Divorce sucks. Yes I know that is obvious but it does. I never thought I would be writing this post, but I used to think you should always make marriages work.
I separated from my husband 2 years ago. I was the one that left. I was the one that decided to end it. I was the one that met someone else. Some days the pain is still so raw I feel it physically.
Maybe if you don’t have children it’s easier. Once all your assets are divided you can say “goodbye” and never look back. When you have a child with your ex and they remain part of that child’s life, they remain part of yours too.
There are the special moments in our daughter’s life that we should be sharing together like birthdays, christmas, learning to ride a bike, first day at school. Now those moments are tarnished because my biggest girl can’t have both her parents with her, or even if she does they will both be smiling at her, but not at each other.
It’s been 2 years yet only a week ago M said “I wish you and Daddy lived together”. She loves her baby sister, she loves my partner, but she misses her parents both being with her.
She was only 2 when I left her Dad and she won’t ever remember how upset I was, how for some time I had been trying to make the marriage work. She won’t know the many evenings where her father and I sat at opposite ends of the sofa, not talking, just watching TV. I hope she won’t know the many evenings I didn’t come home until late because I couldn’t bear the silence. She won’t have noticed the tears I had in my eyes every time her Dad told her she was beautiful or clever or kind because I couldn’t remember the last time he had complimented me.
It’s not like there was arguing, I would have preferred arguing. When someone argues it means they care about something. Most of the time I struggled to get any response. He wasn’t mean. He wasn’t cruel. He just didn’t seem interested in me.
I kept trying.
He didn’t hear me when I said I wouldn’t be able to stay if things didn’t change.
Then I found someone at work who listened. He heard me when I complained about work, life, home. He remembered what I said, he replied, he made me laugh, he made me feel attractive. It’s no surprise that I started to have feelings for him.
The day I left my husband pleaded with me to stay. He told me he loved me. He told me a hundred things that I had been longing to hear. Words I had been begging him to say. He even suggested we could have another baby which he knew I wanted so badly. It was all too late. I tried again, but my heart wasn’t in it. This time there was a kind man waiting who was prepared to give up his life to look after me and my daughter, a family he had never planned on. I had to choose between believing my husband could change and hoping my new man would stay the same.
My husband made an effort: he made me a cup of tea each morning, he initiated conversations, he kept telling me he loved me, but it wasn’t enough. I had been lonely for too long. I would have given nearly anything to give my daughter the family she deserved, but I feared if I stayed I wouldn’t have ‘me’ any longer so I left again and never went back.
We are still trying to work through things. We disagree on childcare, we struggle to agree on how to divide the house. Broken conversations through text and emails where it might take weeks before I get a reply, if at all. I get infuriated by some of his comments. My temper rises or I want to cry. Underneath it all I am still so angry. Why couldn’t he have made an effort sooner? If he really loved me all the time why couldn’t he have shown me? Why did it take me meeting someone else, me leaving, to initiate a response?
I think it might be worse if we were getting on better. If we could communicate more civilly. If we were something resembling friends. Then I might regret leaving, I might doubt that I made the right choice. I might believe we could have had a chance.
I love my partner. We have a wonderful life together. A beautiful baby and a home I love. He continues to show me every day that he loves me and thinks I’m beautiful. When there are problems we talk to each other and we resolve issues. I still have the scars of my broken marriage though. At times I think I see history repeating itself. My partner might make a comment or there is some behaviour which echo’s my marriage and I completely over react. It’s hard for both of us, but we get through it together. As the team that I believe a relationship should be.
I struggle to believe our relationship will last forever. I can’t quite bring myself to believe I will get my happy ending. I believed in the fairy tale once before. I might have believed in it so strongly that I saw more in my relationship with my ex than there actually was. I wanted to believe we would be great together so I ignored the warning signs. Now I’ve been pieced back together, but the lines where I shattered before are still there. They might never fully heal, but I am stronger for them. I try harder now and I wouldn’t let my partner go without a fight. Because in my fairy tale the prince turned out to not be right for me, but the knight came in and rescued me so I can have a new adventure and maybe live happily ever after.