Lost and undone…

7 Sep

I bought a new paperback book today to take with me to the pool. The back cover was interestingly (and very) close to my life story so I felt compelled to buy it. And sitting in the 100 degree heat, with sweat dripping down parts of my body that didn’t object insomuch as they didn’t appreciate the torment, I sat there reading and reading until I realized I was burning.

The story line should sound familiar enough to many women in their mid forties. Married for 20+ years and along comes a stranger. She wasn’t looking or seeking this stranger, but he was there. Providing distraction, attention, and a little more.


The main character of this book married young, and over the course of two decades, grew bored and eventually unhappy with her life. She had no right to complain. She has wealth, two beautiful well-adjusted daughters, and a husband. But one who ignores her. Listens but doesn’t hear her.  Their sex life is predictable. They know where to touch each other and for how long. They barely kiss. It leaves her feeling lonely. She craves passion.

She doesn’t know she’s truly unhappy until she’s offered something else. When she takes it, she doesn’t feel guilty. I never cheated on my husband in that way. I’m a huge flirt and it’s gotten me into trouble in the past, hell, still does, but I must admit that having male admiration has always been a welcome thing. Marriage or not. Maybe it’s a validation I want or need.

The book goes into areas that made me uncomfortable though. The constant checking of the email to see if there’s a new message from her lover. The sending of text messages that go unanswered for too long that leave her feeling doubt and insecurity.

This illicit affair comes with huge prices to pay. She cannot share her marital dissatisfaction. She cannot share this new excitement. She must grieve the losses she faces completely alone. Because she cannot be honest with herself yet.

Another thing that absolutely resonated with me is the distraction. The lack of focus. The inability to even read a book. Cannot concentrate at work. In the two years leading to my separation, I couldn’t watch a movie or read a book. I don’t know how I kept my job. I felt like coming out of my skin. In this book, she refers to it as coming undone. I get it.

Why am I calling this post ‘lost and undone’? It’s because that is what it is. Simple and plain. Ugly truth, but truth nonetheless. You look back, and fondly recall moments in your shared life, and recoil against others. You look ahead and fear the sameness that is before you. Big questions arise like “What if I leave?” “How can I leave?” “Will he/she change?” “Have I changed too much?” It’s unnerving when you finally recognize and begin to ask the painful questions.

I haven’t finished the book yet. I suspect I will before the night is over. I predict she will leave her husband, and she will continue her affair with her lover. But unlike real life, I suspect there’s a happy ending out there for her and her lover. If this were real life, eventually the affair will die. She, like me, simply doesn’t know herself anymore. She’s just a lost soul in search of something she didn’t know she didn’t have until it unraveled.


4 Responses to “Lost and undone…”

  1. Socialkenny September 8, 2013 at 7:36 am #

    This reminds me of an article I will post soon which deals with sweeping bored women off their feet. The thing is, routine or having the same routine for a decade is very self-exhausting. Everyone craves a reawakening which is part of the reason married women cheat. They’re so set into their monotonous routine that the potential to get away from it however briefly is an enticing deal.

    The book sounds like a good read for me though.

  2. Ned's Blog September 8, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    Sometimes it’s necessary to unravel if you want to begin again and make something better. I know exactly how you feel. After my divorce, I honestly don’t remember much about those first months other than how “normal” routines that I thought would make me feel better and distracted only made me feel more disconnected. Movies, music, certain foods (when I ate), laughter… they were all such a stark contrast to what I was feeling inside that I couldn’t lose myself in anything that should have made me feel comforted and “normal.” I realize now that it was just part of the necessary unraveling process to help me discover “me” again. I think of it as a shirt that’s buttoned wrong; it’s still functional and can be hidden under the right coat, but it won’t fit right until you take the time to unbutton it and line things up for yourself.

    • Socialkenny September 8, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

      Shirt being buttoned wrong. Nice analogy to sum up what you’re feeling.

      • Ned's Blog September 8, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

        Thanks Kenny; it’s especially fitting considering how I dress sometimes.

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