A friend came and visited.
We sipped our mugs of tea
and filled each other in
on the comings and
goings of our lives.
He’s three months into
a fulfilling relationship
with a vibrantly beautiful
and talented woman.
I’m happy for him.
I shared about my sadness,
loneliness and isolation.
I told him how I wanted to be
before dipping my toes
back into the waters
of love and relationships.
It’s been two years since
I’ve been with a man,
and my body feels the urge
to be held, to connect…
but I don’t trust myself
to attract a healthy man
into my life,
and I’m still reeling
from the pain of my divorce.
So I’m waiting.
He told me I have too many rules,
that if I stop myself from desiring
I stop myself from moving forward.
Now my head is spinning.
Is it true?
Do I have too many rules?
Frequently it happens
that I am struck by a memory
of the times we were together,
a family of four,
and although we had our challenges
(like everyone else)
all was well with the world.
Two beautiful children,
jobs we liked and were good at,
a home, a life together.
And then one day it all changed.
You were done.
You blamed me.
You betrayed me.
I have spent nearly two years
trying to get back on my feet,
and I’m almost there.
I’m certainly stronger now
than I was at this time last year…
But what do I do with the memories of before?
Sometimes they are enough to bring me to my knees.
I can see our children happy, smiling,
I can hear my voice. I can see your face.
I can hear you telling me you loved me.
And then one day…
you didn’t love me anymore.
One day you told me
that your pain was my fault.
You told me what you were doing was brave,
that it took courage to leave.
I think the real courage would’ve been found
in your willingness to see your part in all of this,
and in your ability to ask yourself
why you were hurting so deeply
that you would betray the woman you married
and wound her the way that you did.
Today it is cold, gray and raining outside,
perfectly matching the state of my heart.
I miss my children.
I miss our life together.
And I know I would be fine,
if it weren’t for all the memories.
as I read books about sacred intimacy
between the divine masculine and
the divine feminine,
I realize how I resent being unpartnered.
I realize how I never thought
I’d be celibate for two years
at this stage of my life.
I think about my natural urges
as a grown woman,
my need for touch, intimacy, connection,
my desire to share myself with a sensitive, loving partner.
I think about how easy it would be
to create a profile on Tinder
and just hook up with someone.
that is not who I am.
Maybe in my 20’s
casual sex seemed like an okay thing to do,
but not anymore.
In order to experience
what I truly desire:
a profoundly deep connection
and the joy of truly being seen,
heard, held and cherished
within a safe intimate relationship,
I have a lot of work to do.
First on myself
and on the tendencies
that led me into a marriage
with a man who rejected
who I was at my deepest core,
I have to start somewhere
and maybe actually go on a few dates.
UGH. UGH. UGH.
Hi, I’m Lorien.
I’m recently divorced,
I have two young children,
and I’m still healing
from the tremendous pain I experienced
when my ex-husband abandoned me.
I’m not sure I would want me
with that kind of endorsement.
So maybe I’m not ready after all.
So HEY! Just curious. Is there anyone out there who went through a godawful, brutal divorce, healed from it, and managed to go on and meet someone with whom you’re enjoying a safe and healthy relationship? Anyone with kids from a previous marriage who managed to meet someone new and engage in a better, healthier relationship than the one you had with your children’s other parent? I’m all ears. I’d love to hear what worked for you in your healing process and any insights you’d offer to someone like me, who isn’t all that excited at the prospect of dating, but who longs for a safe, intimate partnership with someone sane and healthy—and who has no idea where to begin…
Sometimes I wonder
how you could go from
I love you
to It’s over.
But that’s exactly what happened,
from one month to the next…
nearly two years later,
I’m still wondering.
I’ve read another book,
The Way of the Superior Man,* by David Deida.
(You told me I read too many books,
but then I think you watch way too much TV.)
I flagged each sentence
that shed light on what went wrong
in our marriage.
I’ll go back and reread what I’ve flagged,
memorize the passages,
so that never again
will I share my heart
with a weak man,
a man who blames his woman
for his shortcomings,
a man who defends his mediocrity
by rescinding his responsibility.
I’ll read every book I can get my hands on
about cultivating a healthy relationship with myself
and healthy relationships with others.
I’m becoming quite an educated woman.
The beauty of my aloneness
is that I get to dream of being
with someone who deserves me,
and I get to cultivate the deep sense of worthiness
that will draw him to me.
I’m still healing from the wounds you inflicted
when you left our marriage in such a cowardly way.
when I’m with a beautiful, strong man
who loves and appreciates my deeply feminine core,
I’ll thank you for giving up,
because I know I was worth so much more.
*I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It resonated so deeply and clarified so much. I’ve never felt so vindicated, seen, heard and understood. Ladies, every one of you, please read this book. Gentlemen, every one of you, please read this book.
I was at home,
and it struck me…
If I’m feeling bad
and there is no one around,
I’m the one making myself feel bad.
If I’m feeling good
and there is no one around
I’m the one making myself feel good.
My thoughts are determining how I feel,
and this is true,
but only 100% of the time.
If this is true
when I am alone,
then it is true
when I am with others.
I can blame others
for making me feel a certain way,
but in the end,
I choose how I feel inside myself
based on how I respond
to the external circumstances of my life.
That sure is a lot of responsibility…
No wonder so few people take it.
You never cared about my words before,
but now, suddenly, you do?
You think you can use them to hurt me?
The joke’s on you.
If you’re going to read them,
you might as well know,
that I will love you always,
although not as before.
You share a bed with another now…
Do her eyes meet yours with equal intensity?
Will she be there for you if you fall?
Does she love your family like I still do?
Will she hold your nieces and nephews
in her heart, will she look into their eyes?
Will she make you pajamas too?
Will she make your bed?
Will she wash your clothes?
Will she scoop the litter box?
Will she bring you tall glasses of ice water
in the summertime
when you’re outside doing yard work?
Will she stand up to you
when you try to force your hand?
Or will she just drink and watch TV with you?
Enjoy a rock concert or two,
a fancy dinner, a fancy vacation,
just her and you…
That’s what you wanted, yes?
Another you, with longer hair
and a female body
to help you forget
what you left behind.
I thought I knew what I was thinking.
I had built up so many stories about her.
I had judged her.
I had replayed in my head
the scene of our last interaction
hundreds, if not thousands, of times.
I thought that it would be terrible
seeing her again.
I felt guarded and justified in my disconnect.
And there she was today, quiet, listening intently.
She gave me a hug. She smiled.
I felt brave. I shared.
She had been doing the work too;
I could see it on her face.
She is so much like me
and I like who I see.
I actually enjoy being with her.
She isn’t who I thought she was.
I’m glad she’s here.
Life surprised me today.
I thought her visit was going to be terrible.
It ended up being a miracle.
A part of me thinks
he’ll come back
Would I even want
to get back together
with a man
who dissolved our marriage,
blamed me for it,
had an affair,
and lied about it?
And what would that say about me
if I took him back after all that?
What does it say about my self-esteem,
my sense of self-worth, my pride?
But still I fantasize about our family
being together again,
the four of us living
under the same roof again;
I fantasize about
being welcomed by his family again.
Nothing makes sense inside.
Nothing makes sense.
Haven’t I given enough?
Can’t you love me now?
Can’t you accept me now?
Can’t you see how hard I try?
You owe me.
What? You don’t want
the kind of love I want?
You want freedom?
You want lightness
You want what you want?
Wait. You’re leaving?
You think this is all my fault?
We can work this out.
I can admit to my faults.
Can you admit to yours?
This is all my fault, really?
Relationships are so complicated.
Who needs ’em?
do you miss the familiarity of my presence?
Did you question your choice today
as you sat down at a table
and your family wasn’t there?
I sat at my cousin’s table
the way you and I had done
for the past seven years…
but you weren’t there today.
I missed your presence,
your laughter, your warmth,
the way we’d snuggle on the couch
and fall asleep after the big meal.
I felt low, lonely, alone,
in my own world, my own universe.
I know it was in my mind
but sometimes the saddest stories
are the most convincing.
They tell me this will get easier over time.
I sure hope they’re right.