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Excuse me.

On Divorce

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By the time I told people that I would be seeking divorce - by the time I told my husband - I had already grieved his loss. I had been grieving for it again and again over the course of a year, one broken promise after another.
“I won’t drink anymore.”
“I’ll drink less.”
“I won’t stay out tonight.”
“I’ll be home.”
“Just one beer.”
“I do respect you.”
My Complaint for Divorce states that the “Defendant has committed such general indignities against her [me] during the marriage as to render his condition intolerable, and she can no longer live with Defendant.”
That is aptly stated.
It is difficult to be married to someone who does not want to be your husband. To this day, I wonder why he ever asked me to marry him, or why I accepted. There were clues left around for me to discover. There were signs that I ignored. When he got down on one knee, I did not feel joy; I felt anxiety. I was afraid. But I loved him, didn’t I? It’s just an emotional moment, you don’t know what you’re feeling. I had been putting him off for a year, didn’t he deserve a yes?
An hour later, in the car, I burst into tears.
Again, I ignored it. I did not want to feel what I was feeling.
This has been a long kept secret of mine, one that I guarded very carefully when people asked me to exhaustion how he had proposed.
They did all the gushing for me. I only had to play along.
Getting married in the South is a rite of passage. “Bride” becomes our new identity. And then, “wife.” All the photos, all the giddy displays of bejeweled fingers, the showers, the bridal themed wine glasses and beer coozies. And it’s fun. That is, unless you feel like, beneath all the pomp and circumstance, beneath the tiny cupcakes and party mix, the mimosas and sherbet punch bowls, you feel like you are lying to everyone.
You are a fraud, and you don’t want to be, so you try even harder. You make compromises, you swallow your pride and your desires, ignore your fears and doubts. You are a bride, so be a bride.
And then you are a wife, and the bottom falls out.
He has embarrassed you too many times. You aren’t proud of him anymore, and he doesn’t seem proud of you. He gets drunk, lies, resents you, stays out all night with people you’ve never met, will never meet. Even on your wedding night, he slept in someone else’s tent. When you got back from your honeymoon, he got blackout drunk in a hotel room of acquaintances while you were at home, wondering if your new husband was all right. If he loves you. If he thinks of you at all.
You go to parties and gatherings, anxious about how much he’ll drink, anxious about how people will see you if you tell him to slow down, stop, please don’t be the drunkest person here again.
You pick him up from a bar so that the police don't arrest him. He tells you to shut up when you say you're upset.
He flaunts his disrespect in front of you, downing a shot of whiskey while you look on, having just told him to please let the previous two beers be the last drinks. Just for tonight, be the husband you promised you would be. It never happens.
The next morning, he’ll make promises, declarations, he’ll kneel at your feet and beg for your help. The first time, you are moved. The last time, you are disgusted.
When I left, I wept into the night. It wasn’t for my husband. It was for the dream I was finally letting go, the hopes and visions I had held onto to sustain me through the darkness. It was for my home in which I had poured my energy; my reliable life and my habits which were no more. I knew that I would never come home. I mourned for that hopeful time and for the month I had ordered wedding photos and framed them, thinking this time we would turn it around.
I wept because I had forgotten how to trust my own feelings. For so long, I had been denied my emotions. I was told I had to feel and act a certain way in order to be taken seriously (a false guarantee), I was bullied, worn down, my boundaries trampled, accused of being an angry, cheating, untrustworthy person, little acts of control, little pieces of me chipped away. Within his chaos, I lost myself.
It has been a few months since I found the strength to stumble out of my home to find my freedom. It was the most frightening and difficult thing I have yet to do, but it has also been the best thing I have given myself in years.
My step mother says that I look better now than she has seen me look in a long time.
I look at myself and see that my eyes have changed.
It took the near death of my spirit to refine and strengthen the part of myself that is no longer afraid to say what I want. It took finding the darkest parts of my insecurities to learn to trust myself. I regret that it took so long to learn the lesson, but I do not regret learning. Between my wine-swirling bitter divorcée jokes, I hope that anyone listening will hear what I am saying behind my laughter:

I have been there. It's okay if you are there now, but you don't have to stay there and disappear. You deserve to trust yourself and to know who you are. You can get help. You didn't cause this, you can't control it, and you won't change someone else through will or love or sacrifice.
As far as any of us knows, we're only here once, so **** what anyone else thinks about what you have to do to preserve your soul. Summon your courage - it's all right if you're afraid - and do what needs to be done. You won't arrive on the other side unscathed, but you will arrive. And it is glorious to be free.

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  1. Crescent's Avatar
    Really happy for you. Take of care yourself. x
  2. Alpha's Avatar
    Here's to 2016
  3. OceanEyes28's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha
    Here's to 2016
  4. OceanEyes28's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Crescent
    Really happy for you. Take of care yourself. x
    Thank you, lovely.
  5. Victoria's Avatar
    Here's to 2016 indeed. The year we go after what we want!
  6. Unknown Entity's Avatar
    I'm sorry to hear you've had a pretty shitty time. You deserve better (and damn, do you know it), so I'm happy for you. Go girl. <3
  7. NikkiLinkle's Avatar
    So glad you decided to change your life for your own sake, I've not been married or divorced but I have been and stayed in a terrible long term relationship out of fear, out of guilt even but leaving was the best thing I've ever done and I've never been happier. Good luck for the year to come!