My ex-husband and I were together for 15 years. Married for 13 of those. It had been a very rough ride from the very beginning. We should had remained friends and raised our son as a team, instead of getting married. At the time, we both wanted to be a family and 'make things right' we thought.
I cared about my husband and I feel I was a good wife, while being the best mother I could be. We all do our best, right? However I never had that deep, trusting, soul connecting and understanding love that I know I should have had. Then when things in our marriage continued to be full of turmoil and even abuse... what feelings I had faded until there was nothing left but emptiness and sorrow.
After a while I felt I was just going through the motions. Other people looking at me from the 'outside' thought I had a normal, happy family and marriage. Because for one, I didn't tell anyone anything that was really going on behind closed doors back then. The truth was... I was far from happy and my marriage was not a loving, trusting, supportive one. I was living a lie. Which in a sense was because I would try to care, try hard to make us a happy family, mostly... I would try to love him. I even said I did .... and every time I felt enormous guilt.
He wasn't 'all bad' of course... no one is. He was a good provider financially and took care of things outside of the house; yard and vehicles. He always allowed me to take care of the boys the way I saw best, taking care of our home the way I wanted, able to stay home with the boys and have a home daycare for extra money... even when he worked nights and had to sleep during the day. I appreciated my son's dad for those things very, very much and always told him that.
However, along with feeling no love in my heart and the continued verbal and emotional abuse... I moved further and further away from feeling anything. All it seemed he wanted to do was argue and fight... all the time. Just to get what he wanted and to get it his way.. no matter what. He didn't care if the kids heard the horribly things he said or if they got in the way. He could be very manipulative and blamed me for 'making' him mad when I didn't agree with something.
"Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you.” ~ Dr. Joyce BrothersSomehow the times when things got abusive, were always my fault according to him. I truly believe that either consciously or subconsciously, he did and said things in front of the kids because he knew how much that upset and even devastated me. I grew up with my parents fighting most of the time; so it was the 'last' environment I ever wanted for my own children to grow up in. This was the 'bright red button he pushed' to upset me even more.
I felt back then that he wanted to fight because he had to have complete control of me. When I didn't agree with something or didn't want him to do something that I knew he shouldn't, he would start a fight as a way of wearing me down. Like a child does when they want something their parent has told them 'No' or it's too dangerous. At times this computer IT professional, school board member and sport ref and coach... could be very immature. In my opinion at least.
That last year together I was so tired and so done. I never wanted to fight, I grew up with that. And I certainly didn't want to fight anymore in front of my children. I remember locking my self in the bathroom with the shower running trying to drawn out his yelling, abusive insults and pounding at the door. While I sat on the floor shaking, crying and praying for him to stop. I just wanted the fighting to stop!
Realistic or not, I would like to live the rest of my life without ever 'fighting' again. I know I will never live in a situation where or with someone who wants to fight or has to get their way all the time. That's not realistic or normal. Life is too short to be so unhappy... let alone be in an abusive and/or loveless relationship.
Which brings me to what ended up being the hardest time for me at the end of my marriage. It was telling my husband that I didn't love him anymore. That he had killed whatever feelings I had had for him. There was no 'unconditional love' from either of us by that point. So I felt I needed to be honest, for both my own conscious and to lay the foundation for my wanting a divorce.
"Life is too short not to love and be loved!! Nor not to be in a great loving relationship with someone who not only brings out the best in you... but also fills your heart and soul with happiness!" ~ Me...At first, he would not 'accept' how I felt or didn't feel. Then he refused to, or couldn't, accept that it was because of anything that he did. He decided that there must be someone else. What??!! I would have had the time, energy, self-esteem for that...When?! No... I barely had the emotional balance to get up in the morning by then and all the energy I had through out the day was trying to keep my job and take care of my sons. I was so drained and again so done! In fact I was told later that I was 'cold' and wasn't trying anymore.
Well, I thought.. he's right, I wasn't trying anymore.. because I had and nothing had changed. I was done. Maybe that is why I seemed cold, because I was finally done. I think that is the emotional calm when you are ready and need to take care of things and more on. Mostly for yourself, but in my situation I needed to also move on for my sons. The fighting and yelling had never been good for them and my youngest was being pulled in as a pawn, I felt. That was probably my breaking point when I realized just how much damage was being done to my children.
"Many times people stay in bad or loveless marriages because of the fear of the 'unknown' and because at least is has a sense of familiarity. Some people feel that is better than nothing. I would rather be alone and happy, than to be with someone whom I'm not happy with." ~ Me..Finally, over time, I got stronger and less afraid of leaving. Less afraid of the 'unknown', the financial realities and less afraid of his threats... what he would or wouldn't do. He could be very unpredictable and obviously out of control at times.
I was also becoming much more confident in my self. Confident that I could take care of my boys and that I could stand up to whatever lies he would say later in court, or what dramas he would cause or play out in the small community in which we not only lived, but also both of us grew up in. That is when I was so ready to have peace in my life and home. I was finally able to let myself be just a little be selfish and think a little bit about myself for once in regards to my own happiness.
I always put my children first or consider what any decision, one way or the other, would effect my children. It was hard for me not to... that is the type of parent I am. They were always my main concern and responsibility. However in the end, I felt that I had to finally think about myself, and my own happiness at least a little bit.. to do what I needed to do. Otherwise, I may have never left or been truly happy with my life.. ever.
I don't regret trying though. Not at all. I can honestly say that I did try and anyone who knew me then knows that. Even my ex-husband realizes that now. After all these years we finally get along... although apart. Letting go of the past and forgiving releases us, which allows us to move forward into a better life.
I've known many people in the same situation... where a tiny bit of selfishness and a little bit of concern for their own happiness... would actually do them a great deal of good. However I understand first hand how hard that is for those with the heart and character that put their children first (like I have). I respect and understand what they are going through and love those persons so very much... for who they are. I understand!
Many people never make that decision. The decision that life is too short to live in an unhappy home or be in a loveless marriage. This is the reason I now write and tell these personal stories of my own life. In the hope of giving strength, encouragement and the belief that any situation can get better. That we can all get stronger, heal, grow, have a better life and above all Be Happy! We all deserve to be happy!
“This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.” ~ Quote from Thinkexist.comMore Powerful Post:
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