I did a lot of blaming the first few weeks after signing the divorce papers and moving home. I blamed him for joining the Navy. I blamed him for being unable and unwilling to communicate. I blamed the underways, duty days and back to back deployments. I blamed myself for being stupid enough to marry someone “like that,” whatever that means. I was angry. I felt blindsided. I felt betrayed and free and terrified at the same time.
I stumbled across a photo of us this afternoon. Just the two of us, smiling up at the camera. We look happy, it was one of my favorites from that day. I studied the picture for a minute, and the questions came rushing back… was it even real? Was the smile on his face genuine? Did he love me then, or was it already over in his heart? It was over, I’m certain it was over… so why was my life being treated like nothing more than a game of house? It hurt looking at the date the photo was taken, and realizing that a month later, to the day, I would be meeting with a lawyer for the first time. I still can’t help but furrow my brow at those questions. I will never understand what he was feeling or thinking or if any of it was real. I wouldn’t believe him now, if he told me. I was texting an old friend tonight, when I had an epiphany. This friend helped me find the truth, and it is raw and it is going to hurt my heart to write it, just about as much as it hurt to see that photo this afternoon.
I was in denial when I married him. I felt certain we were in love. Or maybe I just thought we were in love, and that that was enough. I thought that even when we didn’t feel in love anymore, our friendship would hold us strong. I thought our history would help to prove we could overcome poor communication, his wandering eyes and our wandering hearts… I didn’t accept the importance of the addictions with which he would struggle. I didn’t know he would stop loving me, or that he would walk out emotionally long before he did physically. I didn’t expect any of this. And that’s not to say that my faults don’t also play a part in the failure of our marriage. I’m learning that one of the most important steps to moving on, is realizing the list of strikes against me.
Step number one, listen to your gut when it tells you to run. And run as fast as you can in the opposite direction.
They say the emotional roller coaster that accompanies a divorce rivals the one that follows the death of a loved one. I believe it. I am not trying to go through it, but the grieving process is happening beyond my control.
Denial hit me with a panic attack, moments from when I knew it was really, irrevocably over. That was the moment I knew everything we had was gone, and it was never coming back. Not with counseling, not with prayer.
Anger hit me as soon as I came to the next morning. It was go time. I would be surprised to find someone who processed a divorce faster than I did, with the help of my family. He walked out of our house on Monday and we were signing divorce papers four days later. Not even a week passed by the time we were out of the state. It still makes my head spin thinking about that week. And it makes my heart hurt that I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone.
Time has passed, moments slipping away like nothing.. I cannot believe that it’s been over a month now since we moved back to California. I wish so much that it were over, but I’m still in the grieving process. I’ve tried my best to stay busy, tried my best to hide, but even so, that depressed feeling is sinking in. It’s faint and I do my best to push through, but I can feel myself sinking.
I told God about the thoughts on my heart this afternoon, while working on a yarn-wrapped vase project. That I am so angry my ex gets to move on like nothing ever happened, and my life is permanently, 100%, forever changed. I have all this baggage now. It’s hard to realize that because of that I’m going to be alone for a very long time.
It is so hard accepting that I need to be alone for some time.
And that is the source of all the sad feelings that sit on my chest, weighing and bringing me down. I mean, there is the fact that what we had wasn’t really a marriage, as my ex-brother-in-law pointed out…but it’s more than that.
I had a revelation this morning. I was sitting at the kitchen table, encouraging a friend to go on a trip she had been planning for weeks, despite her husband now saying he does not want to visit her family. I reminded her to feel empowered because she had made these plans. I mentioned that it’s the things we don’t do that we regret, rarely we regret the things we do.
I don’t regret getting married.
It was about midnight last night and I was lying there awake, eyes closed, trying to pinpoint exactly where things went wrong. I would get in over my head with wondering and force myself to open my eyes and look at the light from the smoke detector, or the light from the moon peeking through the curtains…anything to erase the questions. Where exactly did things go wrong? Would early counseling have helped? Was that why he was so stiff and uncomfortable acting at our wedding? Why did I go through with it? Why didn’t I see all the signs I see now, pointing to our relationship failing?
Don’t get me wrong, my life would have been easier had I never married him. I’m sure I would have found a job, an apartment, graduated college just the same.. But I can’t say my life would have been better. If I had never married him, I wouldn’t have met my friends in South Carolina, wouldn’t have the experience of driving across the country, of establishing a household. Most important of all, I wouldn’t have my son. All the memories that I made, for myself; all of those things I did that I don’t regret, were made possible by marrying him. And now, everything in my future, the single-divorced-working-dating-mom thing…
I don’t regret the marriage. I don’t regret the beautiful, incredible child we made, and I don’t regret knowing and acting on the fact that I deserve better. I deserve great love, not a game of house.
I, (Bride/Groom), take you (Groom/Bride), to be my (wife/husband),
to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse,
for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish; from this day forward
until death do us part.
I can easily recall sitting on my bed, in the dark, mid-panic attack. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, felt like I was going to be sick and I asked God, should I stay and fight for our marriage, or accept that it was over long ago? It was the night he walked out on us, and could have gone either way at that point. (Marriage isn’t just a contract, it’s a promise, a covenant. Don’t think I don’t know that, just because I’m getting divorced.) With the knowledge that I had that night, I was willing to try anything to make it work. Trial separation, counseling, compromise. Less than half an hour after praying, my soon to be (now) ex-husband called, black out drunk, and detailed all the ways in which we were so over. [Thank you God, for such a clear answer.]
But did he think I would stay? Did he think he could admit to violating the sanctity of our marriage on several accounts and expect me to stay?
You know, that whole “for better or for worse” part of our vows? … I don’t think so. It’s a fine line of what I can say, and what I’m not supposed to say about him/against him but… I think he got exactly what he wanted. The life he always wanted, sort of.
And I think some day I will look back on nights like tonight, when my mind is fervently sorting through this mess and realize all this processing was necessary to move on. When my mind is searching for answers, for closure, I remind myself, not all baggage goes with you when you move on. It’s not all important.
Some of it isn’t important at all.
I’m in one of those moods tonight. Regretful. Disappointed in myself.
I had previously thought I was smarter than this, so much smarter than situations like this. Surely, smarter than getting myself into a a loveless marriage.
I’m trying so hard to move on, but it seems the more I try letting go the emotions that overwhelm me, the more stuff I find needing to be sorted through. It feels like I’m sifting through almost a decade of memories, deciding which to keep, which to toss and questioning the validity of all of them. I drive past the corner we used to meet up on, for walks around this small town, and wonder if he was ever real with me. No, I don’t think so, not really. My grandmother always said, “fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Well, shame on me for giving him a second chance all these years ago now, but thank God (literally) for getting my son and I out when He did.
Half of the battle has already been fought, but we are in this odd, grey zone where we are still, technically married. I haven’t worn my wedding set in over three weeks now, but I still check for it at least twice a day. The indentation of where it was is all but gone. I hope when this is all said and done, and a judge slams his or her gavel down, finalizing our divorce, the hurt feelings will fade. I hope I feel as free as I’m thinking I will feel. I hope another ton of bricks is lifted off my shoulders, just as the first ton was when we signed the temporary divorce decree and parenting plan.
As more time in this limbo passes, I realize I should have spent a lot more time listening, a lot more time actually seeing what was happening right in front of me. The signs of this and so much more were right there.
I mean, right there. Tonight, that’s the hardest part.
I’ve spent the last week and a half going backwards at an accelerated pace. There is so much to say, too much to catch up on, but nothing of what I say in the next few months about this (currently private) topic will make much sense without this post. It is the key.
Let me break it to you easy, pull away the facade that we’ve got our shit together and just say it. We are divorcing. Divorced? I’m sure I will preview and edit these posts before future publishing to the public, and by that time the divorce will certainly be final.
When I told my mommy friends, the overwhelming reaction went a little like… “Oh, no! Why?? He just got back from deployment.” Why? Because we don’t work. Because our marriage was a sham. Because he had been playing house with me, while watching porn on a daily basis and wishing he could be drunk. Because I deserve a better life than being stuck in a marriage so full of his lies, that there was no room for love. No one gets married thinking they will get divorced. No one expects their “best friend” and husband to call, black-out-drunk and admit that their years and years of friendship were a lie. That it was all a gigantic lie.
There are questions I can’t get out of my head, even almost two weeks after that phone call – the one that sealed the deal for me, that we were so over, or in the words of Taylor Swift, “never ever ever getting back together.” Questions like, why me? If this has just been some f***ed up game, why did he choose me to be the pawn? Did he ever love me? Answers I am sure I will never know; not that I would ever trust what he had to say, should he offer them up.
So needless to say, I filed for divorce nine days ago, and I’m still pretty pissed off about the whole situation. I won’t get too far into the logistics of where I am, except to say I’m back under my parents roof, and will likely be here a while. I appreciate them for it, hate my ex-husband for it, and can’t help but feel disappointed in myself for ending up here.
I cannot believe I am here.