I am writing, well actually taking different emails that I wrote about my divorce,(back in 2000) and putting some of it in this web page, so that those of my long term friends can understand some of what has been going on, and so that people looking into divorce or newly divorced people may at least know that the difficult feelings that go on, are somewhat common. Some of my feelings may not be common, we did things very amicable for the most part.
I will historically preserve most of the email content, but edit it for more general distribution. Also I will insert where needed explanations of facts that my email friends knew, but without that explanation, others would get lost. These explanations will be put in brackets, [explanation]. Also miss typed words will show the correct words in buckets [brackets], like that, where I notice them.
[I wrote this back in 09 Apr 1999]
Well there is a lot of stuff [crap] going down, if you know what I mean.
I tell you this in confidence, because it is not for certain that it will happen, but it is very probable. All indications are that within the next year Renee and I will be divorced. [I didn't want the word to get back to my daughter at USU, before we could talk to her after the end of the semester]
We have had 3 big issues [that I will discuss here, and 1 that I will not discuss]
Over the last 10  years and only one has improved much and the other two got worse, much worse.
At this point it is not a decision made in anger or retaliation or guilt or sin [on my part, Renee is a big girl she can answer for herself ], but a calm and collected evaluation of differences that do not look reconcilable by either of us without changing to be a very different people that we are now. [Oddly enough, the issue over religion that I had no answer a year ago, have came clear to me and I do not believe that they would have come to me under any other circumstances. See Disclaimer]
Once it became very apparent that this was going to be the course, that created a window for me to make a step that I had contemplated for some time, and that was to get out of a job that I was unhappy with and start to go in a new direction job wise.
2 weeks ago I enrolled in the Utah Collage of Massage Therapy, and have really enjoyed going back to school. Learning anatomy, massage, and even at times I enjoy Acupressure. The actual procedure I enjoy, but the theory behind it, is a little more than I can currently swallow, (WAY too ethereal, for a analytical skeptic). [that refereed only to Acupressure, and later for Touch For Health, Reflexology and other energy classes]
We are basically separated for the next 6 months [same house, different bedrooms]. I are trying hard to resist the temptation do make decisions in anger or quick decisions that will have long term regret. In time we well will have to see what the next move is. In the mean time I will be working on healing the hurt inside of me, that inhibits me from being more forgiving and tolerant.
In leaning to heal and soothe others, I hope to eliminate raising my voice and arguing, as my first reaction to conflict. [ 7 years later it is very very rare in any of my relationships, including children ]
I can not promise that how long lasting it will be, but in only 2 weeks, I have become a much more caring person, with much less inhibitions of reaching out to help others feel healthy and feel good about themselves.
The financial reality of adjusting to a life style where acquisition and money is a high priority, to a much lessor priority, is still waiting to be addressed, but my long term goal is to return to teaching. But this time, instead of photography or History, I would like to be teaching Massage Therapy, some years down the road. [ turns out they make very little, not a way to support a family ]
Again we have chosen to not make public our impending divorce to our family or children while they are still in this school year.
Therefore your discretion and maintaining of this confidence is [was] mandatory. [April of 1999]
So until you hear from me that the divorce is final, please do not discuss it with anyone other than myself and then not in ear shot of someone that could pass around an have it reach our children, before we are ready to share this difficult but over due decision with them.
Email me and we'll go to lunch and I can tell you all the benefits of getting a Therapeutic Massage.
[The big issue over the last 13 years was, that I had big issues with the constant changes happening in the LDS church, and Renee wanted someone that would sit in church and go with the flow. Our level of interest, intensity and frequency of sex did not match and I was tired of being under the national average by more than 75% at the end of each month. When Renee would make big mistakes, like ignoring the kids, when they would be disrespectful to her, it would start an old broken record that played for 19 years. I never felt that she respected what I had learned about the church or what I learned positive from therapist from Provo Canyon School, about raising kids. I would let this and other things eat at me, and I had a hard time giving up on pain of the past, like the way the school treated me when I quit. I did not forgive and forget well. Then there were the regular marital problems that most couples have, on top of the other things.]
Tuesday I took a 6 months leave of absence, from work and enrolled in the Utah College of Massage Therapy, to become a Professional Massage Therapist.
I was informed today by my boss when he checked with HR, that the Leave of Absence is a maximum of 16 week not 26.....
[I couldn't work anything out with my boss as his boss above him I think wanted to get rid of someone that was not kosher LDS, so I ended up quitting that job]
A year ago as part of my yearly goals, By twisting a word here and there I basically put it in as a goal to get another job somewhere else in a year, well that was OVER a year ago.
I have not been liking my job, I want to do more hands on stuff, and less sitting on my butt.
I want to work more with people and less with computer text. [ while I did learn and grow a lot, within 9 months I as back in front of a computer monitor doing software testing and enjoying it somewhat ]
[I had lunch with J Ward, a high school friend today (Thu, 22 Apr 1999), it was nice. It was good to get grounded back to my past a bit. This is what I wrote my email friends that night.]
Things are moving and shaking but I'm doing ok.
The argument of Renee having expectation that I was going to be comforting her in some [negative] way after her fender bender, caused an argument that spilled over into the kitchen, where I realized later Steve could hear us talking of divorce. [we had a small argument, after Renee has dinged the MR2, it was not about getting in a fender bender, but that I should have acted a certain way when I talked to her on the phone, I was more concerned that she was OK and not hurt, and she was upset emotionally and I miss understood that, our marriage was filled with no-voiced expectations, and arguments about failed expectations]
After Mary was asleep I got the two boys together and with Renee I calmly explained all of the reasons but one [which we (not Renee) discussed with them after the divorce], why we were getting divorced, and how it had been over due for the last 10  years, and how it was a mistake not to have gotten divorced 10  years ago.
I emphasized how it had nothing to do with them and they did not cause it nor could they fix it, nor should they even try. [in hind sight, that worked out good]
Only once while telling the boys about our pending divorce, did I start to get agitated, when I was explaining how the church issue was a big issue that didn't get better, and I started to say how Renee continued to give over 3,000 dollars to the church each year and then carped to me about ever time I would spend money like a couple of hundred dollars once a year for Sunstone or Mormon History Association. [mostly books and fees]
I realized that I was getting mad and I stopped going there.
I cried when the boys said they loved me, I cried hard, and Renee did too when I explained that we should have never gotten married in the first place, because of BYU social pressure to get married while the getting was good and that I married the first person I ever dated steady and that I didn't marry her because we resolved differences well or agreed and how to discipline children, or that we had good role models of parents that got along or that we were sexually compatible, but I married her because I fell in love with her and because she was so beautiful. [at the time.]
[her wedding gown picture and a touching story of our engagement is here http://www.xmission.com/~plporter/early_life.htm to understand the pain of divorce and get over it one needs to remember what brought you together and what was reality and what was a myth about expectation and how they played out, at least that is what my separation, group says]
Tears welled up in Renee's eyes at that point and mine too.
After the kids were in bed we talked some more about detail of how and when to get divorced.
The house is a big issue as I finished the basement myself, doing the framing, Electrical, helped with the sheet rock and did the heating, lighting, and painting myself, as well as putting together the bannister and many many energy saving projects.
Quick question. sometimes joint custody has it that one parent gets the kids for one year and then the other parent gets the kids the next year.
I suggested that the kids stay in our house and have the same kids, school etc.,, and that I move out for a year and then the next year, Renee moves out and I get the kids and use the house.
SHE WAS EXTREMELY OPPOSED TO THIS, saying it would be hard on the kids. [it turned out to be mostly hard on me, and she got to keep her life just the same, except she didn't have me around. She as adamant that no one ever did such a thing. I know women where the children live with the other spouse every other week. It works for them I should have fought for that.]
I don't know what the hell she is talking about. [ it just worked in her favor, for a time]
I see it as ideal, we share the house and the kids and they get the stability.
She thinks the kids moving back and forth to different houses, schools etc.,, would be more stable. [later she said that I could visit Mary all I wanted but that she would fight tooth and nail to have Mary ONLY live with her, she would not share custody]
She said, go ask my e-mail friends if I'm not just up in the night. [I asked and they all agreed with Renee, I still think with creativity, cooperation and mutual respect, that could have worked. Emotionally it would have made Renee feel unstable, but why does the male have to be the one that is left with out the comfort of letting the kids live in the neighborhood where they grew up?]
Well. got a test today and have not studied.
BTW I got 11/10 on the quiz. :)
[When we made the decision to get divorced, I decided to change professions and take a job, where my tying to hide my dyslexia did not cause me daily anxiety. Part of the healing process of growing up with dyslexia happened while at Massage Therapy School, part of it is described in my story about graduating from UCMT]
This morning in class was hard and I felt so emotionally drained.
As we got ready to work on each other, I held back and did not partner up and weighted [waited] to see whom was left, I thought we would have odd numbers, but it worked out that I was to work with the Native American girl again.
I had to put on my professional face, because I was next to tears all morning. As soon as I started working on her, emotions in side of me started coming out and my eyes feel with tears, and I didn't want to break down so I closed my eyes to old back the tears. It helped for a while, and I started to get in tune with the massage and forget myself and try to feel for tension in any muscles in Bertha's back.
I started too feel empowered as I was, after only 3 weeks of class, able to visualize my relationship to her and where her body was positioned by feel only, and yet be even MORE in tune with where the boundaries are, even more than with my eyes opened.
I continued to wonder exactly how long could I go without opening my eyes? Could I move on to the arms and possibly the legs and do the draping with my eyes closed?
As I lost my self in this self imposed exercise, my mind would wander back to the boys and my grief and loss of what we had and would never have again in the same way. My pulse quickened and tears tricked down my face as I held my eyes shut, and my breathing quivered. But I tried to stifle it, and not let on to my fellow student, how I was feeling.
I finished with the arms and hands, with what appeared to me to be as in tune as I ever was with my eyes open. I got up off my knees and reached to the right and left of her arms and fond the sheet exactly as I had visualized that I had put it when I folded it back. I maintained contact as I stepped toward her lower torso, and visualizing what I had done only 10 times over the last 3 weeks, I uncovered her thigh mid way and lifted her leg, reaching under her get, grasping the sheet and pulling it up at a 45 degree angle to expose just the leg and keep her securely covered everywhere else. As I worked up the leg I could feel the edge of the sheet at it's proper place.
I moved on to the other leg, and at this point I had not opened my eyes in 35 minutes. As I went to take the towel and fold it back, the corner was not where I had envisioned it, so I took a peek to figured out what I where [where I was and where] the corner really was. I draped the 2nd [leg] a little low on the thigh, and took a peak once I was done to confirm my suspicion that I had not exposed enough of the thigh to work on it properly.
I also opened my eyes for 2 seconds while she turned over, so that I knew I was holding up just the top sheet and that she was covered at all times.
Today's exercise was to pace ourselves with the clock and to do a full body massage, not skipping any limbs and doing both left and right sides equally.
I finished within 30 seconds of the end time, having worked all parts but the neck, because we started 5 minutes late because we were not paired up with each other until the after others had started.
I did not even look at the clock once! I found out later that this self imposed exercise is something they do some 4 months into the classes where they blindfold the therapist. This was my 3rd week!
You know guys [written to email friends], I don't want to brag, just an observation, but I think I have the gift of touch. And it feels better to give than it does to receive.
I am also aware that, a change in my attitude, my confidence can be eroded and the gift will disappear as quickly has it unexpectedly had shown up.
After the massage, I was still feeling very melancholy, and an older man my age and a 18 year old girl notice, and came up and put their arms around me, and asked what was the matter. My throat instantly became swollen up and I could not form the words without my voice cracking, and I didn't try. The silence lingered as I slumped forward without a word coming out.
Once [One] of the cool TA's came over and put her arm around me, and I was able to squeak out that I had told my two boys the night before that we were getting divorced. The [they] stroked my back and gave me encouraging words of support and hugs. The instructor came over who is going through a divorce and she talked to me and gave me a hug and talked about the program that helped her educate her very young kids what was going on with her divorce.
We had a break and then I got practiced on while Bertha had her turn.
After that was break for lunch, I asked the instructor if I could take a moment to speak to the entire class. We are a close knit group of 35 people, ranging from 17 to 54 circa. I explained that some were aware that I was getting divorced and that I had a hard night, as I had to tell my boys that we were getting divorced, and that I wanted them to do a favor for me and not talk about the divorce outside of class as someone my [may] over hear them that my know Tiscia and my say something to her before we plan to tell her at the end of the semester. I mostly maintained my composure, to that point, Class mates came up to me to say they were sorry to hear my news, and gave me hugs, even some that we had never really talked too much, and many that I had never hugged.
Then this thin, young married gal with anterior dente, came and gave me a big hug, while others were hugging me, and she said, "I think your Awesome Perry" and she gave me a kiss on the check, I just broke down sobbing, I could hardly stand up, I quickly regained my composure, as I am not comfortable with that level of emoting.
The last 24 hours have been some of my most sorrowful of my life, and within that same stretch of time, my spirit soared, and I felt more empathy and love from so many people than I had ever felt in my life.
What a day!
I know you guys can't be here, but I think of you often, and I just want to give you all a huge hug, and tell you "I love you too!"
Well, got to get to bed, see you on the weekend, I just had
to pen this while it was fresh in my mind!
[I wrote this to 2 friends back on the 13 May 1997]
At about 11:30 I told Renee we had to talk. because the last time I was obsessing, [over things such as infrequent sex], she said, why did you go off worrying, just come to me and I'll clear it up. Well 4 hours later we had to break for church as we both had assignments, it was an ugly time. We talked, and argued and rehashed for another 3 hours. It was the first time since my mission that I didn't feel life was worth living.
We settled that we would get counseling so that I can get over my lack of trust [the lack of deep intimacy, or fear that she would leave me and not go into obsessing cycles, and so she could also come to grips with the reality of the past, sexual relations were great when we were first married, but screeched to a dribble when Renee's first pregnancy was in full swing, and never was close to the same] and how much it still effects me.
We went to bed, better, but not far from good.
We have an appointment for Saturday.
We went on a picnic to night to make up some for a shitty Mother's Day.
Got along great with the kids. The tension is not on the surface, but can't be hiding too deep, during the current clam.
It scares me that my behavior escalates, to what I would not consider normal. It scares me that I can't seem to control my irrational fear of being burned [hurt emotionally] again. It may well ruin our marriage, which has many positive points. [I wrote this while separated and before the divorce was final. It was my first long term relationship. In the last 7 years after my divorce, I have had 1 good and 1 great long term relationship. The experiences of just watching a movie together and stopping it and discussing it, far exceeds most all positive experiences in my marriage to Renee. Then take other GREAT experiences like going to a company party where there was a live band and dancing, or going to a way cool concert, or camping.... Things I did not enjoy with Renee, are with others some of my fondest memories of my entire life.]
Renee did mention yesterday, that I am smart, as she had been looking over her HS grades, ACT scores and BYU transcript, and realized that I had been more successfully academically than she had.
Of course then she used to type my paper, and see the simple spelling mistakes, the content did not impress her.
This was a first for me, to be complimented by her for being smart. [... at the end of a 20 year marriage :( ...]
We have always has certain unhealthy competitions.
[our problems, had existed for year and years, often the same communication problems and problems with differences of disciplining our children etc. The church issue was a big one.]
[I got an email one say sent to the email posted below where the women just chewed me up one side and down the other for what I had written on my divorce page. I am kind of a busy guy and I finally got around today (May 15th 2007) to re-reading what she might have objected to. Well I don't know what she was carping about. There is a lot that I did not say and stuff that has happened since where I had to involve the police, that the unsuspecting members of our little ward would be shocked to read. I am not airing her dirty laundry here.....]
[ I am not ragging on Renee..... don't know what that random email was about...]
Or if that does not work, try this mail form.
All opinions are mine and mine alone, and represent my thinking at this point in time,
(subject to change based on better information).
All original writings of mine are just that, to reproduce, forward or use, parts or whole, you need to get permission from me first.
Spellings constructed for effect and to confound the ridged. ;)
©1996 by Perry L. Porter. All copyrights are maintained by any parties (individual or corporate) which may have originally created any of the information or artwork contained herein. If you see your work, and I've mistakenly not given you or your company credit, please E-mail me, I'll gladly add the appropriate credit, if you feel it's necessary.
plporter @ pobox.com (E-Mail) http://pobox.com/~plporter (Homepage) ftp://ftp.xmission.com/pub/users/p/plporter (download) http://www.xmission.com/pub/users/p/plporter (download) Visitors since I started tracking them on Jan. 7th 2000.