On September the 10th, 2005 at 11:15 in the morning, Dave and I were married in front of 150 of our closest friends and family. We drank sangria and danced with our loved ones until the wee hours of the morning, celebrating our union.

Today, December the 31st at 11:17 in the morning, Dave and I were divorced in a courtroom filled with absolutely no one we’d ever met. There are no cakes or balloons, no flowers and excited friends, no dancing, and certainly no sangria. No divorce party awaits me when I’m off work. Hell, I don’t even get a cookie for the years I put into the marriage.

Today, I woke up married and will go to bed divorced.

I don’t know if there will be tears or if I’ve cried them all out. For me, grieving the loss of the dream of a happy marriage began three and a half years ago (four?):

Me (rolling over, going to sleep): “I love you.”

Dave: (nothing)

Figuring he was asleep – the man could sleep through a tornado being serenaded through our house in by the world’s largest marching band – I wanted to make sure he heard me. “I love you” This time, a bit louder.

Dave: (nothing)

Jokingly, I said, “what, you don’t love me anymore?”

No,” he stated as flatly as if I’d asked him if I could pave the driveway with cheese. “I don’t.”

With that, he rolled over and fell asleep.

I laid awake, eyes wide in the dark, until the sun began to peek through the shades.

There it was, the awful truth, all wrapped up in absolutely no pomp and circumstance: my husband didn’t love me. As someone who’d already deemed herself probably unlovable, this crushed me. It was my fault, I guess, in that sense. He didn’t love me anymore. We (obviously) separated shortly thereafter. Turns out, there’s not a whole lot of places to go when the ugly truth is spoken.

I was, understandably, devastated. While I plastered a smile onto my face and went about my business as usual, there it was in the back of my head: “I should get the dishes unloaded and reload the dishwasher and oh yeah, Dave doesn’t love me anymore. Wonder when we’ll get divorced,” and “maybe if I pluck my eyebrows, I’ll look less like a sea hag and oh yeah, my husband doesn’t love me anymore. It’s probably time for a divorce.

I couldn’t escape those words and what they meant no matter where I went.

I’d try to talk about divorce to my married friends sometimes, which proved a lesson in futility. They’d either minimize it, “Well, you can be married without loving each other,” or avoid me like the divorce plague was catching. Not sure I blame them on that one. What do you say to someone who’s husband doesn’t love her? I don’t know. Like, “I just got divorced 12 minutes ago,” I don’t know that there’s much that can be said.

I don’t know what we intended to have happen during our separation. Maybe he’d somehow learn to love me again? Maybe we’d wake up one day and this would all be a dream? Maybe a separation doesn’t mean divorce? Maybe I’d be able to live with knowing that, at one point, my husband didn’t love me? Maybe things weren’t as bad as they seem?

They were.

And separation didn’t, obviously, help.

The D Word was thrown around. Dave had already made a “special friend” by the time I moved from the home I’d once jokingly stated I’d have to be pried out of with a crowbar on October 1, 2012. I now reside in my beloved tiny apartment a mere 6 minutes from the home I once tenderly loved my flowers, my children, my husband in. The family, the dream I’d desperately wanted, within walking distance – light years away.

I may no longer mourn what might-have-been’s but I can’t help but wish that I’d paid more attention to those last times. It’s funny, when you’re married, you begin to make presumptions about the future; there’s always time to make more happy memories, the last time is the last time for now, tomorrow is another day.

Like the last time you see your baby crawl before she starts walking like a big girl, you don’t know it’s going to be the very last time you see a child of yours crawls. You don’t know that the last time you make love to your partner of ten years is going to be the last time. You don’t know that the last time you sit, eating dinner and shooting the shit around the big table you spent weeks of your life polishing will be the last time. It simply doesn’t register as something that should carry any more weight than it did. You don’t think to memorize the details, the way the food tasted, the way his body felt, the giggles of laughter during conversations around the table. There’d be other nights, other dinners, other conversations.

Until there aren’t.

What I wish, more than all, is that I could go back in time and re-experience those memories. I’d watch my husband dance with our daughter before her surgery because, “he was her legs because she couldn’t use hers yet,” knowing that memory would be one I’d cherish for the rest of my days. I’ll never again laughingly serenade Dave with my best (terrible) Rod Stewart impression while he does the dishes. That’s over. Those were the last times. Ever.

Oh, how I wish I’d have taken the time to recognize those moments as fleeting, soon to be only a memory stored under “Happyness,” in my brain. There are always new good times to be had, for sure, but never again will I be able to be proud to call someone “my husband,” so excited, so proud to use that term for someone who had simply been “my fiance,” mere months before.

But today, for the first time in ten years, I can say that I am totally and completely a single woman. There will be no cakes or parties tonight, only a quiet recognition of the way things are.

Now.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

59 Responses to The Last, Last Time

  • I felt this deeply. I got this completely…..

  • Becky says:

    I have never heard the pain of a broken marriage and divorce summed up so elegantly. You are strong person and this will someday be a chapter in your life to look back upon and remember the good times and the lessons both good and bad you learned along the way.

  • gorillabuns says:

    I’d throw you a party if I were near. I would also let you know, you are loved both near and far.

  • ChiMomWriter
    Twitter: chimomwriter
    says:

    As someone who has been there, there may not be a party tonight, but I’m mentally flinging some glitter your way. Make sure you’ve got your sparkly boots on. xo

  • SAM says:

    ((Hugs)). I really hope you know you are more than enough, with or without his love. You have brought release to countless women (and men, too) with your online doings, and even if you did nothing at all, you are still enough, simply because you are you. You are strong, and someday, this will pass. I’m confident the community you built is ready to hold you up like you have for so many of them. I’m so very sorry you’ve had to endure this. Here’s to a brighter, stronger 2014. ((Hugs))

  • GingerMagnolia says:

    Whoa. You write so beautifully about something that is incredibly difficult to describe. Love to you, and wishes that you WILL know that joy, that happiness again. ?

  • Suzannah says:

    Much love to you, my dear. Big hugs! Know that 2014 will be much better!!!!

  • Deni Miller says:

    Thank you for such a brave and honest post.

  • I remember those days, those feelings, all too well. Summed up beautifully, here.

    New happyness will come. New memories. New good things. And some day, you will be able to look back on your married memories without the heartache that might be attached to them right now.

    It’s a stupid cliche, but it is the truth: Time heals all wounds.

  • Pete In Az says:

    I have no idea what to say…

    {{{{YoungMissAuntBecky}}}}

  • achibrunette says:

    Today begins a new chapter. Move and look only forward. Never back. Much love and light, Aunt Becky. You are not only loved, but cherished by many.

  • Titanium says:

    From the bottom of my own very broken place… with many of the same parts and pieces… I Know.

    Jeff and I filed for divorce on 12/10/13. Last Friday was our last (and seventh) wedding anniversary.

    There are no words for this, except… yours.

  • Aunt Becky,
    I know that many readers, women and men, will feel your words all the way to their core. I’m glad you wrote it. There’s so much to say in response to this, but I’ll just voice the first sentiment that comes to mind:

    You’ve already taken the first steps towards that future you want, and the happiness that waits for you there. You’re already on the road. That’s a big deal, and a Good Thing.

    So why the hell NOT have some sangria today?

    You’re awesome, you’re funny, you’re smart, and very lovable. So there.

    Happy New Year.

  • Ashley says:

    My dearest Becky,

    You have the wit, the smarts, and the strength – as you have already shown – to get through this. It’s like any other milestone in life; no one tells you just how fucking hard it’s gonna be. No one tells you how your gut will wrench when people give you, ‘that look’ as you tell them you’re getting a divorce. How you want to tell them that they cannot possibly judge you any more than you already judge yourself. No one tells you how your heart will wrench as you try your damnedest to comfort your children. How hard it is to be strong for them when you hardly know how to keep yourself together.

    And no one understands who hasn’t been through it. And even then, no two relationships end exactly the same. No two couples have the exact same reactions to any given situation. And so, in this, you are alone.

    However, while you hold yourself and your heart together day after day to simply survive, you wake up one day realizing that you’re living and you have no one to owe it to but yourself. Your courage, your loveliness, and everything you are has changed. And you realize that it’s okay. You cherish the memories you had, you keep them in your mind to one day share with your children, but you can stand. And your legs will continue to become stronger, your stride more confident, and your head higher.

    You’re battle-worn, but not beaten. You’re a fighter, a wonderful mother, and someday you may choose to again make a wonderful wife to someone who will be incredibly lucky. You’re loved by so many who have never met you, and by those who have.

    Sending you love,
    Ashley

  • Andra in Texas says:

    Hey lady… I’ve been walking alongside you – with you – on the same road. You and me, we’re gonna be ok. And the kids are gonna be ok. Flowers can grow wherever you plant them, even if it’s not where you thought they’d be. Hugs to you and a glass of your favorite libation.

  • Elly Lou says:

    What his royal pirate-ness said up there? Perfection. That being said, you have permission to wallow if you need to. Sometimes nothing compares to a good, old fashioned wallow. Hugs.

  • Triplezmom
    Twitter: triplezmom
    says:

    Oh Becky , what a beautiful description of something so remarkably unbeautiful. I wish you
    Continued healing and some sangria this evening. Hugs

  • martinifontaine says:

    My divorce was final 11-18-2012. I know what you are feeling. Tomorrow you will wake up and start filling up your new Happiness bucket with all new things to look back on and delight in. And please, at least have a bottle of wine! You are totally worth celebrating!

  • I had words, but now they’re gone. They’ve vanished in reading your beautiful honesty. All that’s left is my utter appreciation of your strength. You may not always feel it, but it’s definitely there.

  • Jolie says:

    Girl, just read these replies to your words – beautiful, elegant, brave, honest – those are traits of someone who is so obviously lovable. The love you get when you post, may not be enough, but it’s a lot. You continue to share your words and see how many are along your side as you walk, you are good peeps. Just because one door closes, doesn’t mean you’re locked out of everywhere. ?

  • Dufmanno says:

    I don’t really want to say everything’s going to be okay, because I’m not really sure it will be (for any of us) but I still like you anyway..?..
    That sounds like a half assed reassurance from my socially backward cousin.
    Sorry.

  • Andie
    Twitter: lilmscreant
    says:

    Oh, aunt Becky. My throat closed up and tears came to my eyes reading this. I have almost the exact same memory, some of the words altered slightly (“I sometimes wonder if you’re happy” “I’m not”

    It is such a weird feeling. My kids father and i have been separated 11 years and divorced for three and a half and now it feels weird to think that we were ever so close.

  • cindy
    Twitter: WalkerCynthia
    says:

    I love you. Hard.

  • Sher says:

    I was in the same situation but I was the one who fell out of love with my spouse. Your heartfelt words made me realize how he have felt. Thank you for teaching me how much I hurt him. I feel like I know you personally and have faith you’ll get through this stronger than ever. You’re a survivor. Thank you for the life lesson. You’re wonderful!

  • andy says:

    {{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}

  • Arnebya
    Twitter: whatnowandwhy
    says:

    I will feel this, and think of you for a long time to come.

  • KYouell says:

    I don’t have much to add, except that not being able to talk about this to married friends is bullshit. That’s like pregnant women not wanting to be near my son because their fetus might catch Down syndrome. Also, in the case of those people that I thought were avoiding him, it might have been all in my perception of the situation. Looking back, I bet they just didn’t know what to do or say, not that they rally didn’t want his cooties. Once I set the idea to the side that they are avoiding him instead of making it my go-to assumption there were a lot more friendly discussions.

    If those married people really are avoiding you then they aren’t friends and to hell with them. If it’s just your perception then give them another try before writing them off.

  • nikkiana says:

    I admittedly am at a loss for words, but I know how this feels and thought you put it into words beautifully. Happy New Year!

  • Cindy D. says:

    My husband never said he didn’t love me anymore, he wasn’t that honest. He just made it so difficult that I had to leave. It’s been 14 years and I still have some residual grief about it. Life is good, it goes on, and sometimes that is the best you can say. Hang tough. You are awesome.

  • steph gas
    Twitter: stephgas
    says:

    oh aunt becky. this makes my heart hurt. and i can’t imagine i’d be as calm and loving about it. i’m angry at him. i just don’t know what to say.

  • Jen says:

    Here’s to a brilliant 2014! With new happy ness and the knowledge that you are not broken. And yes, you are more than worthy to be loved-because you’re awesome!

  • Jasmine says:

    You are, without a doubt, an incredible and amazing human being. That is all that matters.

  • If only we could all know when ‘the last’ time for everything would be . but, on the other hand, we would also know when something isn’t over, and have to suffer with that. Beautiful post. I’m going to follow you.

  • @Irant says:

    Wow. I’m sad for you. And I’m happy for you – you deserve to be with someone who loves you.

    K

  • Jess says:

    You’re brilliant, hilarious, beautiful and kind. I know all of this for a fact although we’ve never met or spoken. I’ve been reading your words for years and have always believed we would be friends (minus the hundreds of miles between us). (This is sounding stalkerish sorry.) But for seriously, this chapter may be closed but another begins, a different and terrifying and wonderful one. May 2014 be the most kickass year in history until 2015.

  • Charlotte says:

    Though I myself have never been married, it didn’t feel right to pry into your life, learn this incredibly painful experience, and leave without saying something.

    I’m so incredibly sorry to read this news. But you know: those nights when you were in bed sleeping next to someone who claimed not to love you anymore‚Ķ you didn’t deserve to hear that. You’ll carry those memories around with you for a while. You’ll hold on to them, maybe you’ll pull them out every now, blow on the pages, and rattle the dust. But remember when you are living those moments that the days will get better, less painful, more comfortable.

    This was so eloquently written and I feel there are no words that can suffice or take a fragment of the pain you are currently experiencing. I just wanted to offer you a virtual *HUGS* from a corner of New Jersey and tell you that I wish the best for you and will be thinking of you this NYE.

  • Teki says:

    I, too, was told he didn’t love me. It was a shot through everything I had ever done, stood for; everything I had tried/wanted to be. Few things said made it better save one, “it will all be okay; different, but okay”. And it will. A therapist once told me years after, still feeling rejected, fired almost, she said “you weren’t fired or rejected as a wife. He QUIT. He quit being a husband. He quit being a family”.

    It WILL all be okay. Different, but okay.

  • Leigh says:

    Been there. Didn’t describe it nearly as eloquently. Yes, it gets better. Its awkward at first, and new and different. Baby steps and before you know it, what’s new is old. Happy New Year.

  • JackieGirl82 says:

    Oh AB, as always your words are amazeballs. You are amazeballs and down right classy as hell. Welcome back with open ears, eyes, and hearts.
    Jackie

  • Amy says:

    I am currently married to a man who has told me he doesn’t want me sexually, isn’t attracted to me any longer, but still loves me. What am I supposed to do with that? I am so sorry for the loss of your marriage. You have so many good qualities and have made so many people happy that I can only believe that there is something even better waiting for you. Be strong, laugh, cry, accept support from loved ones and realize that things WILL get better. Thank you for such an honest, moving post. We are not alone in this world.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Love you Aunt Becky. I would throw you a party if I could find you a unicorn with a purple saddle.

  • Kristin
    Twitter: dragondream
    says:

    I love you.

  • pbpdesigns says:

    Dear Aunt Becky,
    You have had the courage to do what I have put off for the last 3 years. I have been separated from my husband since 2009 in the physical sense, but for a few years more than that in the emotional sense. He was cheating on me for almost our entire marriage. We, too, got married in 2005, a week before you did. We couldn’t make it work and I left in 2009 to come back to my family up north. I hear he’s engaged. We are not ‘officially’ divorced, but that, apparently, doesn’t bother him at all. I haven’t spoken to him since 2010. I wonder if he put through the divorce papers but then I remember how lazy he is and realize that the only way it will happen if I don’t do it is if his fiance does. Sad, really. He’s stringing her along just like he did to me and she doesn’t even know it.
    I give you credit for moving on. Ending one chapter in your life so you can be free to start another one.
    Hugs and tons of support!
    Pammi

  • Nicole says:

    I didn’t feel like a party after my divorce, even though I initiated it. I think a wake was more in line with my mood. Something had passed — not just my marriage, but something in me. Never again would I love that blindly, that openly.

    But I did love again. More than once. The current one I think is a keeper. So mourn, if you need to. But know that it’s a beginning as well as an end.

    And have some cake. Damn, you’ve earned some cake.

    Happy new year, AB. May 2014 be good to you.

  • Krysten says:

    No matter why it’s happening or who initiated it or whether it was 1 year or 50 years divorce just SUCKS. And I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with it. It’s a hard pain to deal with. People tell you that you should be happy that you’re rid of someone who was pulling you down. Now you can go find someone that makes you happy.

    And that’s all and well. Except it’s hard not to look back at the happier times and think, “What on earth happened to us?”

    I’m sorry. I have no worse of wisdom, even though I’ve gone through this myself. But know that tonight someone is thinking of you and hoping the very best for you.

  • Maria says:

    Each relationship is special, each divorce is unique. I don’t think it’s ever easy to realise it’s time to break up, to actually do it.
    But usually, it gets better. I wish you all the better you can find, if it’s handed on a silver plate, or if you have to steal it in the dark of night. You deserve the better.

    We all deserve the better.

    Love and light
    Maria

  • I don’t know how I found your site… probably the catchy title. And I’ve never been married, or in a committed relationship with a man for that matter! But your post and his non-return of “I love you” totally got me. I hope your night of being alone was divine. I fell asleep with my dog at 10:30. :)

  • Sarah Piazza says:

    Love to you, Becky. This, well, I get it.

  • kay says:

    I don’t recall how I stumbled on your blog but just have to tell you thanks for sharing. My 23 year marriage ended in much the same way with my ex saying “we’re done”. My reply was done with what? friends took me out to mark the end and beginning and ordered me “sex on the beach” , a drink I had never tried before and was the only “sex ” I had had for years! Wishing you all the best this year. I am enjoying finding myself and exploring what I like to do, just being me. Wishing you the same.

  • Caro says:

    I’m so sorry for all the pain that you have been through. I love you.

  • Veronica says:

    Breathtakingly honest. For you 2014 truly is a new beginning. I hope it is a happy one.

  • Wombat Central
    Twitter: wombatcentral
    says:

    Take those happy memories with you where you go. You’ll blaze a trail as only Aunt Becky can do. Hugs to you, mama.

  • Joannie says:

    I could barely read this. When you read someone’s blog, you feel like you know them, even though you know you don’t. I felt like you guys were this ideal quirky family, you know? Reality, yours and mine, is so different… but better. Real. Thank you for being so vulnerable and real here. You helped me tremendously through my own divorce around the same time, just by being honest. I’m examining my memories as a result of your post, and I’m crying for me and for you. But, I’m so hopeful for both of us, too.

  • Fallah says:

    Oh honey. We’ve talked about our breakups and our divorces (mine was final 12/1/13) but I still wanted to leave a comment. You never know when it’s the last time. That’s what kills me about break-ups and deaths and losses. You never know that was the last kiss, the last dinner, the last “I love you.” I can’t even remember when my ex and I last had sex or anything about it. We last said “I love you” to each other the morning of the day we split up, but obviously neither of us really meant it anymore. It was just rote and routine. I know, in retrospect, that splitting up was the right choice. I barely miss him at all. What I miss was our hopes and dreams, our mutual plans for the future. I grieve for the woman I was on my wedding day, who was so full of hope. She never saw this future coming. She was so thrilled to be getting married, to be a wife, to hopefully buy a house soon. I tried hard, but I was no saint in my marriage. I made mistakes. At this point I just wish for you, myself, and all your other Pranksters who are relating to this: learn from those relationships and don’t repeat the mistakes. Hang in there. We love you <3

  • DiatribesAndOvations.com
    Twitter: DiatribesAndOs
    says:

    I wept as I read this. You are such a gifted writer and a wonderful woman.

    How cliche, yet how true, to say that “when one window closes another one opens” but you deserve a husband who loves you. The best is yet to come.

    You are loved!

  • random cowbell guy says:

    Oh fuck fuck fuck AB now you have me crying.

  • Christina says:

    I don’t believe him. You don’t just love someone and then not-just like that. He is missing something in his life, he lacks fulfillment. He thinks it’s you. He’s moved on-of course quickly- (I wonder if she wasn’t in the picture before his pronouncement.) He’s moved on because he thinks his unhappiness stems from you-which of course it doesn’t. He’s probably (thinking he is very happy-now that his shed the thing that’s making him unhappy. He’ll be happy and giddy until the unhappiness follows him-he’ll probably blame her-rinse, repeat. In another 10 years-if not sooner-I PROMISE you he’ll wish he hadn’t divorced you. Its like when you think where you live is whats making you so sad-so you move to a new place and you’re happy until your sadness catches up with you-and you either realize geography isn’t the cure or you move again.

    Surely he doesn’t really think the ILYBINILWY is unique? (I love you but I’m Not In Love with You). If you google that-it will bring up divorce websites.

    I’m sorry he projected his sadness onto the marriage. How horrible. Have you read-“This is Not the Story You Think It Is?” It’s.not.you. Great writing-wish it were about something less raw.

  • Christina says:

    hey! I meant your writing is great-and its too bad that you have to use your talent writing about someone that is making you sad-that its too bad that you have to feel this sadness at all. . Not,”thanks for sharing-it’s great but you should have written about something happier.”

  • JustMe says:

    Your husband and had an affair and left you for someone else. This is not your fault and your grief is typical, understandable and heartbreaking. You are not crazy, nor to blame. I know because I have been in the same situation except that we recovered our marriage which has been the hardest thing EVER.

    You did not deserve this ~ it had nothing to do with you not being a good enough wife or not enough for him. This is all about your ex-husband and what he is lacking in his life and thinking (hoping) the grass is greener on the other side. It isn’t and never will be. FWIW, affairs rarely last longer than 2 years and if they are stupid enough to marry, the marriage will only have a 5% chance of making it.

    The best revenge is a life well lived. Live your life well, my friend. He will come to regret this ~ you can bet on it. Email me if you need support ~ I understand this far too well.

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