My marriage is over.
There was never one exact point that I knew. There were arguments, rough patches like most people. Resentments and bitter words shouted in anger. There were threats of leaving, and then making up. But always the knowledge that we’d find solution, we were in love, we would work on it.
We met in LA, California 2001. I was the free spirit traveller, he was mid study on the way to Europe from NZ on a stopover. We drank beer, had a laugh. He was incredibly intelligent, softly spoken, reliable, not a risk tasker, goal orientated, the high achiever. But laid back in every other aspect. Liked to be part of a pack.
I was a drifter, a loner. A risk tasker, unreliable, uncommitted and didn’t know what I was doing the next evening let alone the next month or year or on.
We met again in London and a year later in Tonga.
We went onto NZ together and we drank beer and toured around. We laughed and had fun. Despite our differences we got on extremely well. Maybe opposites attract? It was comfortable. Happy. Fantastic memories were made and shared. He was gentle and protective. My best friend and soul mate.
When my Nan was dying in London we flew back together. I couldn’t process the intense grief. I shut him out completely. He hadn’t seen such coldness from me before. Perhaps he should have seen the warning signs then. My dysfunctional family. My inability to grieve.
We brought our flights forward soon after the funeral because my families behaviour was suffocating. Their toxic hatred and bitterness like fumes around us, leaving us gagging for space and normality.
We took a stopover in Singapore, and there over cheap beer the tears began to roll. The grief and anguish, the hidden pain, the need and sorrow. And with that the physical urge, the need for intimacy.
After that Singapore stop it transpired that I had fallen pregnant. And despite pain and bleeding and patronising reassurance by medical staff, I still lost our peanut. A surprise pregnancy but a wanted baby. We lay curled up together all night in that hospital bed crying.
A couple of weeks later, we mourned the loss over a couple of bottles of Shiraz. And it ended in bed. I knew quickly we had conceived. The medical stuff thought I was insane! – not this soon! It must be a complication of the miscarriage. But I knew it was a baby. And I knew she would survive.
And so my husband and I began our life as parents. The rest followed as it does, with more international moves, job changes, more children.
Lots of stressful situations. We have stood by each other for.
But gradually the stressful situations have chipped away at us. The strength required and willingness required to repair the damage has started to lapse.
Maybe deep down it was never built to last.
But what I know is that at 9am this morning I went into the local Work and Income office to make an appointment to ascertain my financial rights. And I’ve told my husband that I tend to go away until next week when he goes away on a pre planned trip to Christchurch. I need a break and to clear my head and he’s having these two breaks.
I know that when we spoke he feels the same, that we love each other and are best friends but there is no hope for us as a couple now. We can’t band aid our way out of it.
And at 9.30 I sat in my car and cried. I’m sad because I accept what I know to be the truth. Because I’d rather it ends now while we respect each other rather than wait until we hate each other.
We have been through so much. But the distance has continued to grow. We’ve tried to patch it, ignore it, move on, but our elephant in the room can no longer be ignored.
I never used to understand that saying; sometimes love isn’t enough. Now I understand it entirely.