Happily-ever-after ended sooner than I’d expected.
Women are the only people who can find truth in a lie. Especially when it comes to the men in our lives. I conned myself into believing our lies were true. To the outside world we had the perfect marriage, but all houses look good from the curb. Our marriage, not unlike any other, lived amid accusations and disappointments. Then it hits you, somewhere between washing dishes and folding clothes--is this all there is for me?
I didn’t know the answer to that. Wish I did. What I did know was happiness would never exist for me in this union.
It was time. Neither one of us would get what we needed to stay in this marriage from words alone. I didn’t have the passion or the energy to do anything about us. Not anymore. It was time to let go of the lie and embrace reality. I was writing Jake out of my story. Now all there was left to do was tell him.
I invited him back to our, soon to be my house. I sat down at the kitchen table, reflecting about how we’d argued over which table to buy; ultimately I won. Dressed in a suit I’d picked out for his birthday, Jake pulled out a chair and joined me.
I examined his eyes in search of the love I knew a century ago. Initially, separating for a while seemed to be a good idea. Looking at him, I’m not so sure anymore. He appeared to be a new person, different, from the man I’d known. We both have lived six months of life apart. Considering all he achieved with other women living in the same house, I could only imagine what or whom he’d gotten into without me. Starting over would mean getting to know this man, accept his lies, and his mistakes. I had absolutely no desire to do that.
I started things off. “Our lives are such a mess. Let’s just get this over with.”
“I’m not going to argue with you. I know it’s a mess, but I don’t think divorce is the answer. You need to try to forgive me.”
“For what?” I got up and poured myself a cup of coffee. “Why would I do that with someone who doesn’t love me?” I returned to my seat next to him.
He frowned. “You misinterpreted what I said. I didn’t mean I don’t love you at all.”
“I’m confused. Exactly what does not love you mean? You either love me or you don’t, and you clearly said you didn’t.” I took a sip. “Am I missing something?”
Jake made a dismissive gesture with his hand. “I only meant the romantic love I felt for you is gone, not that I don’t love you. Of course I love you.”
“Do you see,” I waved my finger, “that those kind of statements only make sense to anybody with a penis? I love you enough to live in the same house with you, but not enough to touch you?”
“Don’t twist my words Alex. I think marriage counseling could help us find what’s missing.”
I quickly lost patience with him. “Okay—again, maybe it’s me, what exactly did we lose? Considering you never stopped dating.” I threw my hands up in exasperation. “I’m so tired of us. You can’t misplace what we never had.”
“So you don’t even want to try?”
I didn’t meet his eyes. “Jake—you cheated on me days before our wedding. These wounds aren’t healing anymore. I’m carrying them and it’s causing permanent mental damage now. I can’t keep doing this—I won’t.”
He wasn’t giving up. “Alex, just think about it. I don’t want to go through with this, but if it’s what you want me to do—I’ll sign the papers to file right now.”
I stood up and walked out of the kitchen.
“Where are you going?”
“To get a pen.”
Book Title: Knowing Is Not Enough
Author: Patricia Walker Chatman
Genre: General Fiction
Release Date: January 2014
"I, Jake, promise you, Alex, that I will be your husband from this day forward, to be faithful and honest in every way, to honor the faith and trust you place in me, to love and respect you in your successes and in your failures, to make you laugh and to be there when you cry, to care for you in sickness and in health, to softly kiss you when you are hurting, and to be your companion and your friend, on this journey that we make together."
Happily ever after ended much sooner than Alex expected. They dated, got married, then Jake dated some more. A lot more. Deep down Alex knew Jake loved her, but not exclusively. Alex had to face the harsh reality that even in bad times, there are good ones too, but good sex doesn’t make a good marriage, and despite his infidelities and inability to be faithful, she still loved her husband. Nevertheless, knowing he loved her and she him was not enough. Not anymore. Alex could stay in the middle of till death do us part or wager that the odds of finding love again were in her favor. A love of her own. Alex, with the help of her sister and friends, is ready to relinquish the pretense in her life and stop hiding behind a lie. Before Alex can move forward with someone new, first she must confront her fears, and take responsibility for the part she played in her failed marriage. Knowing Is Not Enough is a love story about letting go of the life you know, living your truth, and stepping out on faith in the hope of finding true love.
About the Author
For over twenty years, Dr. Patricia Walker Chatman has worked in the human service industry. Dr. Chatman is the Director of Employment and Training at Goodwill Industries, Faculty Associate at University of Phoenix, and Lecturer at Oakland University. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resources with a specialization in Training and Development. A Master Degree in Public Policy and Administration, and Ph.D. in Public Policy Administration. Patricia is owner of Walker Chatman Publishing and the author of Knowing Is Not Enough and The Indie Authors Resource Guide for Self-Publishing.
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