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Finding a Calling

February 20, 2022 | 399 words | Personal History

My ex-wife decided in 2014 she no longer wanted to be married to me.  That’s when she unceremoniously moved out of the second-floor master bedroom, and took up residence in the little in-law suite we had carved out of a couple rooms on the first floor.

Yet it wasn’t until last June that I suggested we pursue an uncontested divorce.  What too me so long?  

I have already cited the till-death-do-us-part marriage vows I chose to take seriously.  But that’s not the whole story. There is another, less obvious reason I was able to weather such an unfriendly status quo on the home front for so long.

It turns out I found my voice as a writer in the wake of this marital estrangement, which more-or-less coincided with the death of both my parents, who had moved in with us in 2004.  My father died in December 2012, followed by my mother in August 2013.  In hindsight these events produced an unanticipated trade-off in my equilibrium.  Once I officially became an orphan, the stimulation and satisfaction writing started to provide replaced the warmth and light I once got from my marriage.   

As you may know, writing is one of those quiet pursuits that requires a measure of solitude.  I am grateful to my ex-wife for providing me with this solitude over these last seven years.  I only wish she could have done so without simultaneously emanating so much animosity in my direction.

I never wanted or expected my long-time marriage to become estranged, let alone end.  But now that is has, after a long, drawn-out fallow period, I find myself actively seeking a different female companion for the first time in four decades.  Finding such a person, and figuring out how to fit her into my sometimes-solitary existence will not be easy.  

On my most optimistic days, the hope is to meet a woman with whom I can build a friendship based on mutual interests, and a sympatico temperament.  Developing that into an intimate physical relationship would nice, too.  All while maintaining a quiet space for the writing that has become such a happy pastime, such an integral part of my daily life.

As if that’s not too much to ask.  It will be interesting to see just what the universe (i.e., God) has in store for me in the coming years, when it comes to the fairer sex.

Robert J. Cavanaugh, Jr

February 20, 2022

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