I don't expect you to understand why I did it.
I left my husband.
I left because marriage is a lot harder than it should be and I have spent the last several months mentally checking out from our partnership so as to avoid getting any more hurt by his behavior and actions that seemed so similar to what we experienced back in 2009. I was convinced it was over and had very brave plans in place to move forward with my life in a way I never did because I was married three months after my 19th birthday.
(See also: it’s very hard to secretly research divorce when you’re married to a lawyer who handles divorce because you will want to ask him all sorts of questions but it’s a little strange to ask hypothetical questions that involve the very person you are asking.)
There were a lot of tears and a lot of arguments.
There was smothering and controlling and guilt and things said in anger and things said that should have been said a long time ago and things we both wish we would've never said. As I faced down a future without the man who had been mine for the last 13 years, I was terrified but knew if I didn’t cut and run then I would never get the guts and I would always wonder "What if?" and if I’ve learned anything, it’s the "what ifs" that will eat you alive.
Chances are you’re probably wondering, "But what about your daughters?!" and I know, because they leave their LEGOs all over the floor and are constantly (and loudly) reenacting scenes from Frozen. I can assure you that they were at the forefront of our minds, and while it’s really none of your business about what we decided to do, know that we had their best interests at heart and were going to do everything we could to make things easy on them.
That’s the funny thing about this whole writing thing. Nothing is really any of your business (or anyone’s business) but we continue to share anyway because we're all desperate to not feel so alone in our crazy, maybe-I’m-the-only-one feelings. It’s been hard not to talk about this with anyone — mostly because before I imagined any solidarity, I heard all the judgements. But those who judge aren’t me and they aren’t living my life and they don’t know the whole story and even if I was the most perfect thing in the world, someone is invevitably going to hate me for my decision.
So I left.
I walked away from Cody and boarded a plane and flew away to get space and time and take on a new opportunity and try new things.
I made it a week.
I made it a week before things got real weird and I realized that when things get weird, my constant is Cody. He has always been my constant — the only firm, warm thing holding me to the ground when the entire world is swirling around me in a desperate attempt to bring me to my knees. Is our marriage suddenly perfect because I left like I meant it and came back way before I was ready? Nope. Things are still going to be hard and terrible and this probably isn’t the last time things will be rough for us .
I love him, I always have, and more importantly I always will.
But I fell out of love with him.
Depending on your level of experience with love, you’re either nodding your head or convinced I’m crazy. "How can you love someone but not be in love with them?" Just trust me, you can.
More truth has come out of us over the last several weeks than it has in the past 13 years. It was terrible. I hated every minute of it and dreaded any time spent alone with him because it meant we had to talk about our feeeeelings and there would be crying and I'd wake up with emotional hangovers. Neither of us ate, he lost over 20 pounds and nobody really slept so we were really just highly-functioning zombies who cried all the time.
But it’s really the best thing we could have done - to rip our marriage down to the ground — every last ugly bit — and begin building it back up together, again.
Therapy is in our future, together and separate.
We really should have gone through with therapy 5 years ago but I think we were both so glad to still be alive after law school that the idea of going through everything again with a therapist was more exhausting and damaging than helpful.
This article was originally published at http://mooshinindy.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.