Wednesday, May 31, 2017

How Breakup Babe become Married Babe became Breakup Babe (again)

Photo by Sara Tro
Hear ye, hear ye, I have achieved my life’s dream of being middle-aged and divorced!

But what does this mean, exactly? Especially for someone who was once Breakup Babe, wearer of slinky clothes, owner of a karaoke machine, writer of a salacious blog-turned-novel, failed but enthusiastic pursuer of innumerable commitment-shy men?

  • Does she go back to being Breakup Babe (only a slightly more wrinkly, beaten-down version), chasing men across continents?
  • Does finally publish another book, the sequel to BreakupBabe: A Novel that all three of you have been waiting for?
  • Or does she curl up and die from loneliness and boredom just like Breakup Babe was always threatening to do?

How Breakup Babe  became Married Babe

For BB, being alone equaled loneliness, and loneliness led to lots of other unpleasant emotions that she tried to blot out with compulsive dating and blogging about dating. What she learned that was you don’t make good choices in relationships when you’re terrified of being alone.
Photo by Sara Tro

(She also learned that when you’re in the throes of loneliness, you do write entertaining prose).

One day, however, BB finally met someone who was not commitment-shy. They fell in love, got married, adopted some pugs, had lots of adventures, and applied to adopt a kid.

Things were looking up for Married Babe (formerly BreakupBabe), who not only had a husband now, and a possible future kid, but a whole new set of relatives to love.

Why, she might never have to be lonely again!

True happiness comes from inside (duh)

MB knew (at least, in theory) that no one else can make you happy. That true happiness comes from INSIDE. From doing things that make you feel good and help others.

For her, this meant writing fiction, climbing mountains, traveling to exotic locales, and reading stories to kindergarteners. Plus lots of other stuff. All of which she did in abundance.

So she wondered, after a couple years of marriage, why she didn’t feel happier. Because, not only did she have a life partner now, she was doing all these things she loved.

So what was missing?

Two can be as lonely as one

Eventually she realized it was because she was lonely in her marriage.  First a little, then a lot.


Early on, the loneliness would come and go. Because, even with the lonely times, there were still so many good times. There were the pugs and the garden. Playing guitars in the living room and cuddling in front of Netflix. Sunday night dinners with the mother-in-law who was like a second mom.

And last but not least, the application to adopt and the dream of being parents that was in process.

But then the lonely times got longer and the good times got shorter. The fights got worse. Attempts at counseling fell apart.

Yet they kept on keeping on, like you do when you can't envision another future.

Until finally the application to adopt got rejected.

The Great Mexican Escape

Another turning point quickly followed. In April, 2016, MB went away for a few months to study Spanish in Mexico.

She thought she might feel even lonelier there. And she did, at first, but then slowly she felt better and better.

There was a strange feeling growing inside her and at first she wasn’t sure what it was. Finally she realized: it was happiness.

She was happier being away from her husband than being with him.  It took three months of feeling light and unburdened in Mexico to make her really face this fact. To make her realize just how weighed down she'd been by the struggle to keep her marriage alive.

Because she loved her husband, there was no doubt about it. Loneliness, doubts, and all.

But after all the space and sunlight (and fighting with her husband from afar), she realized just couldn't struggle for her marriage anymore.

The end and the beginning

So she stopped struggling. Went back to Seattle and asked for a divorce.
Then she quickly turned around and went right back to Mexico, which welcomed her with open arms. And there she lived through the most bittersweet six months of her life until the divorce became final on May 22, 2017.

As for what's next, your guess is as good as mine. But as the sign at left says, "When nothing is certain, everything is possible."

Which about sums it up for now.