Getting used to the new normal

I recently caught up with a friend I hadn't seen in eight years. We caught up on things great and small over the course of a few hours. She had been reading my blogs, so she knew what had been going on in my life this year. After filling in some of the blanks, she said that I seemed to be doing OK these days. Maybe I am.

Though I still have my moments, I am overwhelmed less often. Sharp pains have given away to dull aches. With the house sale and packing everything away in storage, there are less tangible things to bring feelings to the forefront. I am able to share more of my story with friends without fear of breaking down. Though I find some solace in doing this writing, talking things through with people I care about has been a blessing.

I am making my way across the chart and through the five stages of grief and loss. I am doing them a little out of order, pushing anger to the later stages of my journey. What I am feeling right now doesn't feel quite like bitterness or anger. The best I can describe my current state is a feeling of being a little ripped off.

I feel like being married means you take the relationship commitment more seriously, and that you must make every effort before throwing up your hands in futility. I don't feel like we made that effort, but I also understand our perceptions of what went on are quite different. I still struggle with understanding how we got here, and why we couldn't turn the ship around, but I am beginning to accept that I may never get any clarity from J. I will of course continue to stumble my way toward finding meaning, new and old, in what has transpired.

J and I speak less and less often. Our conversations have been centered around the details of the house sale and the paperwork of separation and divorce. As those things have been checked off, the things that force contact are fading away. After talking to each other on the day the house sold, we didn't have any contact for more than three weeks.

We are still friendly when we do speak, but of course it has been somewhat stilted and awkward. We stick to discussing what we have to, and a little about work and our dog. We don't just call each other up to catch up on things, which is understandable. There is only so much I want to hear about her new life, but the silence still takes getting used to.

The few women I have dated in the past have all been people I worked with. There was no physical separation after a breakup as we had to see each other the next day (and the next...). J now lives two states away. I initially wanted her to stay in town, but the distance between us is making it easier to move forward. But again, it seems wrong on some level to now be out of touch after 7-8 years of marriage, especially when we are still friendly.

Once the final details are worked out, I don't know how much contact there will be, if any. I imagine we both need time off each other's grid to figure things out and build new lives for ourselves. When some time has passed, there may be calls, e-mails or visits, but not right now. For now this is the new normal, right or wrong.


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