I was sitting at one end of my church’s Fellowship Hall, surrounded by a pile of opened gifts and resting a plate laden with cake on my swollen, pregnant belly. I looked out upon the faces of fifty or so women and girls who had come to celebrate the impending arrival of my daughter. I started to thank them for their generosity and support. As I did, tears slid down my face. My voice cracked with emotion. They smiled at me kindly, taking my tears simply as those of a woman on the brink of motherhood, overcome with happiness, gratitude, and love (and hormones!).
But I was crying for another reason. I was crying because my husband had just declared his intent to move out. I was crying because I’d be going home to an empty house, left to put away the diapers and the gifts by myself. I was crying because my marriage was over.