Invalid characterset or character set not supported This Is It

This Is It
March 31, 2024

I've taken some time away from this place, and now I feel the need to speak on it a little. Mostly, I need and outlet and maybe an attentive eye.

My wife and I weren't doing so good for the last several years. My dad and many close friends passed away between 2015 and 2021, tensions flared pretty much across the country in 2016, the pandemic hit in 2020, and I wasn't emotionally prepared for a lot of it. Losing my dad was made all the heavier by my refusal to engage my emotions because I needed to be emotionally stable for my mother, wife, and children. Not even a year later, a lost another friend to cancer, then my aunt, my cat, and several other good friends during the pandemic.

On top of that, my wife and I were burnt out working fulltime jobs while trying to raise three children with special needs. In the process, all I did was burn my candle at both ends until there was naught left but a tiny slice of wick and a glob of wax. My emotional way to dealing with intense and overwhelming difficulties--of which I had many--was shutting down. So that's what I did...

Shutting down has a way of affecting how you interact with others. You ignore instant messages, ghost phone calls, take forever to return texts, sometimes call in to work because you just don't feel like going, and basically act like you're not on the planet anymore because you don't think you're worthy of having meaningful connections. In social situations, I would always pick the furthest corner from groups of people. I took my breaks when there were the fewest coworkers around.

Meanwhile, you beat yourself up over things that are done and over, somehow not able to pull yourself into the present. You alienate yourself long enough and those around you also begin to feel alienated, too. But when you're in those funks you don't realize how much they affect others, including your partners...

Fast forward to 2022, and the signs of our marriage's collapse showed themselves more plainly. I won't go into some of the details because a handful of things are quite personal. Let's just say that we tried various things to salvage our love and to get me out of my funk. Nothing worked in the long term. Add the stress of a promotion at work, particularly in a supervisory position that entailed dealing with some intense personalities and working late hours with no overtime compensation due to salaried pay. Suffice it to say that although some things in my life were looking up, I still felt like I was on a downward spiral.

2023 rolled around, and things started looking up. My wife and I had a long discussion about our future together, I got myself into therapy, and I learned to cope with a lot of my negative emotions. Still, we struggled as a couple through 2023, but this time I was the one to bear the weight of frustration with our relationship. Come 2024, our fridge decided to take a nosedive, and the complications of dealing with that and the company who seemed unable to fix it served as the final straw for both of us. We spoke very candidly about separating, and decided that was best.

A couple of weeks go by and I am allowed time to reflect on our separation while sleeping in the basement. I have a few breakdowns and some realizations, and next thing you know, I'm telling her, I think divorce might be the best course for us.

It's funny because you always hear about how horrible and messy divorces are. However, this one has been pretty rational and direct. The thing is we don't hate each other; we just don't want to be romantically involved anymore. Somewhere between my mental health struggles and hers, we lost our connection and neither of us really wants to devote time to reestablishing it. We still talk and laugh about things, we still send each other silly text messages and cat pictures, but we now we don't sleep together or hold hands or make plans as a couple. We're friends now instead of burnt out spouses.

In some ways, it's painful. Watching a great thing I had slip away is crushing. At the same time, its invigorating. There was no connection any longer, and we both felt trapped in our marriage. This will allow the both of us to have freedom and co-parent while remaining in good standing with one another. If other people come into our lives, we won't feel restrained by our marriage any longer.

I am moving tomorrow. I've got all my stuff packed and I'm heading to a tiny apartment not much bigger than the veritable shoe box I rented before getting married. I hate it. I hate dinky apartments and complexes full of people. Yet, it's a place to live. It's my own little lair, and it's home. All the same, I'm not letting this roadblock stop me. Granted, I'll have the added expense of child support, which is a pretty devastating financial blow, but I will also have the time and ability to pull myself together. Part of what kept me from getting my shit straight was just not having time to focus on myself. Yes, I'll still have children to raise, but they'll be staying with their mother. I will have added time to myself, and with that enough time to focus on self improvement when the children aren't with me. Plus, there's the possibility of landing some side gigs, like Uber or Lyft, for extra cash. My long term goal now is getting to a financially sound enough place that I can afford to purchase my own home. Yes, the housing market is ass right now, but I don't need to live in a house. There are plenty of affordable alternatives in Spokane, such as double-wide trailers on county land or Tiny Homes of Spokane. I think it's fair to say that I on my own won't need more than that to live in. I sure as hell don't need a mansion or even a rancher-style house, for that matter.

Will I still be at HonestGamers? Of course. As long as I need to decompress, I will always play video games and write. In some ways, I feel like the first half of my book has drawn to a close, and the second half can now begin.

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dementedhut dementedhut - April 01, 2024 (09:55 AM)
Well, however your future pans out from here, I wish the best.

I will say that, during some of my more stressful months/years, playing and writing about video games helped relieve some stress, even if just a little bit, so I can relate to that aspect. I remember back in 2010, I finally played and reviewed a bunch of games I held back on that helped me get through a period in my life: Ace Combat games, Wii games, and even Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time.
overdrive overdrive - April 02, 2024 (08:46 AM)
I know what you mean, having gone through a less friendly divorce in the mid/late 00s. And like 'Hut said, the gaming and stuff (or whatever hobby is your #1) often is a great way to get through those trying times when "being in society" isn't what you remotely want to do. Hell, just looking through my work on this site, I can tell that my busiest years writing here were during that time, when I was stressed about the marriage failing and when I was just trying to get papers signed to get it all to end and in the aftermath of that. Needed that outlet where I wasn't just moping around and being depressed, but also didn't have to be out in public when I didn't want to be -- which doing this provided. Any port in a storm, so to speak.

So in short, do what you have to do to find happiness in life and I definitely wish you the best in that. Going through the end of a relationship is not an easy thing to do, especially when a lot of time and, in your case, children are involved.
honestgamer honestgamer - April 03, 2024 (10:03 AM)
I'm sorry you've had to go through all of that. A lot of it feels very familiar to me, and some of it does not. I'm trying to make sure to address the parts that feel familiar, before I have reasons to regret it. Because I think all relationships in 2024 have some degree of strain, and it's all too easy to let life chip away at the protections we've built, until we're left in a bad place, not feeling quite like ourselves.

In any case, I'm glad that HonestGamers has been able to provide some solace during the difficult times you've endured. I know the site and the video games medium have gotten me through tough times in my own life, and I know others who can say the same. Playing games (and then writing about them) can be truly cathartic, almost like journaling. That's one reason I know there's something worthwhile in this whole process. It's why I fight to keep doing those things in different ways.

As you settle into the next chapter in your life, know that you've made friends here (on the other side of computer screens you can't see) who care about your future. I hope we can continue to share our passion for games (and writing; we're all here now because we like writing to some extent) for a long time to come.
JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - April 06, 2024 (12:48 AM)
Thanks, guys. It helps to be able to get this out, especially having this place as an outlet. I've got some reviews saved up from before my move, and they should be dropping soon.
hastypixels hastypixels - April 10, 2024 (09:50 AM)
I'm very sorry to hear things are so rough for you, Joe. This site has been an unanticipated refuge and place for a lot of personal development for me, and I'm grateful for all the support I've received. We all need a place we can connect with people who understand us. It hurts now, but it will pass. Marriage is the most difficult relationship that we can get into, and it requires more of us than we expect. Don't give up. Find good counselling support and learn about yourself. Grow from it. Even something and terrible and painful as divorce can - and will - lead to healing and strengthening. I have a close friend who is going through the same thing, and the social network around her is affected, of course, but supportive. I'm glad to be here to offer what support I can.
JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - April 14, 2024 (06:48 PM)
Thank you, hasty.

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