Twenty-two. That’s how old I was when I fell in love with my husband. It’s also how many years of marriage we’ve had now that it’s ended.

Now I’m a cliche. A jilted wife, I’m thrown over, a 47-year-old statistic. I’ve joined the 50 per cent club and not on the good side. I’m fodder for the gossip mill and this week’s entertainment. I’m suddenly single and not anywhere near ready to mingle.

I’m running the gamut of emotions: shock, despair, anger, fear. I rail, I cry, I scream. I can’t even talk anymore. One minute I was part of two and now I’m just me.

It happened in a flash. I thought our courtship was fast but the end of my marriage was much faster. They say that love blinds you but an unexpected break-up blindsides you so much more.

Our story was like a fairytale. The perfect how we met story. We were friends in high school but hadn’t seen each other for almost seven years. I was at a club and as I walked to the bathroom, a handsome boy grabbed my arm and said my name. I looked at him and asked, Do I know you? And then we talked and talked. The next day he looked me up in the phone book (I know!) and since he didn’t remember my stepfather’s last name, he went down the list and called every single Rubinoff until he found my father. And found me. How could I not agree to a date after all that effort?

We went out the next night, and that was it. From the first sweet, soft kiss at my doorstep, I was his. That night I dreamt of my wedding. As I walked down the long aisle, a tall, handsome man in a tuxedo turned to greet me. It was him.

And I just knew.

Our wedding was the stuff of storybooks and our honeymoon, even better. We had one fight in three weeks and it was because he wouldn’t ask for directions. I couldn’t get enough of him. I adored him, top to bottom and sideways, too. Sometimes I would crawl on top of him and try to squish myself into his body because I couldn’t get close enough.

Life with him held everything I’d been searching for during my unhappy childhood: love, security, faithfulness and warmth. He was the responsible steady foil to my wild, irresponsible filly. He had the sweetest deep brown eyes and they were home.

Of course marriage isn’t like that all the time. Life is not sunshine and roses and it has its ups and downs, bumps and creaks. Children, jobs, stress, they all take their toll. He has his quirks and idiosyncrasies and I have mine. But we weathered it together, or so I thought. I opened my heart and soul and gave my love with abandon. I didn’t always feel content with what he gave me, but really who does all the time?

I relished taking care of my family and my man. I know it’s not politically correct to say, but I loved being a wife. Doing things for him, supporting him, easing his way in the world—every one of those acts filled my cup. I believed my circle of love was complete and that my satisfaction in our life together was absolute. I didn’t know how wrong I was, or that I didn’t really know him at all.

The dirty details aren’t important, even though they’d make a good movie of the week. I could say that I believed that he loved me how I loved him—truly and without exception—but I don’t really know if he did. He might have, in his own way. Only he can answer to that. I could say say that I was naive and we had a breakdown in communication and things weren’t what I thought they were, and I’d be on the right track. I can say that I should have trusted my inner voice when it told me that what I had to offer him wasn’t enough. Then I’d be right.

I should have trusted my intuition. We women know things. Things we don’t want to know. I had whispers and inklings and suspicions that all wasn’t well in our world. I ignored them.

I shouldn’t have been shocked when one night, I jumped into bed, piled on top of him like a puppy and jokingly asked, Do you want a divorce? and his answer was Yes. 

Next page: And here’s what happened next…

About the author

Mara Shapiro

Mara Shapiro is Co-Editor, Community of BrazenWoman. She is proof that it's never too late to reinvent yourself, and also that you cannot have too many pairs of shoes and lipglosses. A Social Media addict, Community Manager, and insatiable lover of movie popcorn, Mara is always on the hunt for the next best thing. You'll often find her laughing and dancing, phone in one hand, and a glass of red in the other. The only time she's not talking is when she's sleeping.

  • Angele @shoeboxbegone

    oh honey! this breaks my heart. I’ve been there. It’s hard. Take care of yourself, don’t apologize for it. you deserve happiness, whatever form it may take.

    One thing that helped was taking myself out on dates – dinner and a movie. There’s power in saying Table for 1 and getting the large popcorn without needing to share or argue over elbow room. I learned that if I couldn’t stand to be in my own company for a few hours…. how could I expect anyone else to? Learn to be happy with you. The rest follows. That’s the only advice from the trenches I have to give you.

    beyond that – know you are loved xox the collective ‘we’ of this community – we’re here with you.

    now pass the wine, my allergies must be acting up again

    • ChickyMara

      I don’t know if table for 1 is my thing, but I will learn to be my own best friend and demand what I want.

  • Aneta Alaei

    Mara, I heart you so very much and can’t imagine what you are going through. You will find love again and it will be exactly like love should be. For now I hope you know there is a lot of us who love you as you are-honest, funny and supportive.

    • ChickyMara

      Thank you so much. Your words mean the world to me.

  • amotherworld

    Mara, I am so very sorry to hear this news. If you need a good ear, I’m close-by. xx

    • ChickyMara

      Thanks so much Maria. I really appreciate it.

  • Pam Dillon

    Mara, you are and you were enough. You are beautiful and amazing and funny and sweet and wonderful. Don’t ever lose sight of that.

    The not-enough rests with him.

    • ChickyMara

      xoxo. I really appreciate your kind words.

  • Carolyn Wilman

    Our stories are so similar. Although the players and circumstances are different, the disconnect between my ex and I, the feelings and pain are the same. Thankfully I have alone a lot alone in my life, before, during and after marriage so it’s old hat to me. Ping me if you ever want to go to a movie, not alone! Or just chat with someone who has been in your shoes!!

    I will also add that one thing that helped my what listening to Robert Ohotto (www.ohotto.com) He has a great podcast on Relationships and the Law of Attraction Lie http://ow.ly/Yr7se and my favourite Are You Co-Dependent? http://ow.ly/ZrGp9 – I have been working with him 5 years now and he’s gone from mentor to client so I am a wee bit biased 🙂

    • ChickyMara

      Thank you for sharing that information. I will check it out.

  • Angela September

    sending you hugs. Been there and I understand. It’s like someone grabbed the snowglobe that is your life and shook it all around and everything is flying all over the place. But eventually the snowglobe settles and you will find a new normal.

    • ChickyMara

      That’s such a good analogy. I can’t wait to see what’s normal.

  • This makes my heart ache for you all over again. xoxo

    • ChickyMara

      xoxo thanks for your sweetness.

  • Christine

    I wish there were the perfect words to tell you or a magic wand to wave to make things better. Sending you hugs and if you need an ear, I am always here.

  • Tracey

    Dear Mara,
    I know your pain, anxiety, panic, fear – the whole shooting match! My world came to a crashing end when I was 33 (I love Angela September’s analogy to a snow globe). And yes, I should have listened to my inklings, whispers & suspicions. But I didn’t want to see what was really going on … why would someone I loved and trusted betray me? I was a nice, solid, responsible, fun loving gal!
    I too had dirty details and I felt ashamed – I had failed at one of lifes’ major stepping stones.
    And after the ugly parts and torrents of tears (him packing his stuff and leaving, etc) ….. I started my life as One … slowly. I learned to do the things that he always had done & if I couldn’t figure it out I thought I would hire someone!
    It was exactly as you said “wake up tomorrow and deal with it” every day and it started to work itself out – I started to work myself out. Over the next 5 years I spent as One I learned some great things about myself and confident that I was not a failure. I later reconnected with an old school mate, we had stayed in touch with each other over the years. We reconnected and re-established our friendship. Over time I learned to trust again and believe … and loved blossomed again.
    I wish you great comfort from the Brazen community. We are a group of strong diverse women who have the ability to rally round and embrace our tribe, providing support and encouragement and you will never be alone!
    love, x0

  • Dani@Lifeovereasy

    Oh honey. My heart breaks for you. All women understand, in some way. If you need a shoulder or a hug, let me know. xo.

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