It’s been a week since I asked B to leave for good (it has been something he was meant to do immediately after the kids left for the US, but he didn’t). He had been trying to hang on there for as long as possible. He had had his flat for over a week at this point (maybe almost two).
He was wholly against the separation. He was very vocal about that. In the beginning of this whole mess, he was less against it. He was less worried about keeping me than I was. In fact, up to the point I asked him to leave, he had suggested/threatened separation multiple times. I was desperate to keep him by my side. At the time, I really thought it was because we should be together. Now, I do think I hung on for all of the wrong reasons.
I hung on out of shame. Such intense shame that my husband, the man I loved so much and trusted with my life could betray me like that. Ashamed that I had gained so much weight. Ashamed that I had failed as a wife and mother.
I hung on out of hope. I hoped he would see his mistake. I hoped he would remember our lives together. I hoped he would want me again.
I hung on to win. I wanted to win. I wanted to be the woman he chose. I wanted to win against her. I wanted him to want to be with me and only me.
I hung on out of stubbornness. I didn’t want to let go. I didn’t want to admit I had failed. I didn’t want to admit that my family was broken. I didn’t want to admit that my husband was capable of such hurt and anguish.
I hung on for 3 months. Three months of anger, pain, torment, and self hatred.
Until I couldn’t any more. I couldn’t take the conditional love. I couldn’t take the “I’m sorry, but [insert reason it’s my fault]”. I couldn’t take the constant feelings of inadequacy. I couldn’t take the constant worrying about my looks, my makeup, my weight, what I was wearing. I couldn’t take the constant wondering if he was turned on by the other women around us as we spent time out. I couldn’t take the constant fear that something I do that I didn’t even know was wrong was going to be another reason for it to happen.
I feel like a quitter. I really do. BUT I also feel more clarity now that his voice isn’t in my head. With him there, I was constantly hyper vigilant to every little thing I did or didn’t do. I was constantly worried I was doing something wrong. I was constantly wondering who he was talking to and what he was doing. No more.
I love my husband. I will always love him. I love him like I will never love another man on this earth. I don’t think that will ever change. But who I loved no longer exists. Who he loved no longer exists. We have both irreparably changed. Our relationship is irreparably damaged. The only way forward, really I think, is to start over.
I would love to go back to when we were happy, but the truth is that happiness was a lie. It wasn’t real. It didn’t exist. At least not for the last 3 years. And definitely not for the last year. Happy spouses don’t enter into a secret relationship with another person. Not without the consent of their partner (well, then it wouldn’t be secret, right?).
I also owe it to my children to show them how to be respected. They may not be fully aware of the details of the situation, but they will know someday. I hope that this shows them that they deserve happiness and respect in their relationships as well as respect their own partners.
I would like to say that I would consider reconciliation in the future, but I won’t count on it. We are not the same people as before. We need to be able to get to know who are are independent of each other as well as get to know each other again.
I can’t hang onto false hope any longer. The only thing I know I can do is keep moving forward. If he truly and wholly wants to be with me, it is up to him. I can’t wait around for him to decide I’m good enough. It’s his turn.
I am sorry that you are going through this. One line that stood out to me in your blog post is “if he truly and wholly wants to be with me, it is up to him.” WHAT DO YOU WANT? Make it about YOU, he ruined his chance. I was in your shoes once. I was 24 years old, married to who I thought was my soul mate, high school sweet heart. Infidelity on his part played a huge role in our divorce. He bought me a cake on my 24th birthday followed by a ” I have never been happy with you, I am not in love with you anymore.” I too felt like my life was destroyed. I had moved states for him, left university and saved all of my earnings for a better life with him. TRUST ME, there are men, REAL MEN out there who will love you no matter what the scale says, what society labels as beautiful or perfect. Stop waiting for HIM to change or to decide when he wants to be with you. MOVE on for your happiness. I divorced my ex and I am remarried now. 11 years going strong with my husband who is completely faithful to me and our kids. I took time to myself after my divorce to get to know myself better and to discover what I wanted. Forget B. You are worthy of something so much better! love from Washington State.
Hi! Thank you. Yes, I have been considering more and more what I want. It has taken me a long time to get there. I struggle with it because I did love him so much. Thank you so much for your words. They mean a lot to me.