A while back, I posted an open invitation for guest posts. Workingdan responded, saying he'd like to post something about dating from the perspective of a married man.
As you can see from his post, things have turned around dramatically in Workingdan's life recently. I'm actually pretty honored that he sent this post to be published here, and am happy to share it.
There is nothing more heartbreaking than losing a relationship. Losing a marriage is particularly tough; there's a sense of defeat that can only come from knowing promises and vows that you once made to family and friends - and perhaps even God - will go unfulfilled. It takes time, and love, and a lot of self-awareness to overcome those feelings.
If Workingdan and his wife aren't able to work things out, I hope they both find the strength they need.
I get home from work on perhaps what could be the longest day at work ever, declining a rare opportunity to work overtime. I go through the usual routine of emptying pockets and settling into what should be the comfort of my own home. I try to maintain the ritual of watching NFL Live, so I turn on the TV. Then I sit and stare at the Toshiba laptop that sits in front of me.
I eyeball the ice cold, beer flavored water that also sits in front of me, better know as Coors Light. I open it and take a long pull, downing a lump in my throat along with it, then return to staring down the laptop. Should I blog it?
With watery eyes, my mind tries to contemplate the recent circumstances and the meaning behind it all. The clock on the wall sends off it's persistent ticking into the void that is now my empty home. In the background, I can hear Mark Schlereth and Tedy Bruschi present their thoughts on the upcoming matchup between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, but I'm not listening to them.
With another long chug from the beer, I light a cigarette and rise to my feet. I pace aimlessly about the house, stopping to stare out a random window. The light is fading into the distance as my eyes scan the gently rolling farmlands that surround my home. The remains of corn stalks protrude from the ground in various directions and it suddenly takes on a wasteland-like appearance.
The trees are silhouetted in the remainder of the light. Their leafless branches are nothing more than a black void, extending itself into the horizon, infecting the earth with it's loneliness. I proceed with pacing about the house, stopping and staring into the kids' bedrooms. Toys strewn about the floors in either room. Dresser drawers are half open and clothes are hanging over the edge. There are no kids in the room.
.....one day earlier...
It was a time I had been looking forward to, this week that is. My wife is off this whole week and finally I get to experience coming home to a wife and spending the evenings with her. But in the days leading up to Christmas and the days following, I could sense the distance between us.
Finally, on a Wednesday, just after eating left-over tacos, I ask my wife what is bothering her. She refused to answer. I could see her jaw tense, her breathing became short, rapid breaths. I could literally see the adrenaline flushing her body. I knew this could not be good.
I persist with my question. In a somber, heart broken tone, I ask her to tell me what it is. In a quick and quivery voice, she replies by announcing she wants a divorce. My heart sank as I could detect the seriousness in her statement. Panic sets in so I remove myself from the kitchen and retreat to a dark bedroom. She soon follows and shortly thereafter, announces her intentions to take the kids and go stay at her parents for the evening.
My tongue never works well in situations such as this. We tried to have a talk but was unsuccessful. After a long bit of silence, we emerge from the bedroom. The first thing I saw was the kids bundled up in their coats, waiting patiently to go stay at grandma's. Reality hits home and I soon lose control of my emotions.
Tears are streaming down my face as I plead for her to stay. I became even more heart broken when I could see the look on my daughter's face. Her eyes were filled with fear and concern. She may be young but she knows when something isn't right. She could see daddy crying, she knew.
I go back into the darkness of the bedroom to try to compose myself. The kids come in shortly after to offer a goodbye. I kiss them and squeeze them tightly. It took all that I had to muster up the words "Goodbye, I love you" and make it sound casual. I wasn't fooling anybody.
On their way out, my five year old son asks his mother "Mommy, why is daddy staying here all by himself?" That was a knockout punch. I immediately bury my face and sob. Tears and snot drip off my nose as I cried heavily into the night.
.....back to the now....
The dark branches of loneliness now engulfs my home and I can no longer see out the windows. I retreat from the nothingness that lurks outside and take my seat on the couch. Toshiba makes it's presence known, staring me down. It wins the staring contest and I quickly reach for it and open it.
I open up the Firefox browser and all my usual sites and last browsing sessions pop up on the screen. I go to the Blogger dashboard and check my comments. Damon is telling me "nice post : D + follow". I become disgruntled at this very empty comment and refuse to view his page. I click the monetize tab to view today's earnings. It reads $0.00 thus further adding to the empty and painful feeling, lack of accomplishment.
I decide to visit my social sites and loosen up my fingers before I begin writing. Feeling the need to talk, I go to Facebook and check my online friends. My heart beat heavily in my chest when I seen her name. I click on her name then quickly lean back into the couch and light a smoke, planning my strategy on bringing her home. I can't lose her, I just can't!
I begin the chat session with a "Hey stranger". Tears start to roll down my cheeks as I am thankful for the opportunity to just be talking with her. Emotion takes control over reason and I begin to beg for her to come home. In the middle of the conversation as I continue to bawl, I go back to the dashboard and click on new post.
My fingers begin to spew forth words at a pace I have not achieved before. I continue writing and pleading with my wife at the same time, all while still crying and lighting one cigarette after another. I become frustrated at the fact that there is no changing her mind. I lose my temper and say things I shouldn't have. Our conversation comes to an end and the writing comes to a screeching halt.
I slam shut the laptop and bury my face in my hands and sob. Then my stomach lets out a deep, growling rumble, signifying that I have yet to eat anything. Without any appetite, I browse the contents on the fridge and cupboard for half an hour, opening and closing doors over and over again. I manage to choke down a bowl of cereal then I collapse face down onto the couch and fall into a restless sleep.
I woke the next morning, still fully clothed. I put on a pot of coffee and resumed my pacing about, trying to adapt to the loneliness, trying to accept that it may, in fact, be over. I look out the windows and the skies are grey and depressing. Droplets of rain trickle down the window in front me, appropriate weather to begin this new life of being alone.
With Toshiba as my only company, I grab it and resume my writing. The words still flow with the same ease as the previous night. I receive a text from my wife, still not actually hearing her voice for two days. She is asking me if I'm ready to see the kids. I miss them terribly but still, I decline. They are only a reminder of a family that was. I need my alone time, I need to think. How can I fix this?
My mind begins dwell on how life would be without her. The financial repercussions bully their way to foremost thoughts of my mind. If we could barely make ends meet with the both of our incomes, how could I possibly survive with my measly ten dollar an hour income? What about the debt we have together? The cars? The loans? And what about the house and the contents within?
My mind shifts towards the kids. Those poor kids. How do I explain this to them? With my wife working nights, it has been established that I am to have custody of the kids so that they still get to see at least one of their parents everyday. If I am to be officially single, would I even want custody? That seems to be selfish thought, but I'm concerned with how I will react to being single and wonder if it's in the best interest for the kids to be with me.
I become restless with the amount of coffee in my system. I rise and pace yet again, the remnants of Christmas still lingering in the house. New toys and games litter the living room as they have yet to find a proper place.
As I wander around, mulling things over, I begin to feel that perhaps it is time to see the kids. I also contemplate breaking the news to my mother, who will not take the news very well. I am ashamed of letting my marriage come to this and telling her will be difficult. I am not one for talking, for I have difficulty expressing myself vocally. My voice is my weakness, my written words are my strength. How to tell her?
I purposely left out the details as to why this has come to be. But I will say this, neither of us is having an affair. At least I pray there isn't an affair going on. I don't believe that is the case. We both are to blame for this marital malfunction and any negative comments towards my wife is unacceptable. No one is to be taking sides, rather you should pray for us. A late Christmas miracle is needed and a positive start to a new year, with my wife by my side is all that I ask.
I do not know what is going to happen or when my next post will be. I may take a leave of absence from the blogosphere, or I may spend more time with you than ever before. Only time will tell.
Until then, blog safely my friends.
Want to guest post on Girl's Got Shine? I'd love it! Anything goes, related to dating and relationships - I just ask that you keep it friendly towards others. Email me if you've got something you want to share.