I had been seeing a therapist and trying to work out our marriage issues, but it’s hard to do that by yourself. So I decided to work on myself and find out if I really wanted to stay married. The short answer was no, I did not. But I was too afraid to leave.
After months of seeing the therapist and working on myself esteem and confidence, I decided to take the final step and end the marriage. But to be honest, it had been over long before that hot summer day.
We sat at the edge of the bed, each of us with our hands crossed between our legs. Not touching each other or looking at each other, but the feelings of my anger and his desperation were palpable.
You’re not really leaving for good, right?, he asked without looking at me.
Yes, I am. I’m done. I’m done trying, begging, pleading. I’m done being miserable. I can’t take it any more.
He straightened up and said, You can’t leave until I make the decision. I’ll go stay at my parent’s house for awhile. You’ll get over this.
But I couldn’t wait any longer. No, you’ve already done that, and then you came back acting like nothing was wrong. I asked you to go to counseling with me, you won’t. I’ve asked you to stop drinking, you say you don’t have a problem. I ask you to help me with dinner and laundry since I’m working full time and going to school full time and you tell me that’s why you got married. I am sick and tired of this and I am way past sick and tired of being miserable all the time.
And you know what else? I am over the fact that I bow down to you and do everything you say and I get nothing in return. We’ve been together 8 years and nothing has changed. I thought it would, I hoped it would, but it hasn’t. It’s only gotten worse.
He stood up and I could see the anger in his eyes, but knew that he was trying to remain calm. I knew he was going to lie to me, to himself. I knew he was going to try to negotiate and compromise with me.
Before he had a chance to say anything, before I allowed him to change my mind yet again, I stood up. No. No more talking. I’m done talking. I will not take orders from you anymore and I will not let you tell me what to think…what to do, how to do it.
I picked up my bag and looked at him. He was crying, the last thing I actually expected from him. Please, don’t go. I will try. I promise.
I kissed him on the cheek, cupped his face in my hands, looked him in the eyes and said goodbye. And when I said it, I meant goodbye forever.
Throughout our entire relationship, that was the first time I stood up to him; stood up for myself. I had never spoken to him like that without fear of being screamed at, or worse.
Although it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life, it was also one of the best things I’ve ever done. I took myself back from him. I started to stand on my own two very wobbly legs. And I haven’t looked back since.
And so it goes…