The End of My Marriage: One Man's Story

--An excerpt from Falling: The Story of One Marriage

''We have to separate,'' my wife told me. It was a late-summer evening eleven and a half years after we had gotten married. We were on our deck, drinking gin-and-tonics and smoking cigarettes, an entitlement of marital stress. The setting sun cast rose-colored shadows across the mansard roof of the Victorian elementary school visible beyond the hickory tree in our next-door neighbor's backyard. A straggling bumblebee drowsed in the pots of geraniums that, together with the wooden boxes of clematis and petunias and ivy, lined the deck's warping plank floor. A light breeze out of the east enhanced the quiet by sweeping the noise of the city traffic seaward. The elementary school had an outdoor basketball court, where sometimes after work I would take my daughter to practice her pitching, and the noise from a game -- preadolescent shouts, the tripping thump of the dribbled ball and its rattled smack against the metal backboard -- drifted across the intervening gardens.

''We do?'' I asked. After all, our marriage wasn't hellish, it was simply dispiriting. My wife and I didn't hate each other, we simply got on each other's nerves. Over the years we each had accumulated a store of minor unresolved grievances. Our marriage was a mechanism so encrusted with small disappointments and pretty grudges that its parts no longer closed.

My wife exhaled impatiently -- she was English and had that hurried European way of smoking -- and tapped her cigarette into a flowerpot.

Like this? Want more?
Connect with Us
Follow Our Pins

Yummy recipes, DIY projects, home decor, fashion and more curated by iVillage staffers.

Follow Our Tweets

The very dirty truth about fashion internships... DUN DUN @srslytheshow

On Instagram

Behind-the-scenes pics from iVillage.

Best of the Web