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Welcome to Splitsville
May 3rd, 2009 by Christina
Me, pre-split and so innocent

Me, pre-split and so innocent

On my sixteenth wedding anniversary, I stood with my left hand submerged in a sink full of soapy water, grimacing as I tried to force my wedding ring over my knuckle and off the finger that had been its longterm residence. The whole experience–the waves of pain, the relief when it was all over, and the tender, wrinkly white circle of finger flesh it revealed–was oddly reminiscent of labor and delivery.

My husband, whom I’ll call R (because it bears no resemblance to any of his initials) had moved out a week before.

The separation itself was unexpected, lengthy, and miserable, and propelled me into a coma of disbelief for months. When I finally came to, I had to wrap my mind around the unwieldy fact that I was single for the first time in almost 20 years. And not just single–a word tinged with desperation–but also a “single mom,” to me an even more pity-inducing moniker. I found this new identity unsettling, to say the least. Devastating, to say the most.

When you’ve spent almost half your life as part of a twosome, losing your spouse is akin to losing a limb. It requires a whole new way of being in both day-to-day and big-picture ways.  There have been a million moments like the one during my first post-separation grocery shop when I found myself staring blankly into my shopping cart. I knew I should put the soy milk back because the soy milk drinker in the house was no longer, um,  in the house–but it seemed so wrong to go home with no soy milk that I actually debated what to do (I put it back). On a grand-scheme-of-things level, I’ve been asking myself questions like “Who am I without this guy?” and “Now what do I do with the rest of my life?”

Let me now confess that I kicked and screamed my way to the blogosphere. But now that I’m here, I see that this phase of my life lends itself particularly well to the form. It’s been 10 months since R moved out, which means I have some wisdom to share, yet the unmarried midlife me is still very much a work-in-progress.

Come along as I discover where life leads me, one post at a time.

Christina

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16 Responses  
Leslie writes:
May 4th, 2009 at 5:40 am

Great intro — I can’t wait to read more!

Jen Singer writes:
May 4th, 2009 at 5:54 am

Christina,

If this post is any indication of what’s to come, Living in Splitsville will fast become a favorite for anyone who has ever experienced a devastating divorce or break-up. In other words: everyone.

I look forward to following your Midlife Makeover in real time. For now, I’m off to let everyone know about it.
Best,
Jen

Caroline Howard writes:
May 4th, 2009 at 7:34 am

This public introduction to your personal life hits just the right tone. Your survival skills are greatly admired (by me), surpassed only, maybe, by your writing skills. Welcome LivingInSplitsville!!!

Mary Lebeau writes:
May 4th, 2009 at 9:49 am

Great start, Christina. Can’t wait to read more – and to watch you shine through all of this.

Margaret Gilmour writes:
May 5th, 2009 at 4:35 am

Christina,

How far are you along in your separation? I have a book that you might enjoy reading: Crazy Time: Surviving Divorce and Building a New Life, Revised Edition (Paperback), by Abigail Trafford.

I don’t know the author and am not promoting it for any reason except that when I got divorced at age 30 and found myself single + solo with my two-year-old, the straight-forward advice really helped me make sense of all the emotional highs and lows I was going though–not to mention the social divorce I didn’t expect.

I love your intro too–and, I have to say, with your positive, humorous outlook, I am sure you’re going to be just fine.

Elizabeth writes:
May 5th, 2009 at 7:28 am

What an inspiration you are to me. Also your writing is so compelling! Thank you for sharing your journey!

Jennifer Fink writes:
May 5th, 2009 at 1:11 pm

What a powerful first post. Love the title of your blog too!

Cathy writes:
May 6th, 2009 at 7:27 pm

I’m inspired by this first post too, Christina, carry on… we’re all divorcing sooner or later in one way or another so you define it…. :)

Steph writes:
May 6th, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Awesome! Just keep being honest like that and you’ll have catharsis as well as a flock of followers reading all you write. Good luck!

Gita writes:
May 7th, 2009 at 10:59 am

Oh, Christina, every word of your blog echoed within me. He moved out one month ago after telling me abruptly he had to follow joy. I am the antithesis of joy at the moment, but seeing you sitting there in your picture, so confident, able to express yourself so beautifully, gives me hope. Thank you.

Arianazest writes:
May 13th, 2009 at 9:11 am

Very nice blog. I totally agree with your thoughts.

Living in Splitsville » Blog Archive » Ex-Rings and other Dilemmas in Splitsville writes:
May 19th, 2009 at 7:19 am

[...] I’m taking a short break from the dating chronicles (can you stand the suspense?) in order to address a couple of housekeeping matters–those little changes that come with everyday life here in Splitsville that may seem incidental, but are in fact, huge, pervasive and defining (see soy milk incident.) [...]

Living in Splitsville » Blog Archive » Laptops in Love writes:
May 26th, 2009 at 8:01 pm

[...] chihuahua-hater, whom I’ll call D (because that is his real initial–in fact, he’s probably disappointed that I’ve withheld his full name, contact info [...]

KrisBelucci writes:
June 2nd, 2009 at 9:47 pm

da best. Keep it going! Thank you

Living in Splitsville » Blog Archive » Happy Unniversary writes:
June 28th, 2009 at 5:59 pm

[...] And you May ask Yourself: How did I Get Here? [...]

Living in Splitsville » Blog Archive » Are We Having Fun-Again-Yet? writes:
September 8th, 2009 at 4:29 am

[...] were all a little disoriented. It was still as beautiful as always but it was a week of non-stop soy-milk episodes. I knew R wasn’t with us, of course, but still, I wondered where he was. Sitting on the dock felt [...]

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