Oct 162012

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.”
   –Ernest Hemingway

This is not a beautiful story-not one of those shiny, wrapped up in a bow with a hidden take away to start your day – kind of stories. It’s hard and messy. Hard for me to write and hard for you to read. For the last two weeks I’ve been living a different inside life than outside life and that is not me. It’s making me a little sick. A lot sick. I’ve worked so hard to believe that a life well lived is one lived in the light. And I’ve worked too hard to show you all of me, to refuse to hide anything from you. This is my safe place, and I’m running out of those lately. So here goes. I am going to try to write with as much love and grace as I can muster, so that when I re-read this ten years from now- wherever I am, whoever I am, I won’t be ashamed.

Very recently in therapy, I got The News from my husband. In order to protect him and my children, I’d like to keep this News vague. But The News, I learned, has been part of our marriage from its beginning. When my friends have gotten The News from their spouses in the past, I always had a hard time believing that they never saw it, that they never even felt it coming. I will tell you that I never saw it or felt it coming. One moment I was sitting on a couch enjoying what I thought was my life, and the next moment, after a paragraph of words from Craig, it was all GONE. Just Gone.  Everything became different, and will forevermore be.

After The News, Craig and I decided we needed to take some time apart. I went home to be a single mom, and have been doing that job for three weeks now. Craig went to do what he needs to do. I won’t tell any more of his story. Everyone’s story is his or her own to share or not.

I have not handled this situation the way that I always thought I would: Warrior Like, you know. I have spent most afternoons in bed – twice I had to stand up and remind myself to breathe. In and out, sweetheart, in and out.

I have no idea what I will do. The big questions paralyze me with terror: Will we divorce? If we divorce, will I miss Christmases and weekends? Will my children ever be the same again? Will I lose part of them?  Impossible. But how can we stay together? How? Now, knowing what I know. Post News. Impossible. Do I have to choose between my own life and peace and my children’s lives and peace?  How is it possible that there is no road out of this disaster that isn’t hell on earth?

Bubba told me that concentrating on the big questions right now will continue to paralyze me and keep me from answering the small ones that are more important at this moment. Like: What will the kids have for lunch today? What time is Chase’s soccer game? Where is a hammer? How does this mother F-ING REMOTE CONTROL WORK?? I swear to Christ, if we could JUST FIGURE OUT HOW TO USE THESE REMOTES we might not have to deal with this husband crap at all. That’s why they make them so damn complicated. So we’ll have to stay.

I walk through each day numb, until a tidal wave of hope or rage or fear hits and sends me to my bed, shivering, crying, staring at the ceiling in terror. That’s how it goes. That’s the best way to describe my days right now. My friend Trena said, “You have to bear it. That’s what you have to do and all you have to do.”  Bearing the unbearable is impossible. But that’s what I have to do. That’s what so many of us have to do. My brain is desperately scheming, trying to find some way out or around or BACKWARDS to make this NOT TRUE – but that ain’t gonna happen. There is no escape from this. It is real. It is happening. So I’ll bear it until it becomes a little more bearable. That’s what I’m hoping for. Not praying for.  Prayer is lost on me for now. No prayer. Deciding to breathe in and out is enough of a prayer for me, and I know that my God, whoever She is, understands.

This is such an incomplete, shitty description of what our family is going through. But it’s just the best I can do today. The best I can do today is going to have to be okay for a long while. I just needed you to know. I learned long ago that living a secret life doesn’t work for me. To be healthy and sane —to feel safe—I have to live out loud. There is a saying in recovery: we are sick as our secrets. I refuse to be sick again. So I have to share my truth with you. It is amazing that I can feel safer with you Monkees than I do in my own home right now. But I do. I need you. And US. And we are Shameless Truth Tellers and Hope Spreaders. That’s who we ARE. That’s who I STILL AM.

For four years now, I’ve been dreaming of the day when MY BOOK arrived in the mail. I imagined jumping and dancing and celebrating and lots and lots of squealing. When my package of books arrived two weeks ago, the day after I got The News, I didn’t even open it. It sat on my foyer floor for a week. I didn’t open it because there was no one to show it to.

But then, yesterday, I showed it to you. And for the first time in weeks –  I felt hope. I felt loved. I felt appreciated and understood and cared for. Your encouragement, your support, your love helped me to see that I am still part of a solid family: The Monkee family.

I know that you will be so sad when you read this. You love Craig and our children. And me. I know you do. I know you don’t want this for us. I don’t want this for YOU. And it will be so hard for you to know how to respond.

It’s so hard to know how to handle our friends’ grief.

My therapist suggested that when someone is in deep grief, at first, all a friend can do is “hold space” for them. And you, Monkees, can “hold space” for me. We can create and hold space for each other. You can listen to my pain without trying to fuel it or fix it. You can avoid offering me advice, for now. You can please not bash Craig. You can also avoid offering excuses for him. You can just love us simply, without judgment. Right now, I just need a safe place to be me. You are my safe place.

I am learning that sometimes things are not what they appear- and that is a very hopeful thought to me right now. Because right now things appear so completely hopeless. But that can’t be the truth. Maybe the truth is a moment by moment thing. I know that The News has not made invalid my family’s past. The love I have felt, the love we have poured into our children, that was all real and true. I felt it. I wrote about it—here and in my book—and I know in my mind that The News doesn’t make any of that untrue. But the News is true too. And that is what’s breaking my heart.

But I have been broken before. And Sister has been broken before. And so have many of you. You have written to me about your broken marriages, and your broken families, your children and your parents, and your hearts. Together, we have learned that there is beauty to be found in the broken.

I know that one day this will be a redemption story. I don’t know how in the HELL it will become that, but it will. It will. One breath at a time. With space, with love, we pick up the broken pieces of our shattered selves and we Carry On.

And eventually, in the places where we have broken, we are made strong.

I love you.

Oh, one more thing . . . I am the Warrior.  PLAY IT Looouuuuud Please. For me.


Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  1,881 Responses to “Momascary”

  1. At what point do you share your experience with “news” with new friends? I feel like I can’t share my experiences (heart break AND healing) because it isn’t only my own story (and I don’t want any unfair judging going on). We moved and are making new friends. My heart is to the point of being pretty mostly healed and I don’t feel like I am going to die of heartbreak all the time any more. But in terms of discussing marriages, etc. I sometimes want to add my experiences. It just seems unfair to share my husband’s part, which is the whole part, really. Just wondering….

  2. I just finished your book this AM & it has been life … no – MIND, altering! Born & raised & continued in the church all my 54 years, loving God’s Word fully for the greater part of it BUT your words have brought life to my broken heart. My husband of 31 years decided to have an affair. We had 5 kids (3 thru adoption,) plus 2 oldest married giving us 5 beautiful grand-princesses! We homeschooled, owned our own successful business, vacationed & lived very comfortably. Here I sit 4 years out of his mess & the roller coaster we’ve ridden on due to his breaking my already messy heart … so this broken heart is to be the beginning… I’m still wondering…where’s the magic… yesterday I found a part of the treasure. GOD IS GOOD – THAT’S WHO HE IS and I AM LOVED BY HIM – THAT’S WHO I AM. I knew that before but I know it now more than ever! I pray in my brokenness, I will connect with many others so they can know this treasured gem. I’m not fixed. I will still grieve over what I lost. But we just celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary! (& we did get a grand-prince 3 years ago.)

  3. Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you. Your honesty takes my breath away. I have recently found your blog and have been ugly crying and laughing til I cried all week. My husband and I are a few years out from our “news” experience and still we both found so much healing from you sharing your whole story with your whole heart. Thank you for your posts about the truth about marraige. Thank you for your perspective. Love, love, love. God bless you and your sweet, super real, super super relatable family.

  4. Hi Glennon, I love your blog
    I am reading your book right now. It’s what my soul needs at this moment. I was wondering if you had any suggestionS about dealing with your kids emotions during a marriage separation. We have not even been apart a week aND the kiddos are really acting out. Husband and I are in counseling. I am so scared and hopeful at the same time aND can barely keep it together myself. Your marriage “resurrection” story is very encouraging.

  5. Is there healing? I’m 4.5 months out from The News that I never saw coming. I feel like we’re still on a roller coaster of ok and not ok, safe and not safe…he says he’s transparent and loves me, but Part of me fears that it’s still lies or that, if true, he will change his mind again… Especially if I’m still so broken.
    Is there healing? Hope? Believed love?

    • I never to reply to these things, but you sound like you need some encouragement. There is hope. Your life will be wonderful whatever you choose to do. I have been in a place where the only thing I feel like I am is a broken, messy heart. Truth is, my heart had a lot of beautiful love left in it, regardless of the mushy broken part and the sharp angry party. The healing process takes about 12-18 months, according to what I have read and experienced. I am not sure of your stance on G-d, but may he bless you and keep you as you heal.

  6. I am struggling to figure out how to carry on, who I’m going to be, on my own for the first time in 20 years. Not totally on my own, because I have two beautiful kids and some amazing friends, but a lot more alone than I thought I’d be at this point in my life. I’ve let a lot of things fall apart, little by little, as my marriage became more and more broken, and now I have to decide how much to show to the people who care about me so they can help me put some of it back together. I’m really scared. Getting the Momastery email tonight, the one about showing up even though I’m really scared, and following the trail of breadcrumbs to this post, must mean Something. So whoever else is out there right now, feeling heartbroken and disappointed and lost, let’s keep pulling for each other. I’m pulling for you.

  7. I got “The News” 2 months ago and I went to see you 2 weeks later in Cleveland, not knowing you had gotten “The News” too.

    When I bought my ticket to see you, I hadn’t read your book yet and a friend of mine followed your blog and said I would probably enjoy listening to your story so I agreed to go with her. I love reading about true, real, honest stories. I don’t prefer “Fifty Shades of Grey” type books.b I was coming to see you before I had even gotten “The News.” After I got “the news” I almost decided not to come because I was so distraught. Another friend thought that maybe going to see you might help me figure things out. Talk about God working in mysterious ways. My marriage of 15 years and 4 kids was happy and perfect and wonderful until 2 weeks before your visit. When you were here, I sat in that church and I cried like a baby because my life was falling apart. I walked out of there asking all the ladies around me, “What happened between you and your husband?” No one really knew. I am now just getting around to reading your book and trying to truly digest what is going on in my life. I just got to the part in your book where you got “The News” and I found this post last night.

    I don’t care if your news is the same as mine…but it’s the same feeling. I’m still reeling from all of this and honestly it’s so helpful to know someone else has survived it too…It gives me hope. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Oh monkees, I just got The News. I am not sure how I am going to survive. pray for me and my broken family.

    • I know I’m a couple weeks late on this, but just know that someone has heard you and is praying for you and for your family. I’m so, so sorry. Praying for strength for the next moment.

  9. Wow. Just wow. I discovered Momastery a couple months ago and have been reading a post a day from your blog. Also reading your book. But this post! I am so sorry this happened to your beautiful family. You were definitely “alone together” with so many while this was happening. I would have been there “holding space” then if I’d known. I am caring and praying retroactively today. Love!

  10. I uncovered the NEWS today. This morning. By accident. My body hasn’t stopped shaking & I am so so so sad. Paralyzed. Totally blind sided. Pray for me please. Thanks you for your experience strength & hope.

    • Hi juli. Just letting you know that someone is out here, listening. Hang in there with everything you’ve got. Fingernails, toenails, teeth. Do the little things that are in front of you that must be be done. Let the big things float for a bit.

    • Juli. I got The News two days ago. How are you? I am sending you warm vibes. One minute I am fine, the next … not.

    • I uncovered ‘the news’ last September.
      Most horrific day/days of my life.
      His too probably.
      My heart, our marriage is healing… Slowly joy is making an appearance again.
      There was nothing else for it but to collapse into grace. No standing, nothing stoic, nothing but ugly imaginings and scream-crying while alone in the shower and just collapsing into Gods grace.
      Grace; Holding still; Enduring. Learning.
      Because damn it; I’m not wasting a single drop of this pain. It cost way too much.
      I’m praying for you right now. You are not alone. You are precious, of great value, deeply loved.

  11. I got “The News” in January 2012. My one clear thought through all the chaos was that I needed to help other women dealing with this. Two and a half years later I’m doing just that. We’re still together. It’s still difficult and a lot of hard work. There are days I want to throw in the towel, but then there are days when I want to keep trying, especially for my kids. Breathing is the key!

    • Kim,
      Been dealing with mine since last October. I understand completely about wanting to throw the towel in some days. We’re still together. As if marriage wasn’t hard enough without this. Anyway. Thanks for the reminder to breathe.

  12. Wow, I started reading your blog a few months ago. I got The News from my husband or should I say, I uncovered the truth, on the same day you received your News. Your blog has given me hope. I don’t know what to do as my husband is a nurse and this all began with nursing school. Since his career won’t change and I can’t seem to get him to do anything formal as far as therapy or a marriage program goes, I don’t know what I’m going to do. It’s day-by-day. We actually tried therapy, while he was harboring secrets, but it wasn’t a couples thing, it was individual. I went thinking something was wrong with me, besides the multiple sclerosis, and honestly went to find out what I could do about it. Still bettering myself, but for me, no one else. He went and basically lied to the therapist or again to me when he got home. He said hateful things and stuff that he claims the therapist said, but I know a therapist would never say those things. We are now almost 2 years later, but I feel like I don’t have all the truth yet. Maybe I really don’t need to know everything. Blessings to you and your family!

  13. I am new here. I read your last entry about schools and loved it. I wanted to find out more about you and found myself here. I wanted to say thank you, for being brave and living and speaking your truth. I got my “news” 3 months after my daughter was born 5 year ago and life is forever changed. I NEVER saw it coming, I discovered almost by the grace of God. I mourn. At first it was day by day and then week by week etc…The raw anguish gets better but it never goes away. Yes “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.” My hope one day is to be able to tell my truth as courageously as you and reunite with the unbounded girl who had the world at her feet.

  14. My mother directed me to your blog and I have been reading all evening. She sent me here, because I, too, received “The News” in 2012, February 25th..to be exact. And I never knew, either, and it started 2 weeks before we married and continued with more than a few gals for the next 10 years. I read what you have had to say about your situation and though I am sad that other women are feeling what I am feeling, at least I know I am not crazy. I hope for peace for all of us and our children, no matter how it comes. I don’t hope for peace for my bastard husband, though, not yet anyway.

  15. Glennon, I read your book after the recommendation from Brene Brown. Amazing.

    I wish my husband would give me The News. In some ways, he did about year and a half ago, but I was too in shock to do anything. Everything you describe feeling is how I’ve felt for the last 18 months. I still have to remember to breathe. He’s still here. I’m still here. But neither of us is here. I’m carrying on. I wish I was brave enough to stand up for myself. But so far, I can’t. I still carry too much shame. I know that you and your husband are back together now, and that makes me happy if it makes you happy. I look forward to looking back on this time and being amazed at how we’ve grown. I’ve had tragedy before and while it sucked, I’m always better for it. But it has a price. Thanks for sharing your story.

  16. Dear G,

    Just found your AMAZING blog and cannot get enough. You are a genius and a beautiful warrior. I am home with my delicious, crazy 5 kids (ages 4 to 16) and I “accidently” discovered your blog while reading some recovery literature. This blog is what I would have written if I were braver and more articulate. I have never written an author before (mostly because I repel technology to the degree that I can barely send an e-mail) but after reading Momascary, I just had to reach out and give you a hug.

    I am so sorry for the news. I tried to find out the date of the post to see if the news was a really long time ago and totally resolved but thru extreme sleuthing skills, figured out it was just october. Sigh. As Christopher Robin said to Pooh, “If there is ever a tomorrow when we are not together….there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we are apart…I’ll always be with you.” All my prayers are with you. xo MB

  17. Sending love your way and hugs through the screen. So sad to hear this. No one’s story is exactly the same, but so many people have been here and eventually made it through. I don’t know how, but it does happen. And it will happen for you.

  18. This post hits home for me. My news was a little different. It came in the form of … “I’m done, I dont love you, I am walking away” just like that it was over. I am picking up the pieces and I know when all is said and done I will be stronger. I also write a blog, would love for you to come have a look :)


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