Book Excerpt: 'A Promise to Ourselves'

It was ostensibly over this issue that, on December 8th, we had the argument that ended our marriage. I moved out of the house. We had very little contact. I wanted to see Ireland, but suddenly, as the semester ended, Kim was off to Los Angeles and, as I later found out, contacted an attorney to begin divorce proceedings.

Soon thereafter, I was driving down a road in East Hampton when it hit me: that unmistakable and shuddering wave that comes over you when you own the truth that your marriage is over.

Now, you are like all of the other millions that have failed, or at least felt they had, at something so personal. Something that meant so much to you and that you tried so hard to keep alive is dead. I pulled my car to the side of the road, snow falling all around me. I let out sounds I did not know were in me. I cried and thought how helpless I felt, helplessness having been, in my lifetime, the most demoralizing feeling of all.

My wife had finally stopped pretending to listen to my opinion about my daughter, or anything else, and gone back to LA with no regard for any of my rights, or those of my child to see her father. I had loved this woman, once.

As things would grow more contentious and bitter, I wondered how she could behave this way. Eventually, my disbelief would become immeasurable.

I asked my therapist, an intelligent, mature, kind woman, a wife and mother herself, "What am I supposed to take from this?"

Her answer was, "Now you've learned one of life's most painful lessons: that even the deepest feelings don't last forever".

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