Empty Closets

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChoices sometimes are taken out of our hands, taken away from us entirely.  Yesterday I came home after a week away to an empty house.  I knew it was empty as soon as I opened the door, before I opened a closet or drawer, I knew I was alone in every real sense.  One choice taken away, one choice not mine anymore; one fight I no longer had to step into the ring for another round.

I wandered through the house, looking for at least a note a letter, something anything that would say to me; I have loved you for sixteen years but no more, I am leaving.  There was nothing.  No good-bye, farewell, nothing at all to mark the end of a marriage, the end of nearly twenty years.

How do you do that?

How do you not even say good-bye?

How the fuck do you hug your wife on Sunday and then pack all your shit and leave without a word?

Because I have friends and you don’t like it?

Because I called you a jackass when you acted like one?

Because I wanted your contribution to our lives and our home to be more than your presence?

Because, I pointed out to you what you were doing in trying to isolate me from friends and family was abusive?

You didn’t like my anger, especially when it focused on you.  You didn’t like the mirror and sometimes when it was held up you would retreat behind a wall of silence, for day’s even weeks until I would beg for a word.

You would win when I was finally on my knees begging, in tears for the silence to end.

How the fuck do you announce on Facebook you have returned to your mother, knowing I won’t see this announcement until after a five-hour drive, after coming into an empty house.

How do you do this?

How do you tell me the only thing you wanted was my time, when the truth was you wanted it on your terms and to the exclusion of anything and everything else in my life.  Your momentary lapses into kindness were just that lulls in the storm, a means to an end.  They lasted only long enough to give me a false sense of safety within our marriage; they were shorter and shorter after every outburst.

One choice out of my hands, you chose for me.  You crushed my spirit, broke my heart.  Never mind, I will survive this.  Maybe, I will be alone for the rest of my life as you say.  Maybe I will never be loved again, as you say.  Except, I will be surrounded by friends who love me and do not expect me to change to suit them.

I wish you hadn’t done this too me, to us.  I wish you had loved me, us and yourself enough.  I did.  I still do, I suspect this will hurt for a very long time.


  1. Jueseppi B. says:

    Yes, this too shall pass, and time heals all wounds…..yada yada yada. You are in pain and thats real and normal. Don’t fight what you feel, accept the hurt & pain and use it. Positive energy is yours Valentine. He did you and your marriage wrong, there is no doubting that fact. He’s a coward & a child, thats a fact. You’re a woman. That too is a fact.

    Abuse comes in many forms and this marriage was a form of abuse toward you. We fall on our knees many times to ask for help with life’s problems…this very well could be the solution your prayers brought…because it just might be the blessing you deserve.

    I am here if and when you need an ear or a shoulder. Friendship was created for hard difficult times of turmoil.

    You are not alone.

    • Thank you, I am grateful. Friendships are blessings. I am blessed.

      • Jueseppi B. says:

        U & I both are blessed with the wordpress family of bloggerfriends. Keep your friends close Dear Valentine.

        Happy Holidays ♥ Happy Hanukkah ♥ Happy Kwanzaa ♥
        Merry Christmas ♥ AND A Happy New 2014 ♥ (*‿*)

  2. My dear, dear, sweet Val,
    I am sorry. This post made me cry.
    I love love love you. Xxxxxxxxxx

  3. I’ll simply send Hugs your way …

  4. Dear Val,
    I want to rant and rage on your behalf. What a cruel way to end it, without a word. So sorry to hear that what I think you knew was ending, was cut short, without a chance to say I loved you. Everybody should say that, some way, some how.
    Hugs. Lots of them.

    • Me too Elyse, me too. Rant, rage, weep and fling myself to the floor throwing the biggest tantrum ever. I wish it could have ended with something different, with “I have loved you and still love you, but I understand what is broken can’t be fixed.” This feels so horrifyling painful, as if I was nothing, trash to be put away, of no value at all, not even worthy of good-bye.

      This was heartless and cruel. This cut deeply and I didn’t deserve this.

  5. This saddens me so much….You must feel like killing him, but I guess you could just toss him in the closet and say “good riddance”. Maybe it was all for the better. His stupidity would have gnawed at you like fungus for the rest of your life. So yeah,Good riddance.Who needs a man like that.

    • No Ayesha, I don’t feel like killing him or even saying good riddance. He remains my beloved husband despite his choice to leave me and our marriage. I am hurt, I am angry also. I wish we could have found a different way. I wish he hadn’t left this way if he felt he only had one option left and that was this. But no, I want only his happiness and for him to find the peace he couldn’t find with me.

  6. I’m saddened to read about that, Val. For what it’s worth, I wish the best for you in this new stage in your life.

  7. When I was once vulnerable after a great injustice had been done to me one helpful soul pointed to a scar on his leg. “See this.” he said. “It hurt something awful when it happened. The scar remains after all these years but the hurt is only a memory!” I hated him for saying that at the time, but looking back now it seems he was telling the truth. I hope its that way for you eventually.

    • I suspect it will be Ian. I bear many scars. I know where each of them come from. Some, will the memory of their origination still hurts sometimes. But mostly they are simply memories that strengthen me.

      I don’t hate their place in my life any more than I hate how I got them.

      This hurt, it will lessen. I know it will. My hopefulness, it hurts for now. The thing is, hopefulness it is a part of my nature; it isn’t destroyed.

  8. Wow, I wish you well going through the stages of grief. I know from experience it’s not going to be easy. This sort of happened to me once. In the end I thought he did me a favor by leaving the way he did, as I approached the anger phase quicker. And for me that is a more productive phase. But we all work in a different way. Thankfully you have a lot of friends, judging by the comments here, and this is the time you’ll need them most.
    Good luck!

    • I am not really angry, not yet. Maybe never. I am simply hurt. I think I understand. At the end, I want him to find happiness and I want me to find happiness. If we couldn’t do that together, I am hurt. I thought he was my forever, I think he thought he could change me into his forever.

  9. I cannot like this one. What I can do is tell you:

    You are loved in the very realest sense of the word.
    You are desirable.
    In your blossoming independence, you will be the prized tulip which begs to be picked.
    You will know the feeling of a love which surpasses the mundane means-to-an-end into an all-encompassing welling of joy.

    I cannot wait to put my arms around you and tell you all these things. I love you. xxx

    • I love you also, you have been my friend when I needed it. I am so grateful for this. You offered to stop, I am grateful for that as well.

      I am not ready to see myself as anything other than slightly cracked, chipped and worn. Maybe some tomorrow in the future I will but not today.


  10. My, my…So sorry to come back into the blogging world to learn this about your marriage. Yes, you will definitely survive. Life takes some bitter turns but you’ll find the sweetness in it again. I can make a mean pitcher of lemonade, if need be and we can sit on the porch and wave at folk if you’re ever this way.

    • My friend, I am ever so tempted to take you up on that offer sometime in the future. Can I watch you paint? I believe watching others in the acts of creativity might remind me I have a soul.

  11. Dear Val, I’m glad you’ve got a plan – to go back to your roots, because that’s what will sustain you. I admire you so much for sharing the pain, and not hiding it with false pride.
    When you stop reeling, from the shock, I hope you’ll feel better that now you are the master of your fate, and not trying to make it right for anyone else.
    When you can stand up again, you’ll find that blissful sense of freedom. Thinking of you, great soul.

    • Valerie, I read this last night and I couldn’t respond. This morning, with coffee beside me and not a few tears I read it again. You are right, you are so very right. There will come a point in time I will embrace my freedom, you have given me the theme for a future blog, perhaps even my next one.

      Thank you, for talking to me, for being my virtual friend, for your thoughtful and wise comments.

  12. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Val, this is horrific. Like Eric, I thought it was a piece of fiction at first as it was clear, unemotional. But then I realise it’s true. I am so, so sorry. How unpredictable, crazy. I am just so sorry.

    • It is okay I think. Maybe for the best. Now my husband who has been very unhappy for a long time I think, well now he can go find his happiness. Unpredicable, no not entirely only in how he did it, how hurtful and how cruelly he did it. How he threw 16 years at my feet, essentially telling me they were trash. But I can not make him a different man, this is what he has done. Still I have loved him for 16 years, this doesn’t change in an instant.

  13. Val, my dear,

    As I was reading this I was hoping that it was a piece of fiction – that you’ll pull a punch line and — This is so very horrid – and during a festive season too!

    If I were there, I would drive over right now and give you a great big hug. My thoughts are with you, my dear.

    I’ve often heard stories of men – usually it is the man and very seldom the woman – who simply walk out. I would NEVER EVER be able to understand this cowardly behaviour.

    I’m so sorry for you – a lovely soul.

    Luv and hugz

    • Thank you Eric. I would accept that hug knowing it comes from a brilliant soul. Then I would invite you to tell me why some men are so cruel, knowing you don’t know the answer.

      Don’t be sorry for me. I will be fine, maybe not today but I will be fine. This is not death, it is hard but it is not death. Empathy, I will take that in buckets. I will get up from this. When I wrote about choices, I knew maybe not that it would be like this but I knew.

  14. 😦

  15. Val –

    You don’t know me, this is my first visit to your blog. I’m a holistic health practitioner and transformational life coach. As an unbiased third-party (from the outside looking in), I would say that while the situation currently hurts, in the long run life will be lighter, fresher, and more joyful because you will not be carrying unnecessary baggage.

    Listen with your heart,

    – Laurie Buchanan

    • Laurie, thank you for your kind comments. You are welcome here anytime, it is what the blogging world is all about, right?

      I am listening with my heart, it says ‘ouch’.

      I know, it won’t hurt for ever. I get that, truly. But right now and likely for sometime to come, it is going to hurt. So bear with me if you come back, I suspect there will be a few more like this.

  16. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    I’ve sat here for ten minutes trying to find just the right thing to say. What I want to say is better for conversation, I think. For now I will just say I’m sorry, and I love you.

    • I don’t know if there is a ‘right’ thing to say. I have been looking for something ‘right’ to say to my heart for over 24 hours now, nada.

      It has been a really bad 24 hours.

      I love you too. Thank you. If you get the time and are up to it, call me over the weekend.

  17. Gray Dawster says:

    You are worth much, much more than this my sweet friend. When a man leaves a woman in this way, without a word it is downright heartless and cowardly. I know from earlier postings that you have been upset about how things were going but this saddens me, a woman as loving as yourself deserves to be treated with respect and loved every day.

    This man is not worthy of your love, I wish that I could offer you something that would make you feel better, you are a lovely woman, a sweet friend and someone that cares passionately about life. I wish you very well and don’t you worry there will be better times ahead, I know it.

    Andro xxxx

  18. Wow, that’s tough, Val. Real sorry to read this.

    • It is a bit hard on the heart. This also shall pass, into infamy or something but it shall pass. Thanks for reading it, thanks for commenting. This feeling of alone is a new one.

  19. WTF?! I’m over here shouting as if we know each other, as if I’m your friend, waiting to beat this man down for so much as pulling this stunt! I really wish I was reading a piece of fiction, but I see that I am not. I am truly sorry that you’re going through this right now. I cannot comprehend how one walks out after all those years, without so much as a notification of sorts. That’s real cowardice.

    You picked up on something major, and I’m happy that you did: you cannot and should not be isolated from those who love you, not for any one relationship. You are worthy of unconditional love, and then some! Don’t change. Stay true. Be you.

    • WTF, that is exactly how I felt last night. Despite my unhappiness I still felt a deep well of misery, of heartbreak. I have loved him so and for so many years.

      We are friends, I thank you for that.

  20. Sorry, Val. Amazing how you can walk into a house and know it is empty.

    • It is amazing Tess, I knew immediately. I knew before I opened a single closet or drawer. Not because his car wasn’t there, that isn’t all that unusual. It was the air, it was the feel of the house. It was simply emptier than before.

      Maybe, it will be better than I think but right now, this minute? Right this minute it sucks the air out of me.

  21. I find it impossible to press “like” on this post for obvious reasons however I am saddened by this news,although we never formally met if you need someone to listen I’m here!

    • Oh you can like it because I am a spectacular writer of painful pieces of real life.

      Kidding of course.

      Thank you for the offer of a free ear, I suspect I will need many of them before this is all over so I am grateful for all of them.

  22. So sorry to hear that. 😦

    • Thank you Carrie, I think I have seen this coming and simply hoped I was wrong. It is the manner in which it was done that is so painful. Or maybe not, maybe in the end this is better. I don’t know.

  23. AirportsMadeSimple says:

    Val, I just got this. My heart is breaking for you. I will write more later. Hugs. Big hug. d

    • Thank you. It is all I can say, just thank you. I am stunned, crushed and broken but not forever. Does that sound callous? I hope not. Now it is time to return to my roots. Make friends, have dinner parties, remember who I was once. Maybe I won’t do that today, but I will do it.

  24. Hugs to you.

  25. I’m so sorry, Val.

    • Me too, what else is there to say? Oh, I am sure I will find plenty once my heart starts healing a little bit and my woman fury starts to rise up in righteous indignation, but right now? All I have is I am sorry too.

      Thank you.

  26. I’m sorry..

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