Emotionally, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write. I have to acknowledge something intensely painful in order to allow myself to move forward. Tragedy has a way of paralyzing you and letting every destructive thought beat you down if you don’t face it head on. That’s what I’m doing here, and I’m doing it publicly so I’ll stop hiding.
Marianna and I have split. While I don’t want to go into details, I will just say that our twenty-year relationship didn’t end because of infidelity or abuse or because of any one life-altering act. It simply ended because we stopped communicating. As of this writing, we are both feeling a sense of betrayal, and we’re struggling to treat each other as our better selves instead of our bitter selves. I recognize she has some very real complaints about me, and I hope she recognizes I have some very real complaints, too. We haven’t yet worked through all of our misgivings and misunderstandings, but we will. It will just take some time. One of the last things we said to each other is that we both want the other to be happy. It is my greatest hope for her, and I know it’s her greatest hope for me.
For those of you who know us personally, my only request is that you not inundate us with questions. We are both dealing with raw emotions, and it’s agonizing to wade through the minutiae. We welcome your support and well wishes, but neither of us are prepared to dive into the details. Marianna has suspended all activity on Facebook, so I’m afraid reaching out to her there won’t result in a reply or acknowledgement of gratitude. It will be enough for her if you keep her in your thoughts and prayers.
Before I knew my marriage was over, my publisher asked me to provide them with a dedication for my book. I’m posting it here (awkward phrasing and all) because it is my last love letter to my best friend and wife. Even though things have changed since I wrote it, I still mean every word of it. I have gone through the seven stages of grief about 12 times a day since the separation, but I’m working with a therapist to get through it. Right now there are over 800 miles of physical road between Marianna and me, as well as an ocean of pain, but we will always be connected by the best years of our lives.
This book is dedicated to she who sacrificed so much so I could write. To she who carried more than her share of the burden so I could chase a dream, and to she who picked me up when life ran me over. I can’t begin to thank her enough, but I will do all that I can to return the favor. Thank you, Marianna.
Be happy, Marianna.