I Call It Dating. You Call It Stalking.

Uncomfortable silence

There’s something palpable in the silence between two people who have nothing left to say. The “sweety”s and “honey”s are replaced with downcast stares and sad eyes. The guilt and the hurt and the confusion and the pain form together to create this invisible monster that swirls around the room and constricts my chest. Our words are low and tight, and an awkwardness exists that had never been present.

As we talk in cold, clinical terms about who gets which DVD or the extra set of chairs, it all seems so stupid. But it’s necessary, and there are no words that can take away the inevitable. Even knowing that I am the architect of the demolition, it’s the fact that we built it together, brick by brick, that makes it So. Goddamn. Hard. If only I could offer solace or comfort. Something other than quietly saying “I’m sorry”. But I can’t. It’s no longer my place. I gave up that right.

We lapse into familiar routines for an instant. We share a chuckle at an inside joke, and in the space between heartbeats, everything feels normal. But even quicker, reality raps at the door. We finish our conversation and return to that thick, heavy silence. A silence that has now been replaced with the quiet hush of my new empty home.

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186 Replies to “Uncomfortable silence”

  1. martymankins

    I know this is going to sound like something you will hear from others that have gone through a divorce, but having been through a divorce and splitting up the DVDs and CDs (the scene from St. Elmo’s Fire ran through my head when my ex and I sat down to do this very task), it’s not the easiest thing in the world to do. But given enough time, the times of silence seem to go away. It does take time, though. My ex and I can now openly converse and be friendly. It took over 7 years, and it was painful before, but it happened.

  2. Pop and Ice

    So, so sorry to hear you in pain. Emotional pain is a two-fer because when your heart hurts, the rest of your body hurts as well. I wish you to be gentle with yourself in this time. Try not to hurry it along too fast because you need time to think and feel it all out before moving forward.

  3. Dee

    I’m very sorry for both of you – the ending of a relationship (or the morphing into a new type of relationship) is so very hard to go through. Nothing springs to mind for me to bring any comfort but I am here quietly supporting you both from a distance.

  4. Red Lotus Mama


    I am so so so sorry you are going through this. The separation process is incredibly difficult. In some ways I know exactly what you are feeling, but in so many more ways our situations are different. What I do know is that I am here for you. Hang in there.


  5. Karl

    Ugh. I get it, dude. And I’m very sorry because it’s a shitty, shitty place to be. Not the new house. I’m sure that’s not a shitty place at all, really. Shit, you know what I’m saying. Hate that you’re hurting, is all.

  6. Cissa Fireheart

    Adam I had no idea. I wish I could offer more than the word that have been repeated over and over by others before me. If there’s anything I can do from this side of Orlando, please don’t hesitate to ask.

    I never met Amy, but that doesn’t mean I don’t hope the pain fo her and you in this time is any less. I hope you’ll be able to stay amicable in your split. Your words here make me ache for you both.

  7. Andria Stanley

    Oh, Adam. I hurt for you, I hurt for Amy. I have no advice, as I am going through this myself right now– but, all I have, is to treat divorce like a death. For, it really IS a death: the dying of dreams and a life that once was. Allow yourself to enter all stages of “death”: grief, anger, etc. I’m still trying to push through the pain, myself.

    I’m here dude, I’m here.

    It just really, really sucks.

  8. Hilly

    Awww, Adam. This made me teary because I so get it. Like 100% get it.
    I’m not going to tell you how it gets easier because you’ve watched me for the last year and you already *know* that it gets easier. I will tell you to go ahead and feel whatever emotion you want or need to on whatever given day because that? That’s how you get through it all.

  9. Maria

    I’ve been trying to think of something to say since I got the email. I haven’t been able to. I’m still at a loss, and internet hugs don’t seem good enough. So really, this comment is to let you know that I’m here and I care.

  10. leel

    i am so sorry this is where you are right now.
    everyone here is, i imagine. (squeezes you in big hug)
    this too shall pass. and when it feels like it wont, please remember it always does.
    thanks for sharing with us.

  11. Mari

    Oh God.
    Holy shit. I had no idea – but then, why would I? Some faceless person from the ‘net that knows jack shit about how your life really is day to day.
    Even though we’ve never met and are very unlikely to, I send my fiercest hugs to you today and every day.
    And to Amy.

  12. Angel smith

    I have walked that path before. It’s just as hard when you want out…the grieving for the dreams you had and the life you built together is something that grabs you just when you least expect it and when you think you are over it. It’s a tough place to be. But like most other soul scars, time takes the sharp edges and files them down into smooth corners and it doesn’t hurt to pull out those memories that helped shape who you are anymore. Peace and happiness will be yours, Adam. <3

  13. sue

    I’m so sorry to hear this… so many people seem to be hurting right now and I was so sad to hear you are one of them. I’ve been there myself and you write so perfectly of what it is. Although I only know you through cyberspace, know I am thinking of you and wishing you peace.

  14. Shannon


    I have loved your Blog from the second I start reading. Whenever I read posts like this one, it reminds how what we write is a tiny window into a big life with lots going on we can’t see. Every once in a while, a wonderful writer will bravely throw open another window for us to take a peek through. I hope you see out that window all of the people out here, waving and smiling and wishing only better things for you than you are living through right now.



  15. Charissa

    My heart is breaking for you both. My pain is still recent, and I can tell you there are no words to heal. Only time, as trite as it seems, and even then the wound may never fully close. It’s a familiar wound though, and you may even learn to love it for the beauty it brings you one day.
    Please let me know if I can do anything.

  16. Miss Britt

    I don’t know what to say here that I haven’t said to you in person.

    I hate that you’re hurting.

    I hate that you didn’t have your shit packed when we showed up on Saturday.

    I will still help you move everything back in if you change your mind.

    And if you don’t, I’ll be here to help with that, too.

    (Also – wtf that this original comment showed up as you?!?! Oh, right, because you GOT ON MY FUCKING COMPUTER WITHOUT ASKING ME! Seriously. Argh.)

  17. lceel

    I’ve been there. I know what it’s like. I’m sorry to see you going through this. And the really bad thing about it? There is no easy way to do it. Just breathe – take it one day at a time – talk about it – really – talk it out – and know that this, too, will end. It will get better.

  18. Jen, now in AZ

    I am so very sorry. We have never met, but I just want to hug you.

    Aside from that, it really must be something in the water in Florida. When we first moved there, we had split up too.

  19. Just some douchenozzle

    In my personal experience, we were actually kinder to each other after the stress of ‘omg when is this split going to happen’ finally happened. I even took him In n Out at work one day. (Not a metaphor, In n Out burger had opened in town and the lines were redonk, but I did it anyway.)

    It was a decade ago today I packed my bags to head to my own wedding. Barf.

    It was shit for me then, but I think you’ll agree that I’m more or less a happy person now. πŸ™‚

  20. Jenni

    Wow. When I first read this in my feed reader, I clicked through to your site thinking this was some kind of short story you had written and surely there was a punchline to it somewhere. I thought it just HAD to be a joke.

    From the sounds of the comments, this is indeed real. I’m sorry you’re going through this. Having been through this before, I can not only relate but sympathize with what both you and your wife are going through.

    I’ll be thinking about both of you.

  21. Peau

    i’ve been there more times than i care to say.

    ok twice. legally speaking, of course.

    it never gets easier. i tend to think of it not as a failure but a normal movement in life. we start things when we’re young and we tend to finish them when we’re older. all kinds of things, even relationships, and that’s not to say each relationship has its expiration date, but it’s not like it was in the olden days. we don’t HAVE to stay in relationships where we’re unhappy or unfulfilled. it doesn’t mean we’re bad. it means we’re moving onto the next part. and that’s good.

    the resistance of change is the root of all suffering.

    i’m here for you. (irrespective of the fact that i can’t get your arse on the phone, and visa versa)

  22. lydia

    I’m very sorry, Adam. Funny how you don’t really know a person, have never met them, but read so much about their life that when you find out something like this has happened, it’s like a punch in the gut. And, that it was for me this morning.

  23. Laura

    I’m sorry to read that you’re going through this. You’ve obviously got the love and support of a very tight-knit community. Time heals all wounds…or so the saying goes…
    (I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time, but this is my first comment…I’ve not just randomly stopped by to express my sorrow for you)

  24. Dave

    Sorry to hear about this. I went through the same thing about a year ago (with one of your other readers, she already commented), and it is tough, tough, tough. A year later I am still reeling. But things will get better. Use your support system. Keep your honor.

  25. Sodapop

    I don’t comment much and rarely leave my feed reader when reading things, but I wanted to pop on over here and tell you that I’m thinking positive thoughts and sending lots of prayers, hugs and love. This can’t be an easy thing to write about and know that there are tons of people who will help you through this. Stay strong.

  26. Lynda

    I think with an end, there is always going to be a mourning period. People seemed to think I didn’t have the right to be sad or grieve the loss of my marriage because I was the one who left. But in the long run, you need to do what is right for yourself to be happy. In my own marriage, I had to leave because I was not happy. I felt that even if one person is happy and the other person isn’t, it won’t work.

    I’m sorry you have to go through this, but things will get better. I mean, heck, I’m still living with my folks and doing better now than I was the last few years of marriage. πŸ˜€

  27. Sheila (Charm School eject)

    So my computer slash internet is finally cooperating with your page so that I could give you, I dunno, a public show of support? That sounds stupid but whatever.

    ANYWAY, as you already know, I’m only a phone call or text away anytime you need me! The Bonus Features that come with this special internet offer are : 1) I’m an hour earlier than you so you wouldn’t be keeping me up late; 2) I don’t sleep anyway; 3) I have a knack for making jokes at the most inopportune times which accomplishes two things : a) makes you laugh and distracts you from your problems and, b) makes you angry at me for being so damned insensitive which, again, distracts you from your problems.

    And this is why I’m an awesome friend.

    And because I love you.

    Many hugs to you and Amy.

  28. Meagan Avitable

    I hope you know that you can talk to me, and I guess, in my almost old age, I wish you would. Reading this broke my heart, especially because I know how you are feeling with the new changes in your life.

  29. Clayton

    I’ve always thought of the end of relationships as an equivalent to the passing of a close friend. That it is in itself a unique entity. I suck at words, but recently read this from someone who lost his mother and wrote these words, which you can take or leave as you please:

    “On the occasion of deep sorry in my life, though I was surrounded by concerned friends, nothing they said was spoken in a language I could hear. I tried, and they tried, but it was as if we lived on different planets. Then an 89-year-old man wrote to me saying that grief was the noblest emotion a human being could feel, and the world focused again. To be assured that sorry was not merely a passing madness restored dignity to me and value to the person I mourned. I saw that I could transcend grief, not just forget it through time, but actually go beyond it into greater meaning for myself and others.”

  30. just-beth

    you know, i thought up this whole shitty-funny comment, and then I couldn’t post it. What you’re going through just sucks too much. I agree with Hilly, though… feel your feelings, let them course through you and then let them go. It’s OK. It really is going to be OK.



  31. Anon

    Sorry for posting this anonymously normally I don’t but for this I will for more my own sake. I can only imagine what it’s like. I myself will be hitting this phase soon. And I will be the instigator and I hate that feeling. But I also hate living a lie and the longer I do it the more I hurt the ones I care about. But I know I will get through it and you will too. The world will not end and eventually the pain won’t be as great as it once was.

  32. SwanShadow

    Sorry to read this, Adam. Sometimes life sucks.

    Just remember, it’s always darkest before it gets really freaking dark. But eventually it gets light again. Even if you have to bring the light by setting something on fire.

    You’ll survive. As you can see, tons of people care about you. Including me.

  33. Sean Avitable

    Everything happens for the best. It was a hard call to make, and you made it. For that, I respect you. Your future will be much brighter and more positive from this decision…

    If the house feels too empty, give Britt a call and tell her to bring her kids, than it will fill up real quick, am I right?

    Stay strong!

  34. muskrat

    Ignore my last tweet…sorry, hadn’t stopped by in a few days.

    This makes me very sad. I hope to still see you a few times this spring and summer and that you’re in good health and good spirits regardless.

  35. Scout's Honor

    Oh, wow! I thought you were talking about your parents with the 33 years reference.

    What a bummer. Each year, I hear about more and more divorces of friends I know and/or whom I come to know through my blog and you know what? It scares me. Terrifies me. Makes me paranoid for my own marriage and I don’t even know the details of why.

    However, with your heart, I know you wouldn’t do this though without much thought, soul searching and heart break. I hope you and Amy find happiness and peace. I wish you both the best.


  36. Al_Pal

    Sad.Face! & ouchies. The dying of dreams scares me pretty bad. I’m sorry you two are in this place of hurt. I’ve seen couples split and go on to find people who are even better for them. While it seems a bit premature to wish for that, it’s one of the better upsides I could possibly imagine to such a scenario.

  37. Rob Gokee

    I went through this last March, which was also my birthday month. I had far less time to accumulate feelings and stuff with 4.5 years together, and I’m the one who stayed in the apartment, but reading your blog post reminded me of how I felt that month.

    True story: During the month, the ex remarked that her new apartment didn’t have any blinds, so I took her to Target to get some blinds for her windows. While standing in the aisle with a tape measurer, she got a call from the “new guy” she was leaving me for, and proceeded to walk a few aisle away to take the call and giggle. I was left standing there in front of the blinds, wondering why the fuck I was being a nice guy.

    I know this is an older post, but my heart still goes out to you sir. And I’m subscribing.

  38. rose

    I thought I’d read a lot of your divorce posts… but I just found this one. Wow.

    Beautifully written and so sad I cried. I’m glad you’re in a better place now (January, 2012)… and I’m glad you’ve been so honest about your experiences: it’s really really brave.

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