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We were sitting at the kitchen table of our rented home. The kitchen had loud floral wallpaper with foil in it. I don’t think Jon and Heather are getting back together. It wasn’t so long ago she was writing love letters to him on their anniversary for all of us to read. I am not sitting back and laughing at their misfortune or claiming to have seen it coming. I know that adults who experienced trauma can revisit it when their own children reach the same age.

The table was a built-in with a banquette seat in an “L” shape around half of it. Who gets back together after moving out and buying new furniture? My mother was abused as a child and had inexplicable panic attacks when pregnant.

Mom sat us there because she had “something important” to tell us. “I sure am,” Mom replied in a tone that suggested she was both mad at him and proud of herself. Why put the children through spending the night at Daddy’s new apartment if the plan is to work it out? When she told me of her plan to move out, I was secretly thrilled. Heather claims she experienced trauma around her parents’ divorce.

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Unless she’s really been holding back on us, Jon is a great guy. If there is that much love there, I believe the marriage can be saved. Only my dad’s room was “the whole world full of chicks who don’t nag me.” And he didn’t want to come back. Unlike so many people, I do not wish them ill will.

I figured the chances my friend would get back together with her ex after going through the agony and inconvenience of packing boxes and separating 13 years of togetherness were infinitesimal. She deserves so much better than that douche submarine. I’m not saying she has someone in mind, but at the very least she has an idea of someone in mind. Telling my dad to move out was the equivalent of sending me to my room to think about what I’d done, and come out when I was ready to apologize.

When I think about her youngest, so close in age to my oldest, never remembering her parents in love, I want to weep.

I’ve been following Jon Armstrong’s blog since he and Heather Dooce Armstrong split up. I feel for the guy, but that’s because I have read her blog for years and she seems like she’d be impossible to live with. I’m not sure what comes first, the writing or the suicidal impulses, but the two frequently go together. I always thought it would be him cheating on me, and not the other way around.

Today, he wrote that he will not publish any comments that discuss Heather and if anyone writes about her he will delete those comments because she “deserves” that. Medication helps, but mentally ill people are still challenging to have relationships with. All of a sudden, forgiveness seems like the way to go in that situation, you know? She spelled out “jerk” with alphabet blocks and balanced them on the head of her dog and took a picture. Heather is tired of reading all the negative shit out there and wants to say “fuck you” to all of you. Jon loved her and stuck by her through hell and back by her own account. He brought their infant to the mental hospital to visit her every day. When she was better and they had built her business together, they had a second daughter. I didn’t follow her blog faithfully, so I don’t know how things went after baby #2, but I know she didn’t wind up in the looney bin that time. A home so big, they needed cell phones provided by sponsor Verizon just to keep in touch with each other inside their home. When Heather got attacked for blogging about her “life changing” trip to Bangladesh, Jon wrote passionately and eloquently to defend her.

He is totally not in the petty backstabbing phase yet. I once dated with a man who had bipolar disorder (once called manic depression) who was also an alcoholic and an unemployed wake and baker. She said that she is so healthy that her therapist pronounced her cured and may even be moonwalking with joy and approval as I sit here typing. I don’t say “us” because I’m not sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for her to have a breakdown like the rest of them. And when she got out, he didn’t divorce her and take their kid. His love and respect for her shine through in his writing.

He admitted in another post that he didn’t want this separation. The world isn’t as black and white as I once thought.

I initially typed “lived with a man who” but went back and changed it because I remembered that while he did move his stuff in, he moved it out again in the middle of the night while I was sleeping because “shit got too real” and he was convinced that I was trying to steal his favorite lamp. He had to have really screwed the pooch on this one. People who hate her are legion and they are all salivating over her suffering.

I had no interest in his stupid lamp, but that relationship was so messed up, when I finally broke it off, I DID steal his precious lamp. Jon Armstrong has my sympathy, but at the same time, I have to wonder how bad he fucked up. All he will say is that it’s hard to live with someone who doesn’t tell you you’ve been doing it wrong for years, and then when she finally tells you, it’s too late to fix it.

He can’t mean banging someone else, because he’s just too smart to NOT know that counts as “doing it wrong.” I find this so confusing because according to Dooce, the two of them have been going to therapy for years together. I’ve noticed that many very successful and/or famous people do not stay with the partner they were with prior to that success and/or fame. The qualities and characteristics that counterbalance his shit are magnificent.

Dooce has praised her husband and openly loved him for years. But Dooce has been successful and famous for a long time now.