Guest Post: The Rewritten Life

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pen_and_paperNOTE: This is the fourth in a series of guest posts set to run while I’m away. And it’s written by one of my favorite writers who hardly ever writes. But hopefully that will change. What little he has written lives at “Unloaded.” He’s a good writer. A good man. (And in the ultimate display of vanity…) He reminds me of me. I’ve written four posts about this man. You just didn’t know it. He inspires me. And I hope I get to keep reading his work because I think he and his wife have a bunch of lessons for this world. So, DD. Thanks for writing this.

I have been away from my blog for a few months now. I see that a lot in the world of thera-blogging.

New ones pop up, old ones go down. Hearts are broken, hearts heal. Lives take unexpected turns.

You feel like you have a connection, and then poof—gone. At first you miss them. You wonder.

Eventually you forget.

Sad, I suppose. But I get it. Hell, I did it. I consider my blog a new one that went down prematurely. I assume that logic would account for many of the ones out there.

I started my little journey right around the same time as Matt and MBTTTR. For much, if not exactly the same reasons. His wife left, my wife left—on the same day. He drives a Jeep he can sort-of afford, as do I. He upgraded to it from a sweet-as-hell 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix. I know how sweet-as-hell it is because I drove the same car—same year, same color. Black.

The creepy similarities list goes on and on, but what resonates with me most is the personal things we share. The pain. The confusion. The embarrassment. The recovery. The understanding. Half the time I read MBTTTR, I see my life. I picture my dirty taco dishes in the sink. My lame Match profile and short stature.

My fiscally irresponsible bills piling up.

My neglect.

My memories.

My wife.

I get it. All too well, in fact.

It is not something anyone should ever want to “get,” but with it are great lessons to be learned. And I feel fortunate we have been given the chance to learn them. Even considering the cost. We have learned hard truths that have made us better men. Better husband material. Better fathers. Better writers.

At some point our paths diverged, Matt and I’s. I never chose divorce. I chose to see this whole husband/wife/family thing through. Whether she wanted to or not. I pushed along because I love my wife, and all the ifs, ands, and buts we both carry. I love the possibilities. And now I know the bond of marriage is not unbreakable, but rather always under construction.

We were separated for six months. We have been back together in “our” house since October.

Roughly, or rather exactly the same period of time I have neglected my blog. I keep wanting to write but came up with myriad excuses not to. It’s just—different now. I hope to use this as springboard for sharing again. To share my story of reconciliation. Of how to heal. How to build trust again. I can only hope it helps even one person, one family, as I know so many others have helped me and mine.

One MAJOR disclaimer: My marriage is in no way perfect now. But it is better than it ever was. I only intend to share what happens. What really happens. Not a watered down, “Oh, things are peachy,” version. I have learned what that sort of communication gets you. I have learned how to shut out an audience.

So onto my first excuse for not writing.

WoN: My family’s privacy. This one kills me. I have come up with fifty different reasons alone under this excuse not to write. There are some pretty painful and personal indiscretions laid out in some of MBTTTR’s posts about My Digital Doppelganger, i.e., Me. Ones that are not exposed in my personal blog. There are also some personal things in my blog which would identify my family. The two major problems with this argument? No one reads my blog. There is not much content and I could easily just start a new one. But what I have come up with now is to just privatize or edit some of the existing “identifying” posts. Rocket surgery.

ToO: My initial thoughts right after our reconciliation was to write about dealing with the causes of our break-up, and the ramifications of some of the hurtful decisions we made. I was concerned the pain was too fresh to be shared publicly. This one is moot now. I am already getting over that pain.

The memories are there, and there are triggers now and again, but it is no longer my obsession. It sort of just falls under excuse one.

ThREA: I didn’t want it to interfere with our communication. This is just plain retarded. My writing is the best way for me to communicate to my wife. It is part of why we are together today. It is where I can honestly share my thoughts, without my kneejerk mouth getting in the way. Moron.

FoRe: I don’t have time. BUT—I have watched every episode of Dexter in the last two months. Laziness.

FiVe: I may pull traffic away from MBTTTR. No, not really. But I can truthfully say I was a little hesitant due to my new path versus Matt’s. There was a bit of “winner’s guilt” going on. I am that vain. And insecure. Stupidity.

We all write for our own reasons. Mine is pride. I am proud to put myself out there, even if it is anonymous. I am not always happy with the product (this piece, included,) but I like thinking I created something that may resonate with someone.

Something that will someday be missed, wondered about and forgotten.

Here is where I make my expectations clear. ~See that, I have learned something.

I want to thank Matt for giving me this opportunity to share. He has thrown me an exceptionally large bone and I am very, very honored. He is a gentleman and a Google scholar. And he writes good shit.

To whatever extent you may admit, we all want more traffic, whatever our reasons may be. So share MBTTTR with that girl next to you on the train. And that guy you see every morning when you get coffee. And your personal masseuse. And oh, oh, most importantly of all, share it with your shitty husband.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

9 thoughts on “Guest Post: The Rewritten Life”

  1. I love this. I also struggle with what to write and whether to write. My husband is supportive of it and I don’t think I’m really that hard on him in my blog. But still. I don’t want to write something that will drive a wedge between us.

    I also am conscious that the other woman may read it. I don’t like the idea that she sees my pain. Especially when she still takes an opportunity every few months to rub salt in.

    The person who prompted the blog, the person who said I had “rage, sarcasm and vitriol”, is still part of our lives, and knows too many people we know not to be. What if she read it! She could go to town exposing who I am. Blegh.

    I want to write more. But there are reasons not to. I do hope you are right that marriages can recover from this. I can’t see many role models so I hope you’ll write more about that.

  2. Some good points. There’s the privacy issue, not knowing what you should blog and who you should let see it…I’ve struggled with that since my blog was created so most of my posts are private. What’s the point of sharing your feelings if you can’t let other people see, offer support or just to know someone out there might read it and think about you?

  3. It takes courage to put yourself out there, to shine your light (yes, it IS a light in the darkness for somebody). What helps me is being gentle with myself and allow myself to grow into the role of writing a blog. That also helps me to share these qualities with others, by the way.

    Thank you DD for shining your light here and thank you Matt for providing this space. 🙂

  4. Honesty and messiness and a life with uncounted shades of gray. It’s soothing that other folks live in reality, too.

  5. I’m happy to read this and know you’re doing okay. This is only the second thing by you I’ve read, but like the other piece, it leaves me wanting to read more. I hope you will continue to write.

  6. This was a great read. And, I know for a fact that your writing won’t take away from Matt’s. In essence, your journeys compliment each other’s. “Two paths diverged…” We can learn from both, share in both, and hope in both. And, when it comes to writing publicly, if I’m concerned about something I’m going to share, I ask permission of the person to which I may be sharing about-so there aren’t any unwarranted surprises that may be hurtful. I’m not a proponent of just throwing it out there for the world to see, no matter who may be affected, but that’s just me. 🙂 Anyhow, I am digging these guest posts, Matt, and thank you DD for writing this one. Best wishes in the continued health of your marriage. 🙂 XOXO-Kasey

  7. As a ‘Four-Time-Loser” in the marriage arena, I can certainly relate. Not that I was ever a bad husband (Three out of four ex-wives agree), it’s just that I have chronic wanderlust syndrome–not to be confused with lust of the flesh–I was faithful to all four. My wanderlust has taken me all over the world, working sometimes in places which kept me away for months at a time (Iraq, Afghanistan, Sinai and others), and although ‘absence does make the heart grow fonder,’ unrequited, or should I say ‘un-consummated’ fondness and longing won’t always ‘Get R’ Done’ in the long run.
    Great Post. Keep writing.

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