One terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Wednesday’s are supposed to be boring. Nothing big ever happens on a Wednesday.

Except the Wednesday I found myself sitting at happy hour looking across the table at my husband while he asked for a divorce.


I had just gotten out of the shower, put on make-up and my hair still had body from my blow dryer less than an hour before.

We were at the location of our first date. We had agreed to meet to have a heart-to-heart about our marriage, away from the house and the baby.

I had foolishly suggested we meet there. At such a sentimental place. Because, I envisioned it as the day that we finally stopped being stubborn, the day we finally stopped pushing each other away and finally said, “doggone-it we’re going to do this! we’re going to fix this, because it’s worth it!”

What better place to do it than the place where it all began?

Now it’s the place where it was all ending.

I knew something was off when I walked in. He was eerily calm and collected. That meant he was nervous. He cracked some silly, impersonal joke when I sat down. It reminded me of the time when we had been broken up for a few weeks while we were dating. And he called me one day and left me a sheepish and awkward voicemail.

He hates having tough conversations.

This is going to be a tough conversation.

And how had it even come to this? And why hadn’t I seen it coming? We hadn’t even celebrated two years together. We had a beautiful almost-four-month-old son at home, waiting for his parents to come that night . . . together.

Life was supposed to just be getting good.

Yes, we had been struggling. Struggling on and off for a while. But, over NORMAL stuff. All such normal stuff. We didn’t have any REAL problems. We never really argued.

Or, did we?

I guess we did. Because, something drove him to just being . . . done.

Am I done, too?

I don’t remember anything that was said after that. After he said he was done. I don’t even remember if he said divorce or if he just said he was done. Done, divorce, divorce, done . . . all semantics . . . I will use the words interchangeably I’m sure as I retell the story 100 times.

I felt like a caged animal, sitting there. My fight or flight response was taking over every inch of my body inside and out.

He suggested we leave and go walk around the nearby park.

But, all I could think was how I wasn’t wearing walking shoes. No, I wasn’t there to WALK. I was there to have a drink with my husband and I had even put on mascara before I left the house.

He was supposed to be telling me everything was going to be okay.

Everything will be okay. Not today. But, someday.

I got up to leave. As much as I wanted to fight back and stop this, my flight response won in that moment. The conversation was going no where and my head was so foggy I couldn’t think or see straight.

So, I just got up and walked out without looking back and threw my wedding band into the street.

I needed SOMETHING to make the story good, right?

All that kept running through my head were the words, “I’m a single mom, I’m going to be a single mom. How did I get here, as a single mom?”

I called my husband’s mother. Why? I don’t know. But, I figured if my son had ever made such a significant decision to leave his family, I’d want to know about it.

Next, I called my best friend. I desperately wished I could have driven straight to her house so she could feed me ice cream and wine and remind me how wonderful I am and how I am going to get through this and be better than ever. But, she lives 1,000 miles away, so the phone would have to suffice.

I broke the news and hollered some unintelligible string of words until she urged me to hang up and focus on getting home safely.

I sat still a little too long at a red light and in my nervous, angry, broke energy . . . I called my husband.

Was he still considered my husband?

And I screamed.

Who knows what I was screaming at him? I just had such intense anger.

At him. At myself. At the universe.

On the phone it felt like I was already screaming at a stranger. I was screaming about the most intimate, significant life event next to the birth of my son – and to the person who was experiencing it all right alongside me – but at that moment he felt like a complete stranger.

My husband wouldn’t be asking me for a divorce. Not the person I married. Surely, this isn’t the right person?

He wasn’t interested in listening to me in that moment. He sounded distracted. I pictured him just going about his day. Maybe grabbing a bite to eat. Popping back by the office or running errands. Then checking into a hotel to sit in the hot tub and have a drink at the bar before turning in and pretending he was on vacation.

I wished I could be that calm. Or at least PRETEND to be. I wished I could just be on my way to Target, picking up some diapers and a fun new nail polish. Perhaps quietly stopping for a coffee and leisurely people watch while I browsed through my Facebook newsfeed and read about everyone else’s normal, boring, uneventful days.

But, this wasn’t a normal, boring or uneventful day for me.

And before I knew it – less than 30 minutes after I pulled out of my driveway – I was pulling back in where my mom was at home with my baby.

I remember walking into my laundry room to change clothes and throwing the outfit on the floor and thinking I would always remember that shirt as the shirt I wore on this terrible, horrible no-good day, very bad day. Was that the shirt I wanted to remember this day by? If I had know what was going to happen, would I have picked my outfit differently?

The rest of the day was a blur. My whole body ached. My mom called and asked my dad come over to help for the evening.

I could physically feel my heart breaking into a million pieces. I hashed out what I thought was going to be the most important email of my life – I poured everything out onto paper and sent to my husband. SURELY, when he reads and sees how logical I’m being, how much I am willing to fight for us, SURELY, he will call and say he was an idiot and just come home?

He didn’t.

I tossed and turned and eventually, pathetically, picked up the phone at 2:00 AM and called him. Again. PLEASE COME HOME. PLEASE JUST COME HOME. We’ll figure everything out tomorrow.

He didn’t. 

I had to keep breathing and telling myself this would not last forever. This pain, this searing, panic inducing pain, is temporary and this is the worst the pain is ever going to feel.

This is rock bottom.

The one guarantee in life, aside from death and taxes that is . . . the only guarantee, is that life goes on.

The only way from here – is up.

And slowly, but surely, my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Wednesday turned into an ever so slightly less terrible, not quite as horrible, no good, but not completely bad Thursday.


  1. I love you more than you could ever know Alison. I hate that this is just another thing we have in common. You are one of the strongest women I know and I am so proud of you!

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