Greta Schäfer

  City of Birth:
Pocking, Germany

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My Entire Life
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Greta's Story > Chapters > My Entire Life

"When Rüles Left" 


Date Range: 07/08/2008 To 07/08/2008   Comments: 9   Views: 16,817
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When my husband left me, I had always thought that although I knew our marriage wasn’t working, we had married too young, that I would be the one to say goodbye. But one day I came home to our house in the city to find a note that said “Dear Greta, Our time together has been wonderful, but we can no longer be married. I will be back for my things over the weekend. You can reach me on my handee. Love forever, Rüles.”


I remember I picked up the letter and the flood of happy memories nearly knocked me down. For some reason, the only thing I could think about at the moment was that the really bad part was that he had typed it on the computer and printed it. It was like an insult on top of an insult. He left his wedding band, a band ring we had bought together on an early trip to Prague where we toured the beaches and canals and knew that we were in love, on top of the cold note.


I was devastated. It was not so much inside me that I was terribly sad about our marriage ending. We had only been married six years and most of those years were spent arguing. We argued over money (we had none), we argued over sex (he wanted more), we argued over our friends (I hated his), we even argued over the dog (spending too much time with the dog over my husband). Anyone with eyes in their head could see this was a doomed arrangement from the beginning. Our friends tried to give us counsel for help to keep our marriage strong, but despite some wonderful memories, we both knew I our hearts that we were not meant for each other. We are simply too incompatible.


Yet in my mind, I would be the one to say goodbye. I would have a fabulous job, an army of going-on-the-town girlfriends to support me, my sister nearby, and of course a fabulous wardrobe and a closet full of zippy shoes. The reality was that most of our friends were OUR friends together as a couple, my sister still lived in Hamburg, and my wardrobe consisted of many of the same clothes I’d been wearing for the past five years.


I think to myself, “this is not supposed to be how this happens to me.” Maybe I watch too much Sex & the City or shows to appreciate living alone and hardships. I was most definitely not prepared.


I gained twenty pounds – I ate ice cream for dinner every night. (who cares what I looked like? No one would EVER love me again!) My doctor cried in dismay at my wretched. I would cry, eat a lot, watch TV and cry over sad commercials about baby food and erectile dysfunction medications (we’ll NEVER grow old together and need ED tablets!!!) I stopped seeing friends. My sister came for a visit but had to leave again to get back to her job and family (Family! I’ll NEVER have babies now!) The one good thing was that Rüles didn’t ask for anything. Not even Benny, who I knew he loved, but knew that I needed Benny.


Benny got me through my divorce. His poor fur was soaked through and through more times than he could imagine without getting baths. He sat with me on the bed while I curled up in Rüles’s old clothes and watched sad movies and cried. I cried and cried and cried.


Rüles called and asked if he could come over one day to get some things he had in storage, and at first my reaction was not to see him. I hadn’t seen him much. He was discrete when coming to get his things, but each time I knew he’d been there I imagined his cologne and grabbed an old shirt and went into another crying jag.


But when he got there, although I had steeled every fiber in my being against the tragic moments I foresaw coming (me throwing myself at his feet to take me back, me flinging myself off the balcony after him, me dying old and alone…) when he walked in the door, it almost felt like a stranger, or rather, like a friend had walked in, someone I hadn’t seen in a while and was pleasantly surprised to see. I was quite shocked that I actually cared (for I’d alternated between damning him to Hell forever to planning my revenge to begging for his forgiveness and promising to change everything about myself so I could be the woman he desired).


We sat at the table and talked like two rational adults. I was quite proud of myself. When he left, I fell into another depression and cried, but then I realized I wasn’t so much crying for Rüles, and it seemed as though we could be better as friends, which I always knew in my heart of heart to be true, but rather grief of something lost, the FEAR of starting over, alone, dating, managing on my own. I was crying for loss, and because I was scared.


Today I’m not quite in the super-high powered job with a closet full of designer dresses, but I’ve moved to my own little place, am truly enjoying work, and am actually rather discovering who I am. I was too young to get married – our marriage was wrong. The death of the marriage though felt almost like someone, or something rather, was dying. I grieved for what could have been. But today I am dating a wonderful new man. It’s very new. It’s very different than Rüles and this still seems strange to me because in my mind I always had all of my future imaginations towards growing old with Rüles.


I’m working my way there.

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Member Since
Jun 2008
Namiko Smith said:
posted on Jul 25, 2008
Hi Greta

It must have been so hard for to lose someone who had been with you for a long time. I am so proud of you that you are starting a new life on your own. Maybe it was something that I had to get over in order to have a better life. At least I hope so. :)

Member Since
Jul 2008
Greta Schäfer said:
posted on Jul 26, 2008

I think it was hard, more like feeling like a failure. I don't mean to harm anyone who thinks that divorce is the same as death, losing someone it not them dying I know this. But metaphorical death of a marriage. We're better as friends :)

Member Since
Apr 2008
Sarah Green said:
posted on Jul 28, 2008
sounds like

you're going to be just fine.... and, dare I say, even better in version2 ? :)

Member Since
Jul 2008
Melannie Godfrey Love said:
posted on Aug 17, 2008
The stages of grieving

Psychology lists divorce as one of the highest ranking stressful events in our lives, and yes, it is very much like a death. It seems like you have a very positive outlook on the relationship you once shared with your husband and as a woman who has walked the proverbial mile in your shoes, there really is light at the end of the tunnel, Greta! The best part is, it's not attached to a train . . . lol I wish for you the very best! You have a very bright future ahead of you!

Member Since
Jul 2008
Greta Schäfer said:
posted on Aug 30, 2008

I've never thought of the light being attached to a train!!! aaahh!!!! People shouldn't get married when they're young. Just my two cents on *that* subject! We don't even know ourselves at 20, how can you know someone else?

Member Since
Jun 2008
nansy jones said:
posted on Sep 05, 2008

we cannot get to know someone else!I'm so proud of you and the way you managed your life because it is now YOUR life!!!Go girl:)

Member Since
Jul 2008
Greta Schäfer said:
posted on Sep 25, 2008
girl power

rock on!!

Member Since
Feb 2009
Maria Amoroso said:
posted on Feb 07, 2009
I feel for you

I really feel in my guts how you felt. From experiance time passes the pain changes. Give yourself the healing time! The stress is hard and you are a convalecent now.

Member Since
Jul 2008
Greta Schäfer said:
posted on Mar 04, 2009

**hugs & kisses** to you my dear.... pain does heal. We are alreaday on the healing roller coaster.... :)