Rise/Fall The First Steps
The first moments of realization that your marriage is over is something I never imagined I'd experience. Every married guy says that of course. It happens, it's crap but it happens. I had actually been wearing my Fitbit at the time and sadly I have a literal record of the night I made the discovery that my married life as I knew it was over. I won't go into details, those don't really matter to anyone but myself and my ex.
You go through a lot of things when you first realize your marriage isn't what you thought it was. The usual stages of grief certainly but for me I felt a constant, intense sense of failure. There were things that needed to be done though, things that were unpleasant. Finances, paperwork, social changes. You don't really think about your circle of friends at first, it was perhaps the third or fourth thing on my mind as I found myself packing my things and leaving the place I called home for four years. As a gun owner, I had the even less enviable task of understanding that my mental state was too dangerous to have the possibility of a loaded weapon nearby. I did what my close friend and I had always discussed that if things got bad one of us would hold the other's weapons until things were better. I didn't want to become a statistic.
Making that first call to a therapist, feeling humbled by the realization that you have a marriage that isn't working anymore is not something easy for anybody. I was petrified but I knew that if I didn't start somewhere I was going to lose and keeping losing at an alarming rate. The first few sessions I attended were mostly about framing my problem, what I felt was wrong. While I had hoped it would become couples therapy that didn't occur. Things were too far gone and I had done too little to change the course of things.
Besides therapy I started opening up to other on-line resources. These included MyCounterPane and Pacifica. You can find the links below. A degree of anonymity and the convenience of being able to communicate as openly or as closed as you prefer helped me get through the days between therapy sessions.