After spending a night alone in bed following further indifference with my husband and truck load of nightmares that left me exhausted this morning, we spoke over the phone. Our washing machine and dryer have packed up – so the girls clothes lay soaking. Somehow it became an argument of exchanging blame. It got more personal, more angry and I realised the person I married has changed. He’s angry, cold, resentful and seems to be enduring living with me which has left me wondering if perhaps he was advised to keep living together based on legal advice. Why would you live with someone that you can barely look at? Treat with contempt and can’t stand to be around? Apparently I am the villain, I’m the reason for everything and in a final stone cold knife to the heart, I’m using the victim card. I hadn’t realised that dealing with my past had an expiration date.
So I suggested a divorce. A finality. A confirmation of our stance, and an opportunity for me to finally know where I stand and move on.
He agreed about going our seperate ways but was reluctant to agree to selling the house and informed me I wouldn’t get anything from him. He also informed me he’d need to speak to his tax lawyer and father – the latter being an ‘accountant.’ Tricky with money to avoid tax, a serial cheater, contacts to ‘direct’ money etc. I told him it didn’t matter because a lawyer would explain it all to me.
I was devastated that after 17 odd years it’s come to this. Distrust, dislike, disregard and disrespect. He’s made me feel like a complete nothing. Although he’d say he’s not responsible for my self worth or confidence, he has been my best friend and confidante, the person I spend most time with. It’s inevitable that when you spend so much time with someone that views you so negatively, your self confidence and worth is affected. He left a job because he didn’t like the environment and his overall feelings were affected.
Unfortunately when I turned around I saw three distraught girls at my door. I hugged them all tightly and told them we would always love them and always be there for them. I didn’t tell them that my husband has told me he doesn’t love me, doesn’t know how he wants to progress in our marriage and wants me to wait around, being treated like a random flat mate until he decides what he wants. The kids would feel insecure and lonely – much as I have. Because no one asks someone of that in a marriage. I thought it best they didn’t go to school in such a state, and could help me go to the laundromat and I’d get them lunch.
They seemed to enjoy the special day and the break from routine and reassurances from me made them content. Although deep down I wanted to stay in bed. I wanted to sob and wail and wonder where it all went wrong. But I wanted my children happy again.
I saw lots of couples out, holding hands. As my husband and I used to. It pulled at my heart strings. The memories, the times together. Doing mundane things but being together. Affectionate, caring, a solid team.
When my husband arrived home I tried again to talk to him. To find out how he really felt, to repeat my own solutions to the situation, but the attacks were ongoing. The contempt, the utter lack of care, not listening and blaming. Not contributing anything of positivity. Just disregard, belittling and the complete desire not to offer kindness, hope, a way forward, compromise.
I realised in his tone, in his eyes, in his words, anything he felt for me is long gone. How he views me is unchangeable. I am a monster, the root cause of his problems, his losses, his failings, his misery. There is nothing I can do, offer, say etc that will change his view of me. I am so below him, so pathetic, so heavy his load, that he’s never going to treat me with anything other than contempt and disrespect.
I’m not going to fight him. I don’t care about the house, I don’t care about anything other than my children and keeping my self respect.
I’m grateful to be able to stay in this house, although I’ve long said its not my home. It’s no longer my sanctuary.
I need to find work, with a steady income I can start again. From scratch. Rely on myself and not have the feeling of being a nobody or worse a burden to someone else. Hopefully too, he will find happiness and the love he wants to share with someone better suited.
I have a heavy heart. I believed our marriage was forever. I wanted to put in the hard yards. I love our family and wanted the kids to grow up with parents that would get through anything. I believed he was my confidante, my safe person, my love until death do us part.
But something in him towards me has died and its rotting. He’s miserable and angry and in turn, I’m miserable and lonely.
I have held onto glimpses of the old him, memories of our long life together, the other things We have overcome. I won’t feel guilty for not having an expiration date on my past pain. And I know I was prepared in my deepest heart to give everything to making this work.
But I can’t fight his anger and his contempt. I can’t change his heart or position. And I won’t stay in a marriage where I’m not respected, not loved, not given affection.
I have to endure my days here, I have to assume his position – shut down my heart. Grieve silently and alone for this marriage.
But I’m not afraid of starting over alone. I resented my mother for not doing that. In time she became so worn down, so bitter, so self loathing and hateful to everyone around her. She lost herself, she hung onto to the only thing she knew. The familiarity. The emotional unavailability of my father. The put downs, the looks of contempt and it took away her self worth.
I won’t do that. I’m prepared to walk away with nothing.
The thing is, even though my husband says I play the victim card, I AM a victim. I don’t apologise for the symptoms of PTSD that I suffer, my battle for closure. My pain and the long lasting effects of trauma.
But I won’t be a victim of staying in a failed marriage where I’m not wanted. This is something I have control over.
You don’t want me around – I’m gone.
It hurts, everything physically and mentally hurts. The exhaustion, the trying, the pushing for a conversation, it’s too much. I would love at this point to be held, to be loved, to be reassured. But if my own husband isn’t able to stand me, there is nothing here for me.
In my weakness I feel my strength. In my failure, I realise my need. In his treatment, I realise what I deserve better.
In my heartbreak, I see finality. And to accept the end is to be open to new opportunities.
Still I rise.