When I began to feel invisible to my partner, I knew the marriage was dead.
I'm divorced now and at peace. But when my ex and I were struggling, it was so very hard to let go. I could see big or small signs that we were done, but despite the writing on the wall, it was hard to "resign" my position as married wife. He had the same issue.
I remember asking a friend who had divorced already, "How do I know it's over? How do I know I'm ready to move forward?" and she told me it was really something I would know deep inside. No one else could "point to conclusive signs" and have me wrap it up already.
Despite the way we sort of shuffled our feet, there were signs and struggles that were little bells going off telling me that our marriage was done before we were ready to admit it was over.
1. He retreated sexually.
Ding dong, the marriage is dead. This was one of the biggest signs.
2. Time together didn't seem to matter.
Going out on a Friday without him? Whatever. It didn't seem to affect him, and eventually, it didn't affect me. Instead, it became habit.
3. Everything felt separate.
Our thoughts, our outings and our actions all seemed separate. I can't explain it, but more it felt as if we were single people sharing a home like roommates, not husband and wife.
4. Little things bothered him.
I never did the chores how he wanted. They had bothered him before but they started incensing him. It wasn't about the silverware being in the wrong place anymore, if you know what I mean.
5. I felt completely alone.
When the marriage is good, you feel like a team. When a marriage is bad, you feel like you're alone even when you're not. It's the WORST feeling ever, hands down.
6. I fantasized and daydreamed a ton.
I was physically in the same room, but not present. I was thinking about a million other things besides us. I was on Mars while residing on Earth. Daydreaming had become more inspiring, more interesting and honestly, gave me more happiness than my life did.
7. I felt invisible.
Not that most men notice your new haircuts, but nothing was of interest to him when it came to me. I wasn't noted as pretty or sexy or anything; I was just there. One of the loudest signals of the end was the blatant fact that I didn't really exist anymore to him. At least that's how it felt.
8. I struggled to ask for intimacy.
When I did ask for more intimacy, it came across like I was angry and bored. I didn't know how to articulate what I wanted in a way that wasn't hurt or mad.
9. Fights were an endless cycle.
The same fights happened again and again. The end was nigh but so many of the fights wouldn't die.
10. Our home felt like a cold war zone.
It was an icy house and I felt often as if I were dealing with a male Elsa: being shut out on the other side asking, "Do you want to build a snowman?" only to get no response.
11. He went for my weak spots.
They were no longer sacred.
12. Secrets and decisions were lamented over without each other.