Better Things Lie Ahead

by Lorien E. Menhennett

As I may have mentioned before, I haven’t lived alone in more than 7 years. And back then, I was in a serious relationship (with my husband). So it didn’t feel like I lived by myself.

Now I really live alone – and I’m finding it to be somthing of an adjustment. It’s not that I mind doing things on my own. When I lived with my husband, we were often doing our separate things, but it was in the same house, and we both knew there was another person around. Or another person you could call just to say “hello,” or “I love you.”

Waking up alone is another odd thing. I’m accustomed to having my morning coffee with another person, not even necessarily talking about much, just another person being there, sitting next to me on the couch. Coming home from the lab to an empty apartment, having dinner by myself … they’re all reminders of what has happened. I don’t feel sad all the time or anything. Sometimes I feel a little lost, though, in these altered circumstances. I think that’s normal, but it’s bewildering nonetheless.

I know how important it is, especially now, to socialize with my friends and family. And I do. I have dinners out, dinners in, coffee, etc. And lots of phone conversations. It’s just those weird times when I’m used to another person being around that get me.

Everyone asks me how I’m doing. I tend to say that given the circumstances, I’m coping well. And that is the honest truth. But that doesn’t mean this isn’t hard, or that little things like seeing couples kissing or holding hands don’t send shockwaves of memories through my mind.

A dear friend of mine recently got married (it was both the bride’s and groom’s second marriage). I helped out with planning the wedding. Which I thought might be really difficult for me, but was actually a lot of fun. A few days later, I was over at their house, and my friend’s new husband pulled me aside. He had gone through a very nasty divorce before meeting my friend, and told me that while he obviously didn’t enjoy that situation, he is much happier in his current relationship than he was in his first marriage. So it worked out for the best. He encouraged me that there are positive things ahead in my future, too, and to focus on that as much as I can.

This is a message I have gotten from several friends who have been divorced: that good things, better things, lie ahead. I’m trying to hold on to that as much as I can. Thank you to everyone who is helping me do that.