Coping with Reality and Preparing to Rebuild

John McManamy Health Guide
  • I want to sleep. And when I wake up my life will suddenly be all better. I’ll be in a happy marriage with a loving wife. I’ll pop one of my homemade pizzas in the oven, pet the cat, and later that night go to sleep in my own bed.

    No marriage, no wife, no cat, no bed to call my own.

    I’m in Connecticut at my mom’s house for Thanksgiving. There’s no going back home. Right now I have no home.

    How come I never saw this coming? My mother – she saw it coming. My mother’s companion – he saw it coming. My brother saw it coming. My sister-in-law saw it coming.

    Me, I was the eternal optimist. I thought we could make it work. Six months into the marriage, it clearly wasn’t working. One year, two years, it was a lost cause by then, but still I soldiered on. Surely things would improve. Three years – just two days ago – I still remained stupidly optimistic. By then I was camped out in a shabby hotel room, hoping against hope things would change.
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    I went to sleep that night, figuring I would wake up and my wife and I would have things to talk about over breakfast. Instead I woke up to bitter hard cold reality. I had no choice but to pack my things and head up for Thanksgiving without my wife, without having a wife.

    I will probably find myself on the west coast. A friend there has offered me a room in his place. It’s as far away from New Jersey without venturing over the Pacific and into New Zealand – scene of my first marriage.

    I’ll wrap up my personal affairs, and then I’ll probably never see my wife again.

    So how am I feeling? I want to sleep. I want to wake up … Cancel that. I never want to wake up. Life is too miserable right now.

    Somehow I will manage. I know it has to be this way. Already one enormous burden has lifted from my shoulders, that of getting through each day as the patron saint of lost causes. Keeping a lost cause going over three years took a lot out of me. Once I get over my grief and anger and other bad stuff I can move on, rebuild my life, put my energies into things that will renew me and give me new hope.

    But right now, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. I take it back. I can think of some people I can easily wish it on. Thankfully, not my wife. Oh, the resentment is there – let’s not kid ourselves about that. But I still have love in my heart for her. If I wind up losing that, then I’m the real loser in all this.

    Somehow, I will come out of this a better person. Let’s hope this time I’m not kidding myself.
Published On: November 28, 2006