It’s another Saturday night. I should look forward to the weekend, or at least start learning to. I start working in two weeks, after a three-year hiatus. Trust me, not working was not my choice.

Staying at home subjected her to the worst parts of my recovery. Sure, she saw the best parts, too, but she’s not the type of person to see the positive in anything anymore. She became dysphoric after the divorce, as if she walked through cold rain, and with every step, she wanted the sun less. My presence used to be shelter for her, but it became a run-down slum after living with my problems for so long. 

The roof was leaky.

I only have to survive two more weeks. I know she’s gone, emotionally, but physically, she’s always been here. I’m attuned to her. I still sense those abandoned feelings that chip away at her ego.

She’s found someone new, and she’s put more effort into their relationship in six weeks than she did five years of our cohabitation. Strangely, I’ve become her confidant in regards to her new beau. This had unlocked something within me that I didn’t know existed; tolerance. I have never treated a lover that slighted me with anything but contempt.

I want them to succeed. In two weeks, I’ll be but an afterthought. I’ll have my work. I’ll have new friends. I will not be readily available to her. Our relationship will be strained as I better myself out of necessity instead of spite.

She already set boundaries. I can’t get a body like Chris Hemsworth or Chris Pratt, pretty much any Marvel movie actor named Chris. She says she’ll beat up my girlfriends if I do…

Loophole! I’m going for a Jason Momoa look. That should keep the ladies safe.

Now that it’s Saturday, I know she won’t be home for days. I’ll go to sleep knowing she won’t be here when I wake. I won’t be able to go on my morning runs. This morning, I ran to the library and back two and a half times. Instead, I’ll have to rouse all the kids so I can go buy cat food tomorrow.

There’s no point in convincing myself that I don’t love her. I can’t just stop my feelings for her. Her scent lingering in the room lulls me to sleep when I know she will be home. I can feel my face glowing when I see her sleeping in my waking moments. Cooking breakfast for her takes me to a place of serenity. When I know she won’t be here, I get despondent. I know there’s no hope in having what we used to have with anyone.

No, I instead have to convince myself that she doesn’t love me. It’s something that I can’t control. Surrendering control was a major turning point in therapy. I can come to terms with holding her torn sleeve while I fall into the abyss because she couldn’t hold on.

What will come in the following months will be random flirtations. I might keep people on the hook, but inevitably, I’ll dash their hopes of a relationship. It will be like working at the hospital all over again.

A close friend has already put me in touch with three suitable companions. I’d hate to let him down, because we’ve been through hell together, almost literally, but I hope D, M, and S don’t have high expectations. Hell, I forgot about my date with T to see Iron Maiden and Ghost in concert!

I have my kids. I have my PTSD recovery. Soon, I’ll have my job. I have the memories, pleasant and otherwise, of her. I’ll want for nothing but stability. I can be happy just being another failed military marriage. There are so many of us, anyway.


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