I don’t say anything. I can’t find any words. My daughter has just told me that my ex-husband is getting remarried. I had to hear it from her. And at a time in my life when I feel like I’m falling apart physically and emotionally.

“Mom, did you hear what I said?” Camille’s voice on the other end of the phone is too loud, too high-pitched. I find I can’t stand it.

“Yes,” I manage to say. “I’ll talk to you later, honey.”

I hang up and stare at my son across the table. He is looking at me carefully.
“Did you know?” I ask him.

He nods and quickly looks back down at his homework. “I didn’t know if I should tell you,” he says sheepishly.

“It wasn’t your job to tell me. Or Camille’s either.”

Now my shell-shock has begun to turn into anger. My appetite destroyed, I toss the rest of my salad into the trash, banging the dishes and utensils around as loudly as I can without breaking them. My ex-husband’s girlfriend, well I guess now I should say fiancee, is at least 10 years younger than him. They’ve been together four years now, and every month I keep waiting to find out the relationship went bust. That she finally decided he was too old for her, too old-fashioned, too much of a crotchety old rock ‘n roller. But I guess Nadine is in it for the long haul. I wonder if he is, too.

I choke back a little sob and turn it into a cough so Alex doesn’t notice. Then I hurry to my room and close the door. He wasn’t in it for the long haul with me.

Was it me then? Was I the problem and not him? I go over the details of our tumultuous relationship in my mind. The yelling fights. The berating. The long nights out drowned in alcohol (that was him). The long nights awake tallying the potential escape plans (that was me). Now he was marrying someone else and I was alone.

I catch a look at myself in the mirror on the back of the door. I look puffy and jowly and overweight– not unlike my friend Lila’s photo before she started bio identical hormone replacement.

I need a change. I deserve a change. Why shouldn’t I have all the love and happiness in my life that my ex has? Why shouldn’t I sparkle and shine like Lila does, even at our age?

There was no reason why I couldn’t. After all, I had caught the eye of a guy in a coffee shop yesterday. And I had a business card in my purse for SottoPelle bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. I had chickened out yesterday making the call, but tomorrow I would do it. My determination would be stronger than my white coat syndrome. My desire for happiness would outweigh my lethargy.

Click below to view other parts of this story:

Part 3

Part 2

Part 1