This past Tuesday, Mary Anne broke up with me, ending a relationship that lasted a little over 26 years.

The relationship has been on rocky ground for at least the past two years, during which time we’ve been doing couples therapy. (We didn’t talk publicly about our 25th anniversary, in late 2022, because it would’ve been awkward to get congratulations at a time when the relationship wasn’t going well and we weren’t sure it would continue.)

It’s entirely possible that Mary Anne and I will get back to being on friendly terms in a while. But for now, I need at least a month or two of separation—to mourn the end of a relationship that’s been central to my life for the past quarter-century, and to start to figure out who I am without her as a partner. So I won’t be in contact with her for a while. (Unless something urgent comes up.)

I’ve temporarily blocked her on Facebook. I know that she posted about the breakup the other day, but I haven’t read her post, and probably won’t, at least not until the situation feels less raw to me. Please don’t tell me what it says.

(It’s possible that her post disagrees with mine in various respects; we disagree about a bunch of things, including how things were going between us at various times last year. Different people have different perspectives and understandings. This post of mine reflects my perceptions and narrative, which may not match hers. Again, please don’t tell me, either way.)

Sympathy is welcome, but please don’t say negative stuff about Mary Anne to me, or in comments here. That won’t have any positive effects. (Also note that she may at some point see this post and the comments on it.)

Some friends have offered to send me various kinds of gifts. I’ve very much appreciated those offers, but gifts are fraught for me even at the best of times, and right now I would much rather have sympathy/kind words/kind thoughts than gifts. If the urge to do something for me is very strong, then I’ll note that I appreciate Good Works—do something kind for someone (even yourself), or help out a charity, or something along similar lines, and that will make me happier than a gift to me would.

How am I doing? Hard to say—I think it hasn’t entirely sunk in yet. I’m intermittently sad, and a little angry, and a little frustrated, and pretty tense, and a little resentful, and a little irritable. And feeling rejected. (That last has been bolstered by my unrelatedly but recently receiving a form rejection for a story submission and a form rejection for a job that I applied for.)

But there’ve been good things recently too. I’ve been in semi-turtle mode, as usual when I’m stressed, but have had multiple good talks with friends this week, and some sunshine, and some hugs and snuggles. And some other good news, too, which I’ll post about separately.

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