A few weeks ago, I took a hard fall on the ice, damaging my left shoulder.  The injury was worse than I first imagined and I have had to take an extended leave from a job I dearly love, teaching fitness to seniors at the YMCA.  I’ve led challenging fitness classes there for nearly 13 years, and now I’m unable to perform, much less teach, weight lifting, yoga, and other stretching and strength training exercises.  To say that I “can’t” is hard for me.  It’s a loss, at least for now. 

But this example is minor, compared with life’s really big endings—loss of a loved one, divorce, financial ruin, termination of a job, foreclosure on a home, alienation of a child, eventually one’s own death.  The loss that you faced when your spouse came out is certainly one of these major, destabilizing changes.  However, the ensuing chaos can be the beginning of an even better way of life.

When my father died in 1991 after years of fighting leukemia, the whole family expected my mother to fold.  For more than 50 years she and my dad had enjoyed real marital bliss—they were closer and more loving than any couple I’ve ever known.  We thought mother could not survive alone.  To eveyone’s surprise, she did.  In fact, she recovered her balance and started over.  Apparently, during the years she’d nursed my dad, she was preparing herself for survival.  She made a plan.  Within weeks after the funeral, she began to explore opportunities in their little town that had gone unnoticed before.  She read voraciously—a hundred books in the following year.  She attended library lectures and joined two card groups, volunteered, and made day trips with new friends she met at the senior center.  In short, she reconfigured her life to be as rewarding as possible—despite her grief and loss.  A little stained glass saying hangs in her window:  “Every ending a new beginning.”  She modeled that for me.

As this New Year unfolds, we will experience painful endings.  What once served us may no longer fit.  Change will happen in inner and outer circumstances.  We will have to adjust to losses.  We may have to start over in a whole new direction, as my mother did.  This is not a bad thing.  It is a growing experience.  In the words of Eckhart Tolle, famed author of The Power of Now, “If you can learn to accept and even welcome the endings in your life, you may find that the feeling of emptiness that initially felt uncomfortable turns into a sense of inner spaciousness that is deeply peaceful.” 

I wish you this peace!

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  1. Brian says:

    I was in a similar situation, though I knew while dating that my wife was Bi. But it was more than that; she was gay and trying to fit in to “society standards”. since our marriage in 98 she has had 14 different Girl friends, most were on again off again, there were 4 that lasted more than 1 year. What you need to understand is that a woman needs to be emotionally involved (with a man) in order to have meaningful intimate relations (with the man)Check out the Yahoo group MMTL (Men married to Lesbians) it is a good group many have shared their stories and will give good advice, some leave their wife, others stay with them in an open relationship. In 2009 my wife and I separated because I was not getting what I needed out of the relationship, and I'm not talking about sex but affection. Do we both love each other deeply Yes, But we both felt that it would be unfair to me to stay together. I wish you the best but I would also give you caution that many times they don't go back, so take the appropriate steps to protect yourself (finance, retierment, child custody, pets, property), Just don’t be vindictive. The last year and a half, my wife and I had squabbled a few times, once I had told her that we needed to talk later because our son was awake and in the same room and she had her girlfriend over, she thought I was going to verbally insult/attack her girlfriend, Which I wasn’t going to do. I was however going to ask my wife out of respect to me to tell her girlfriend that our son’s punishment is to be between my wife and I. Before we were able to be alone to talk she decided to try and have me tell her what I wanted to talk to her about which I told her “later now is not the time to talk” so she kept up and started to yell and to attack me which backfired on her because our son witnessed it all and I stayed calm and I did not say a thing other than telling her later. So Later we talked, and I told her what I was going to say and that was “It’s not her job to tell me when to ground or un-ground our son, that is up to you and me and should only be between you and me, if you want to talk to her about it that is between you two. I did not ask for nor need her help to decide the punishment. Now if you want to talk to me about it we can, but if you insist on having a yelling match then you can go do it elsewhere because it will not be productive.” She appoligized to me I told her "There is no need to I can take it, but our son should never have to see it." Her responce to it was "Dam you, I feel like an a$$ Here you are so calm and loving, it would make it easier to leave you if you were abusive, a drunk, or an asshole, but your not, your just anoying at times. I have treated you so bad and yet you have always been there for me. I don't blame you for wanting/needing to leave. And I'm so so sorry that this is happening to you I Never wanted to hurt you, But I now realize that I have all these years." I told her "You do realizes you are the ultimate "one that got away" Right!" We are still good friends, and talk all the time, Do I still love her, yes, would I get back together with her I don't know. I hope it helps and Good luck to You and Her I hope things get worked out and If it comes to seperating that it can be as friends.

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