My husband left me for a country.
It's a blameless breakup, in many ways. No one had an affair, no one became a Republican, no one had a tragic and disfiguring accident. No one lied, cheated or stole. But when things needed attention, China got in the way.
My ex and I were together from high school. We were married when I was 22. About four years into our marriage, he started working in China. At first, he was gone a week or so at a time. Then a few weeks at a time. Then a month. After a few years, he was gone two months at a stretch, at least three times a year.
Every year he'd say, "Next year will be different."
Every year he'd say, "I know we're not working right now, but I can't focus on that yet. Next year will be different."
Finally he said, "This isn't going to change." And he flew back, this time to an apartment, this time to stay.
Now I'm in my thirties, and single for the first time since I was in high school. There is much that is terrifying about this. Suddenly, I'm afloat, untethered, without that anchor to the world I've counted on for the last fifteen years. That sometimes makes me have to lean against a wall and try to breathe.
As divorces go, I've got it easy. We don't have kids. We don't have a house. No one's interested in screwing over anyone else.
As divorces go, I have it hard. I've never been single. There's nowhere to channel my anger at this situation. I'm doubting everything about myself — if there's no one else, how am I so easy to give up?
As divorces go, I'm just working on learning how to breathe.