Despite the fact that the thoughts and feelings contained in this post have been brewing for months, or likely years, it’s still going to tumble out of me like a jumbled mess that makes no sense. NBD, really, since the only two people who ever read this already know most of these feelings. It’s basically an online journal for my own personal use, and if someday, someone else comes across it and says, “holy shit; I never knew anyone else could feel this way” well then, this one’s for you.
Sometimes I guess the camel’s back can be so low to the ground, that the final straw is something that feels so benign and harmless to everyone except the person who feels it. Yesterday, I think I finally had that moment. It was confirmed this morning when I put on an old Natalie Merchant album from a time long, long ago and the lyrics of almost every song seemed to push me towards this revelation. I’m done. My marriage is over. I mean, not technically, because I still have to convince the person on the other side since he’s still fighting. And honestly, I have such a mix of heaviness and relief at this point, even though there is no action and the thought of breaking up my family is terrifying.
For so long, I have hung on while knowing I’m not happy or fulfilled, for all the reasons you hear about: the kids. The thought of navigating Christmases and Birthdays in the future. The cost of two households when I feel like it’s hard enough to stay above water with just one. The fact that I love his mother and my niece and nephew dearly and can’t imagine letting go of them. The fact that my two best friends on the entire planet are his cousin, and his childhood friend who introduced us. Trust me when I say that those thoughts of “who gets to keep them in a divorce” are real. Hardest of all is the fact that I’m giving up on someone who is not a bad person. Someone who loves me, who thinks he accepts me the way that I am, who is by all accounts a great father, and who is trying really really hard to be a good partner right now.
But the fact is, I dread going home. Every day. I was able to take a girls’ trip recently and realized that I didn’t miss anything about being away from him. I almost always cry when I leave the mountains, because to be honest I’m an emotional person (I’m crying now, obviously) and because the mountains are the place I feel most like myself. You know when else I feel most like myself? When I’m not around my husband. It’s not even his fault. I have spent our entire marriage asking him why he decided to marry ME when I am so obviously wrong for him. And I blame myself, constantly. Isn’t your soulmate, your partner, that person you are in love with, supposed to make you “want to be a better person”? I’ve spent years trying to figure out how to be the person that measures up to his standards, and I’ve spent years failing.
I want to put loud rock music on and dance around and sing off-key while cleaning the kitchen every night. I want to take hour-long baths without feeling guilty. I want to cuss like a sailor after the kids are in bed without the response being eyerolls and reminders to “stay classy, now”. I don’t want to be told I’m laughing too loud. I’m tired of being asked my opinion only so someone can say back to me, “you don’t think it should be xyz?” every time. And Jesus Fucking Christ, I don’t want anyone to touch the stove’s heat settings while I’m cooking or be asked why I’m not following the recipe ever in my life again.
Sure, these all seem like really asinine things, but I have spent over ten years telling myself that I’m not good enough and that I’ll never measure up. I’m not abused, I haven’t been cheated on, and as far as anyone can tell on paper I’m treated pretty damn well. But what you can’t see is the soul-crushing way that the joy has been sucked out of almost everything I have tried to enjoy for the past few years. How every decision I make is questioned with a raised eyebrow. And how there is just an assumption that there are certain things that will always fall on me to take care of.
For full disclosure, let me make it clear that I’m no fucking peach to live with, either. I’m sarcastic approximately 87% of the time. I’m not a nurturer, at least not to a grown-ass man. I get easily frustrated when I have to explain the relationships of characters in a show we’ve been watching for 2+ years. I use the F word A LOT. I name-call. I answer almost every question with, “your mom”. And I also suffer from depression and if I don’t stay on my medication the right way, things go from normal to really-fucking-not-ok in a fast minute.
But the bottom line is, every time I try to fake it until I make it, I cannot imagine myself ever falling in love with this person again. I don’t know what’s going to happen from here. I don’t know if I’ll chicken out and live a lie for the rest of my life, stifling my obnoxious personality as best I can for the next ten or twenty years and retreating further into the daydreams in my head of whatever alternate life I wish I were living. I don’t know if by my 40th birthday this summer I’ll have a plan and be packing. I just know I needed to let this shit out somewhere before I drive home tonight.