Monday, April 12, 2010

A meditation

Apr 12, 2010
Her left ring finger had just begun to fill in at it's base where she'd worn the engagement ring and then wedding band for almost seven years. It was a very strange feeling as her finger tapped quicker and lighter on the keys than she had known in a long time. Alex had taken up the practice of wearing various cocktail rings on that finger, as if everyone might think she was upgrading from her heirloom diamond, instead of in the early stages of a not so unexpected divorce.

They'd met when she was both a young twenty-two and an old soul. Her family had battled substantial tragedy and she had become the pillar of strength, the sounding board of emotional outbursts, and the place on which crisis could be placed. She'd endured the guilt of being the surviving sibling and recognized that only death would give her "angel" status her older brother had so instantly earned. She accepted this fate and had become very good at being very old, very young. Yet she was also very naive, passionate, and excited for the adventures ahead and was stuck in between being a woman on a path to permanence and a woman on the path to adventure.

A romantic type, she'd been proposed to several times before, because of course she took every new man into her life with the abundance and enthusiasm of a Greek lover but she'd never said yes. Then they met and the circumstances brewed a simple pot of sex, dating, relationship, and then a proposal. After all she'd been through with her family, Joe had finally asked at the right time and she felt yes, was her best step forward.

Alex sat looking at her finger as she waited in the lobby of the therapist's office. Today was the day she was going to tell Joe that it was over officially. He had two choices, either move out and separate for three months, or she was filing for divorce on the following Monday. She'd of course told him a hundred times before that she was unhappy and that the marriage was not going to work, but he - not a particularly good listener, had instead offered her dessert, coffee, or another glass of wine. He'd spent nine years not listening, much like his own parents and while Alex had decided to break from tradition, he was perfectly happy in an unhappy marriage. With the thirty additional pounds since their wedding day packed onto her soul, she was prepared to say goodbye on their 5th wedding anniversary, and she was sure he must know something was coming.

Joe sat wide eyed and angry as their therapist Janine coaxed Alex through the words she'd already written. Alex had emailed Janine a week prior to make sure that the therapist knew that this was not "Reconciliation therapy" but instead "Separation therapy". She had quietly sought the advice of both a mediation attorney and a bulldog family lawyer to make sure she took the steps correctly. Alex had not sought out the advice of her family for now, the second time, in her life.

She was prepared to say goodbye and walk out the door, knowing that there was a road of heartbreak ahead. Alex had made the decision that she'd rather the pain now, then hurt Joe for years to come, with an indifferent and dispassionate marriage, a friendship that resorted to yelling for attention, and a man married to a woman who would always seek more in her life than he was willing to give. The shocking realization that marriage should not involve screaming, was of course the first catalyst.

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