My Shitty Husband

I didn’t realize it was my (former?) anniversary until I saw it on Facebook. “Three years ago today . . .” it said. And there was a picture of so many of us, my people, huddled together in and around and on top of the outhouse that my then fiancé carefully crafted so that it would be useful at camp after we used it as a photo booth.


I couldn’t find him in the picture.

I thought the hard part of divorce was the decision. I remember a nearly full year of agonizing and crying and mourning. Of walking through every possible scenario to save whatever was left. Then one day, I wasn’t mourning anymore. I was done crying and done hypothesizing; the unraveling of our union proceeded with remarkable ease.

But here I am, five months later, and I realize that the hard part is NOW.

The hard part is when you miss your really shitty husband.

The hard part is when you have cramps like Vesuvius and your kid is surly and you think you’ve failed at raising him AND the fucking dishes never end, man. Never end. You just want to read your book, walk the dog, go to fucking yoga, man. You realize that there is no one else to make the coffee, and no matter how shitty a person is, if they bring you coffee in the morning? You remember what that feels like. You still wake up some days and roll over, thinking that a hot cup of coffee will be right beside you.

Even when your shitty spouse seems to do nothing more than make life difficult, there is someone there to yell at. Someone who, for better or worse, knows the only way to stop the tears, catch your breath.

Our life together was not healthy or fun, and the rare good times were too far apart to even create the illusion of happiness. But he was . . . there. Even if the burden of home fell on me, there was another human around. In Case of Emergency.

As a teacher, I spend the end of August and beginning of September coiling, coiling, coiling so tightly that I actively fear the release. I know that something is next, but I’m never quite sure what. It could be a weekend of sleeping, a thrown coffee mug, or a midnight drive. But usually, it’s just a couple of hours of uncontrollable sobbing. (I blame society, not nature, for the record.)

Maladaptive, yes, but there are few people in the universe, who can both push you over the edge and soften your fall. My shitty husband could do both.


And I miss him this week.


10 thoughts on “My Shitty Husband”

  1. I just did so much work to join because everytime I read your shit, I want to comment something to the effect of “HERE HERE!” …and I never can. Anyhoo. This was raw, honest and wonderful and deserved usernames… passwords…. choosing a domain name…. blah blah blah…..

    1. Thanks, Michelle. My fingers hovered over ‘post’ because I so struggled with the tone. The responses have really intrigued me and started a much larger conversation about honesty and emotion and expression and reception. To be continued in class!

  2. Fabulous entry, in its raw truth. I know I’ve encountered an excellent writing crafter when I feel a gut punch, but it’s happened to my brain/heart.

    I can’t say that I understand the push-me-pull-you of a new divorce on one’s life, except that I was a divorced kid when no one was a divorced kid (70s, Western Maine, really Maybury-esque – except for the poverty).

    I can say that I understand how magical those mugs of wake-up coffee are. I can also say that I understand the relentless nature of being a mom who teaches.

    Wishing you kindness and peace, as you grow to adjust to the new life you have.

    And thank you for putting yourself “out there” so effectively.

  3. Your honesty is refreshing and I think that many people will be able to relate to your blog post. I think it’s important that people like you are honest because other people can discover that they aren’t the only ones feeling a certain way.

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