Post Divorce Romance Cynic

Before my divorce I read romance novels. I even wrote a few and had signed a contract with a New York agent. She peddled my manuscript to editors who said sweetly that for a first effort the novel was fine, but that I should keep trying. As I completed proofreading my second book my husband left. He said he didn't want me to blame him for not finishing the edits, so he thought he'd wait and drop the D-bomb after I was done.

Wasn't that sweet of him?

That was the end of my budding career as a romance novelist. Back in those days I read a ton of romance novels, and I still have about 200-300 to dispose of. A girlfriend of mine is reading them as fast as she can, and each time she finishes a batch, I dump another couple of grocery bags filled with bodice rippers and chick lit at her doorstep.

I cannot stomach reading them any more. In fact, when I attended a wedding shortly after my divorce, it took all my willpower not to snort out loud and say, "Huh! How long will this marriage last?"
Why have I become so cynical? Because even though I believed in love ever after and in romance; even though my husband plied me with gifts and frequent romantic surprises; and even though we would walk in public holding hands, and sit on the couch in our den and smooch, and talk and laugh every time we went out to dinner, rarely getting bored of each others' thoughts, ideas, and conversation, my so called prince left.

As he dragged half of the furniture out of our house, he told me he would miss our conversations and cozy trips together, "But not much else, Vic."

That's when I turned from a hopeless romantic into a world class cynic. I did not smooch with my new beau. I didn't attempt to hold hands with hot date #3. And I no longer give surprise gifts or believe in any of the trappings of romance. I'm ready for a grown up relationship now - one of mutual respect, deep and loyal love, and promises that will be kept. I know I possess those qualities in spades, but the question is: "Will I ever trust a man enough to find out if he does?"

See more Ann Telnaes cartoons here.

Well, the situation could have been worse. We could have been living in the limbo of non divorce, and then I would have had to put up with his non interest.
Click here for the story.


Anonymous said...

To "sit on the couch in our den and smooch, and talk and laugh every time we went out to dinner, rarely getting bored of each others' thoughts, ideas, and conversation" If that ain't love, I'm not sure what he was doing there, playing a part? Or a game of romance? yes, I know where you are coming from.


Ms. Place said...

Well, I will cover the reason in another post, Fiona. He suffered from periodic bouts of deep depression, and I though it was just another downward spiral that he would pop out of. Combined with a midlife crisis, his depression worked in tandem to convince him that I didn't love him enough. As he said, "While I make you happy, you don't make me happy."

Telling words.

FI0NA said...

Re reading your post I think the cartoonist may have explored the groove in my latest post already...


Anonymous said...

Romance Cynic...thanks for giving me current state a name. After 18 years of marriage, not wanted anymore either, divorce; then another relationship lasting 5, was engaged, then left again, I definitely have trust issues I'm not sure I'll never conquer. Your blog writes my life, my feelings...thanks for sharing.