The biggest fear that has gripped me in going through a divorce is being alone for the rest of my life.
I'll still have four more years of my youngest son living at home at least half of the time while he goes through high school. And my oldest son, now a sophomore in college, has said he wants to live at home while he gets a master's degree.
But what happens after that? That's what scares me.
When I got married, I imagined my wife and I getting old together. When one of us got sick, the other would bring soup and drinks to the bed. When one of us was injured, the other one would act as chaperone.
When one of us was ready to die, the other one would be there to comfort and soothe.
Now, I wonder what's going to happen to me that day in the distance when I have a stroke or some other illness and there is no one at home to call 911 or to take me to the hospital.
I'm also scared of experiences in my future where I'll be the only one there.
There is no one to hold hands with, no one to laugh with, and no one to cry with.
Yes, we had our disagreements, but I always believed that love would overcome those obstacles. Now, that belief has been replaced with doubt and a lack of confidence. Whereas I was once filled with confidence about what my future held, I'm now overcome with the feeling that I have no idea where I will be in a year, much less five or 10 or 15 years from now.
I'm 46, and I'm looking at another 30 years of an active lifestyle. I want to see the world, and I want to live my life to the fullest.
But that no longer seems as exciting or interesting when you do it alone.
Next Up: Telling the kids
Just joining Chris' story? Check out what you've missed here:
Chapter 1: Out of the Blue
Chapter 2: The Fear of Being Lonely