No one gets married thinking it’s going to end. Thinking it could turn out so incredibly wrong. Thinking you’ll be completely heartbroken 15 years down the line. But that’s what happened to my marriage.
There was never any abuse that I could ever actually pinpoint. There certainly wasn’t anything in our marriage that could even come close to constituting physical abuse, and most of the time, it wasn’t emotional abuse either. I can’t think of a time he ever knowingly did anything to hurt me. But hurt me, he did. I think it’s that he never understood what he was doing was hurting me until it actually split us up in the end.
He never tuned into my feelings. I’m honestly not sure he ever cared to or if he was never taught how to.
I look back at what our marriage was like, and I see the cracks from the beginning.
I don’t think you’re supposed to go into your wedding day questioning if you were making the right choice. But I was too far into it and didn’t feel like I could turn back. There are a hundred times I could have walked away during the four years before our wedding day. And I didn’t.
As we began to have children, those cracks became a massive abyss. We never actually dealt with any of our problems by discussing anything. Sweeping things under the rug was our MO.
We knew we were pretending around other people when we hung out with our friends, but I don’t think either one of us actually realized how much we were pretending in our own house, as well.
Until we stopped pretending things were working.
That’s when everything snowballed out of control. Eight months ago, we stopped speaking. I think I felt like I just wasn’t being heard. He told me he didn’t know what else he could do to make me happy, and I said that anything he was doing wouldn’t be enough. Then I went silent.
Texting regarding the children became our only mode and only subject of communication. I would hide in my room with the door locked when I was home alone with him because it was the only place I felt emotionally safe.
I stopped taking my medication. I stopped functioning in my house, even though no one at work could pinpoint a change. I thought about all of the ways my life could end.
This was not the life I imagined for myself. It wasn’t the life I imagined for my children. I felt like a terrible person and a terrible mother. I didn’t know how to remove myself from the giant hole I’d dug for myself.
The guilt I felt was massively overwhelming. I knew my marriage was actually killing me, and I had to do something about it before it did. I didn’t want my death to be the last story my children have about me. So I sat in my therapist’s office, absolutely terrified of the decision I had to make.