It happens when I turn my back forever on one man I love so that I can keep the other man I love. For three years I have juggled the two relationships, not very well most of the time, lots of missteps and ball droppings and tantrums and layers of lies, fabulosity of fabrications, but I am not willing to give up either man. I have a right to both, I say to myself and to them. And while the man on the computer agrees totally, after all he has a wife in the background as well and no plans to give her up, the man in my foreground, my husband of 25 years, has a more difficult time with the concept of sharing.
Eventually things come to a head. It is a very crazy time and I wind up sobbing on the bed while my husband tells me he is filing for divorce, that he had to call 15 lawyers before he found one who would represent him because they all knew me. His voice is icy, he is stern, there is no give in him, he is made of granite, and I feel like I will die if he leaves, that I will curl up and die, I cannot live without him.
I am terrified that I will not be able to change his mind, that nothing I say to him will make him stay, I have pushed him too far. So I cry, and plead, and say I will do anything, I will give up this other man, I will never talk to him again, I will change, I will repent, I will be a different person, a better person. I have no pride. I can only wrench out promises until he finally relents and says he will postpone leaving, put me on probation, take it one day at a time, and for his part, he will try to fill the void so that I can live without the other man. It is a reprieve. My face is wet, my nose is running, I am sodden and shaking with the aftermath of disaster so narrowly avoided.
My husband lives up to his promise, and I do too. I never speak again to the other man. I never say goodbye. I don’t trust myself to say goodbye. I listen to music instead, to one song over and over every time I drive to the office, to court, to a meeting, to the supermarket. I listen to the same single recording, Total Eclipse of the Heart, the song still makes me cry.
So maybe crying heals, or music, or maybe just time. I am a great believer in the passage of time curing heartbreak, six month minimum I think. If you add music, maybe a bit less.