A New Look For A New Life.

By Alison June 1, 2006 40 Comments 3 Min Read


So there you are tra-laing through your scrumptious little life, when oops! you carelessly lose your husband.

So you wallow and wail and cry. You eat nothing but cucumber for a fortnight and convince yourself that having lost a stone he  is bound to be wowed all over again by your sheer beauty and fall apologetically into your arms.

Some days you clean the bath till your fingers get all wrinkly and other days you shove the nonsense littering the floor into a  cupboard, apply too much make up and hope that the appearance of all being well will  fool all well-wishers and nay- sayers into believing that you are going to be fine.

You are going to be fine. You hear it a lot and doubt it with every fibre of your being. You try to resist phoning him and give in at quarter past midnight when the sheer shock of him not being here finally hits. So you scream and carry on something awful. You tell him that he can’t do this to you , that you will  die without him.  You  tell  him that if he just comes back  everything will be alright. That you will  be a better person. That you are grateful to him for having done this awful thing because now you can face up to all that is wrong.

Strangers ask you how you are and you burst into tears. A certain look in your friends husband’s eye, a  look of  sympathy, of understanding, makes you weep.   Your little boy sits on your knee and wipes away your tears.  Your neighbours ring you daily to check you are ok. And  too many times, usually after the baby is fast asleep , you find yourself in the kitchen, always the kitchen, muffling your screams into a tea-towel. 

You don’t write anything. Though words are what you know will sustain you. You don’t write anything because you are waiting to wake up so you can form sentences and paragraphs from this nightmare. Once you find yourself sinking down the wall, begging him to come home.  Vomiting into the sink when he say’s he can’t.

Then one lemon coloured morning you wake up and you understand that he is gone. That, for now at least, he isn’t coming back, and as suddenly as they started, the tears stop.

You read somewhere "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom" and it makes sense.

And though you aren’t quite ready to blossom, already you can feel yourself unfurl.

I can’t talk about it yet. I can’t say, this then is the reason why.  But I want to say thank you. to every single one of you. To  every woman  who has  told me her story. To all those who have sent me tiny treats, best wishes and virtual hugs. I kind of feel like the hysteria has passed, and though I am not quite resigned to my new life,  I  can see that  it  is one stuffed with possibility. That I am strong enough to face the challenge of a whole new life…

Thank you.


  1. persephone says:

    Having dealt with a very hard breakup, too, I love that feeling when you wake up and know you're alive and you can go on. It is a cliche, but I DO believe that whatever doesn't kills you makes you stronger.

  2. karlanee says:

    Thank you for sharing this ordeal with us. Even though I've not experienced it, I now know better how to support someone, listen to them and just be there. Thank you for your openness, honesty, transparenc with us and with yourself. You are continually in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. Clarice says:

    I can not even begin to understand what you are going through. Alll I can say is I am soo sorry and give you a
    ((( Alison)))

  4. Gena says:

    Oh Alison! he is not worthy of you,be kind to yourself,take one day at a time and wait…. something wonderful for sure will come your way.xx

  5. Lina says:

    I am happy to hear that you are starting to feel better. But remember that it will take time. I think it is great that you can write so openly about your feelings. I'm sure it will help you. ((Hugs))

  6. Savannah says:

    When we hear, "You are going to be fine," we are thinking of that old "you," the girl/woman/wife we once were. Maybe we loved her; maybe we were tired of her, but no matter what happens with Mark or any other eventful relationship, good or bad, that particular "you" is never going to be fine because SHE in that particular level of innocence and hope and unshatteered dreams is never going to exist again. That loss of that particular self is why I have cried for nearly twelve years over the same man (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME). That is what I want back, which is stupid, not to mention impossible. I am so sorry for the loss of the Alison you were barely a month ago, but oh, honey… the one here now and coming up… Welcome!!! You are always going to be authentically at the core, amazing. I'm in your corner, as always. And I truly know the you inside is going to be fine. But I know you are aching and fighting to "make it." I know you will blossom!

  7. Kim says:

    I've said it before & I'll say it again (many times)….you are amazing. And strong. And real. And inspiring. I've never been through exactly what you are going through, but I've been through too many things that are too awful to recount and Ive learned this–that I CAN and WILL make it through ANYTHING. That its all about crying the tears and feeling the hurt but GOING ON. And then, one day, like you said, you realise that it will be OK. It might not be OK today, but that you know that its going to be OK and that happiness is still possible & probable. And, I've found that the happiness that laid ahead is more beautiful than anything I could have imagined back when things looked so black. And, I think Thank God I pushed through or I would have never known this!!! And there is incredible pride and strength in knowing that you can get through. I know that you will find all of this & more. I think of you every day & hope the best for you. Thank you for sharing with us.

  8. Meredith says:

    We all love you and we're here however you are feeling. It's just nice to know you're there.
    Take care of yourself. God bless,

  9. Cookiec says:

    Its horrible and its heartbreaking but its life…. and go on we must…. because if we never experience the rotten things then we dont recognise the wonderful things when they come our way. Hugs to you and Fin and you are both in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. Ellie says:

    Just discovered your blog — what a treat! Where did you get all this wonderful artwork? I'm linking to you in a post I'm planning for next week.

  11. Bravo, Alison! Bravo for every positive step you're taking to create a brighter future for yourself and your adorable son. It will take a long time – a very long time – before you'll feel "back to normal." Certainly, things won't be the same. But they will be BETTER! This, I assure you. And you will be a stronger person for having dealt with all this with so much grace and bravery.

  12. Helen Gillis says:

    I love your blog – here's a hug to help with what you're going through right now. You'll come out the other side and be happy again – just take it one day at a time and let the bad days come as they will and go, as they will too.
    Best wishes!!

  13. diana says:

    Love the polka dots !!! So cheery !
    You will find your light at the end of the tunnel.

  14. Gayle says:

    This turn of events is hard-
    as if a huge boulder
    had been dropped into your life.
    How to live with this?
    The simple tasks of living are holy.
    Laundry folded. Cat fed.
    Little acts of faith are powerful.
    Call returned, lunch outside.
    They chip away at the stone
    with a Sculptor's hammer saying,
    "There is a work of art in here,
    and I will bring forth the beauty you cannot yet see."
    Take time to grieve and trust you will come out whole-Gayle
    P.S. This poem came from a Ministry of the Arts card I have saved and keep close.

  15. Alicat says:

    keep strong, as best as you can Alison. We love you!

  16. happyapple says:

    I wish you hundreds more lemon-colored days. We are all here cheering you on and appreciating what you bring to our lives!!! You are never alone…

  17. Rosa says:

    I hope your writing helps you through this, it helps me by just reading it. Thank you for posting during such a hard time. Yes, you will come out of this.

  18. julie says:

    Oh, Ali…this sucks…having been through two failed marriages and one long term relationship disaster, I know how much it sucks and I, too, have vomited into the sink more than once. There are no words any of us can say to help you deal with this…But please know that we are all thinking of you and praying for you (and Finley)…
    Stay as strong as you can,

  19. June says:

    Alison, my heart goes out to you and Finley. Here's a book that helped me set goals for my new life following my own parallel nightmare: The Gift of a Year by Mira Kirshenbaum. If you can't find it, don't hesitate to email me and I'll send it to you.
    P.S. I love your new blog site look–very festive and cheery.

  20. Suzie says:

    And after all of the heartache, you will be a stronger independant, amazing person. And eventually you will be grateful for this truly horrible time, and you will appreciate every little thing a hundredfold. Of course it takes time, but I know it will happen – it happened to me, and I've seen it happen to countless others.
    We women, we are stronger than anything life can throw at us. Hold on to that Sweetie. Indulge yourself in all the puttery, comforting treats you want to. It's time now to focus on YOU! And Finley. But not the past.
    Much love and prayers xxx

  21. Danielle says:

    I love the new wallpaper. It's sassy, lively and a little bit defiant! You're going to be just fine. I think you already are. You are fantastic and you inspired me to embrace my relatively new role in life as a mummy and housewife. Thanks to you I am excited about all the scrummy vintage things and rituals that remind me of how life used to be. Thanks to you my little boys will be surrounded by vintage treasures that will bring back warm memories when they're older. I'm so glad you're carrying on with Brocante Home because I would miss is terribly if it was gone! I find a lot of comfort in thinking that everything happens for a reason. I think that Mark has gone because you haven't met your soulmate yet. It's a horrible, painful thing for you to have to go through right now, but I firmly believe better things have yet to come and when they do I'll be right here with you, reading all about your terrific new life!

  22. ms*robyn says:

    and there will be days that you wake up and vomit in the sink once more or days when you just cry from the depths of your soul but the times between will get longer and longer and one day you will wake up and realize that he did you a wonderful service by leaving. He will still be that man back then but you my lovely Ali, will be a the lotus blossom who has survived and blossomed into the sun. Much better is ahead, believe me.
    so now, you have picked yourself up, brushed those knees off and are ready for your new life. Much love to you, always xoxo
    and me? I am the rubbish friend who still has not sent your parcel for that swap, eons ago. But I promise it will be there very soon.(I have been feeling sickly as my nan would say)

  23. Kali says:

    Thinking of you everyday!

  24. lizzie says:

    I am afraid some men just cannot hack the big time (ie marriage )dont feel bitter – rise above it and know that better days are ahead. Treat yourself well, grief has many stages and many emotions are involved. He has to go through life now knowing he abandoned his wife and child (I wonder what his father thinks of him) Imagine running back to daddy !!
    A BIG HUG and chin-up

  25. janet says:

    Sorry, I don't know what to say. I had to leave my ex – husband due to his immaturity. I really wanted my marriage to work, but I had to give up before he caused me harm due to his carelessness, (he was not physical) and selfishness. Yes, I too had to wake up and get out before I lost everything. I did take a long time to find someone again, and I am not wealthy with money, but I am the happiest I have ever been. It took a long time to get to this point…I hope you find your happiness. You are such a success I love Brocante Home, I look forward to your posting and your success.

  26. Victoria says:

    Although I rarely post I do love your site. Everytime I read about your feelings since your husband has left you, my heart goes out to you as I'm sure all the ladies do. I remember back when it happened to me. As I leave my computer you are still in my thoughts as I am thinking why? how? I wish we didn't suffer this pain and how I wish this wasn't happening to you (even though I don't know you) I feel like you represent every woman's pain. I draw my strength from God and in times like these God can help you. Grieving is a process. We go from tears to anger to guilt and back to sorrow. It's like a death. I pray for your comfort and that God will shine his favor on you and your little boy.
    Thank you for sharing and all that you do so unselfishly.

  27. Shar says:

    Even at this trying time for you,
    you are an inspiration.
    And blossom you will; of that, I
    am sure.

  28. Susana says:

    Alison, God bless you. I am so emotional as I am getting ready to have my baby. All I can say is God bless you. I wish this wasn't happening. I wish I wasn't an empathetic Mama who feels others hurt, but I do. I feel sick to the stomach about this. Alsion, "this too shall pass", and the strength for it to pass will come from deep within you. Love you. Please take care, and hold on to your inner strength and let come through.
    Love, Susana

  29. VintageJess says:

    See, you are stronger than even YOU realized. Be proud of the wonderful, fantastic human that you are and all you have to offer. Heres to your new life and all of its amazing possibilities! We all have your back and will be with you every step of the way. Much love to you and to the true-blue man in your life, Mr. Finley.
    P.S. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the new look!

  30. Hester says:

    I wanted to share with you a poem that helped me through a horrid break-up just by expressing what I was feeling. Good luck and you will be in all our thoughts. x
    Yearn On
    I want you to feel
    the unbearable lack of me.
    I want your skin
    to yearn for the soft lure of mine;
    I want those hints of red
    on your canvas
    to deepen in passion for me:
    carmine, burgundy.
    I want you to keep
    stubbing your toe
    on the memory of me;
    I want your head to be dizzy
    and your stomach in a spin;
    I want you to hear my voice
    in your ear, to touch my face
    imagining it is my hand.
    I want your body to shiver and quiver
    at the mere idea of mine.
    I want you to feel as though
    life after me is dull, and pointless
    and very, very aggravating;
    that with me you were lifted
    on a current you waited all your life to find,
    and had despaired of finding,
    as though you were wading,
    through a soggy swill of inanity and ugliness
    every minute we are apart.
    I want you to drive yourself crazy
    with the fantasy of me,
    and how we will meet again, against all odds,
    and there will be tears and flowers,
    and the vast relief of not I,
    but us.
    I am haunting your dreams,
    conducting these fevers
    from a distance,
    a distance that leaves me weeping,
    and storming,
    and bereft.

  31. Lisa says:

    Love the new look. It's so sassy. And just wanted to say that not only should you be proud of yourself for being so strong, but also acting with such class. So many women would handle this differently, would be petty, vengeful, ugly. You are truly rising above it all and taking the high road. I hope I would act the same way in the face of turmoil. Your son is lucky to have you as a role model. Thinking of you.

  32. Paola says:

    You go girl! LOVE the new look – really striking and sassy.
    Suggest you treat yourself to a sassy and striking new look at the same time.
    Have been meaning to email just to say that I've been thinking of you lots and think you're being incredibly brave and strong. Finley is a very lucky little boy and Mark is a complete nutcase.

  33. Kim says:

    Alison, I am a regular reader of your blog and I happen to be reading a really good book that may be of some comfort and inspiration to you at this time. Have you read Something More – Excavating your Authentic Self by Sarah Ban Breathnach. I think everyone i know has read Simple Abundance – but for the strength, courage and grace to face lifes challenges that are sometime hurled at us – try this one – it's brilliant. Hugs to you – you have support and good wishes sent to you from California…

  34. Wonderfull as you are, your new life will be wonderfull too.
    You are able to have and make everything that you want.
    For everything I have read here, the looser it's him.

  35. "…lemon colored morning, and the tears stop…"
    Each day the your heart will mend, each day you will know your place and your song will become crystal clear again and your feet steady, I am glad to hear you are feeling one step closer to happiness and one step away for the pain of Mark.
    Take it slow and full of grace.

  36. peggy says:

    A new day. A new dream. A new start. Its all there for you as well as all your friends. Hugs

  37. Heidi says:

    Alison, I wish I could give you a hug, and if you lived near me, I would treat you to a Spa day in Palm Springs where we would have lots of beauty treaments and drink too much wine. But right now, all I can do is send my prayers and support, and tell you how wonderful you are and how many people love you. Please be good to yourself – you are so worth it.

  38. Nancy says:

    Cry your tears until your cheeks are scalded.
    Eat cucumber or lemon tea or whatever food will stay down.
    Scream into tea towels, rant at the moon, dry heave over a sink.
    Smile a fake smile, swim through huge watery tears every day if you must.
    Then………one day……..you. are. d-o-n-e.
    You will realize all the went before was the necessary groundwork for all that will come after.
    Ah, what an "after" it will be!
    You, Our Dear Sweet Ali, are going to set your little corner of the world on fire and I CANNOT wait!
    Love you , love you, love you and precious mop-top Finn too!
    Stay strong!

  39. Sara says:

    It's good to hear that if things aren't exactly looking up, that the world is looking a little brighter and you are a lot stronger.
    Take care of yourself and your babba. Take each day, moment by moment and remember that you are the strongest person you know.

  40. Mandy Muse says:

    I'm just on the other side of the same thing, thanks for helping me feel like it will get better 🙂

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