although the safety was, I think, something I made up out of a need for it from my own childhood); that I won't ever get to make rosemary shortbread for our Solstice or see our child in your arms. These and MANY other things I will regret for a long time.

You gave me so many things, and I am so very grateful. You taught me to make the effort to be kind; you showed me that it was worth it for the sake of love. You taught me how to check my strong sense of justice (and judgment) against the effects it might have on others. You taught me love is more important than being "right". With you I learned how to fight cleaner, how to talk things out better, and how to make a strong loving family out of nothing. These are priceless gifts that I will carry with me the rest of my life. One more thing you did for me: you left, and I had to get through it. I have learned this year that my ability to handle what happens to me greatly exceeds my expectations. I thought I would die if you left me; I had this idea that I would crumble, that I'd have to go live with my mom and curl up in bed for months. This is so untrue, and I have some amends to make to myself for thinking so little of my strength. I did cry a lot and have some wild times, but I used the loss of you to write the best play of my life so far; I learned about men and made deep lasting friendships; I found support and just got the fuck through it, through something I really thought would destroy me. It really was my greatest fear, that you would leave; that's why I didn't listen well when you kept saying you hated being married or that you wanted out. I couldn't hear it cause I was too scared of it. I'm sorry about that. But once your greatest fear happens, you never have to have it again. You gave me that, that freedom from the fear of being left, and the calm of knowing that other people cannot make the world a safe place for you; I never have to expect that from anyone again, and be hurt and terrified when it doesn't happen.

Don't get me wrong. I do not admire the part of you that cannot deal with the marriage, and that chose to leave me by phone, and that seems to be able to do this with so little affect, etc, etc. I'm not saying that in my book what you did is ok or whatever. I'm not sure at all that I forgive you. But it has given me strength and focus and a sense of myself that I have never had, and I am so grateful for that. Now, the point of all this: I need you to get this divorce papers shit worked out. I want my name back. I want to be responsible for just my life again. I want to be able to be with an unmarried woman. I feel it's your responsibility to take care of this, since this was your choice; I do NOT feel comfortable taking care of divorce proceedings on my own, although I will if you won't get it done. and I are considering moving in together in the next few months and I want us to be able to do it with this behind me. I'm not sure what's in the way for you re: getting this done; maybe it's just a pain in the ass to do, maybe there's a part of you that doesn't want to deal with the emotions of fully breaking ties. But it's time to do it if we're going to move on. I love you, and always will, in a way that's specific just to you. I'm sorry our relationship had to evolve in this way, but I also feel like it's right, for whatever reason. I will miss so much about our life together; I feel it was a good life, with so much fun and good conversation and coffee and friends and love.


I don't think I'll ever fully understand why you had to go but I am accepting it and I am learning that my capacity to love others is deeper and stronger than I thought.. it surprises me to find that it hasn't been damaged, I'm open and still want to give, even if it's not to you. Thank you for all the lovely days of talking and laughing and crying over "I Was Meant For the Stage" in the kitchen in each others arms. Please take care of this stuff so I can go.

Love Gladys




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