On an ordinary Tuesday night in December, two weeks before Christmas, my husband of twelve years asked me to join him at the table, where he sat with a piece of paper and two fingers of scotch in front of him.
He had three things to tell me: he’d had an affair shortly after our marriage, he’d been using escorts on business trips, and he was leaving me for someone he’d met and known for one day in Las Vegas.
Then the man I’d known for twenty years, now a stranger, stood and walked out the door, leaving our three children in their beds and me on the floor.
I am not the first to be betrayed and thrust into a difficult divorce. In fact, infidelity is the number one cause of the fifty percent of marriages that fail. I’m also not the first woman to make the experience a catalyst for rebirth, or to find a deeper spiritual meaning in it.
But Real Time Wreck is a unique account written in present tense that puts the reader in the middle of every painful moment. It’s a real-time story that can only be created when a cheating husband feels compelled to share every detail with a writer-spouse who journals it all as a means of survival.
Why does immediacy matter? Because when in the midst of what Elizabeth Gilbert calls a “bathroom floor moment,” no one wants to hear that time heals all wounds. Shock obliterates our ability to reason, or even to be patient. Reading other women’s success stories helps us heal, but most are painted with the soft brush of hindsight. We learn more from witnessing an experience than from reading an explanation.
All women want to navigate divorce with grace. And what is grace but a flare of light? Our lights can’t shine without the backdrop of darkness, and this memoir gives it all — the shadows, the fear, the flicker of faith, and the luminosity of spirit. It’s a story of forgiveness, which makes it, of course, a love story.
“I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong. I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to learn to solve…I asked for love and God gave me people to help…I received nothing I wanted. I received everything I needed.” Hazrat Inayat Khan
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