Dear Mr. xxxxx

Written by Jay Lohner

Break out of your cocoon eh? My how familiar that sounds. All of my friends are always calling me "hermit". They tell me I should get out more, to meet people, instead of sitting at home because "they aren't going to come knocking on my door". But what they don't know or understand is that I have to learn how to be happy on my own before I can be happy with someone else... know what I mean? Maybe we should have a little contest here... how long has it been since you have been on a date? I bet I have you beat.

A lot of this is my own doing. I have purposely kept myself busy, (taking classes, etc.) to avoid relationships. The classes were also to improve myself though. It seems like all my life I have been putting things off, for this reason or that, and mainly for other people. That's why I moved up here in the first place. I hated my job in Des Moines, and the plan was to put the ex through nursing school, and then she was going to help me get through school, by getting a nursing job. We were also going to move out west. Well, obviously that didn't happen. And ever since I've moved up here, every woman I have met has been married, too young, or I just wasn't attracted to them.

I think that I have finally gotten close to that point, more like my "old" self, but I know I'm still an emotional basket case. I watch TV shows or movies, and the tears just start coming. "Good Will Hunting" for example. I don't know if you've seen it, but, I still can't believe the way that movie got to me.

I guess now is the time to explain my divorce. I was married for 3 and a half years. All of them were bad. In retrospect it was a stupid thing to do, and I was pressured into it. I married her because it was the "right thing to do". We were both supposed Christians, and we were living together "in sin". I really loved her, but I was never perfect enough for her. She also believed in speaking in tongues, and other things I couldn't understand, and everything had to be "Christian". All of my friends, our marriage counsellours, even our real estate agent. The counsellour suggested that I wasn't loving enough, and I admit that I was a very angry resentful person. To deal with the stress of our crappy marriage, I took up things like gardening, she took up bar hopping. Still, in the eyes of our counsellour, it was my fault because I wasn't showing her enough affection.

I could go on and on, but to cut it short I'll just say that I eventually got to the point where I decided that if being a Christian meant being more like her, and the people that we were associating with, then I didn't want to be a Christian.

I never cheated on her. She remarried within 3 months of our divorce. I filed for the divorce, she had a habit of moving out when things got really bad, and one time... the last time she moved out... I called a lawyer and filed.

She was possessive, manipulative, and insanely jealous. She went through all of my photo albums and threw away every picture of every female I knew that wasn't related to me. She refused to speak to me until I called all of my old friends and told them that unless they were saved, I could never see or talk to them again. In the end she asked me how I got to be so cold. I couldn't even be myself around my family, because they weren't "saved". She forced me to choose between her and my Christian beliefs, or everyone I'd ever known, cared about or been friends with. How did I get to be so cold? I wonder.

Three months after she remarried, and six months after our divorce, she called me and wanted to know if I would take her back. She said, in God's eyes we were never really divorced, and so she really wasn't married to her new husband.

I told her 3 things. First she needed to pay me every cent that she cost me in the divorce, including the division of property. Second, that I hadn't loved her for a long time, that I only went to the counselling and things because it was the "right thing" to do, to try to save the marriage, something I told myself ever since I was young, that I would only do once. And last that she was a lunatic and needed some real counselling, not Christian counselling.

I never heard from her again, except in a certified letter where she accidentally got my vehicle license tags. It started out with "Dear Mr. xxxxx"