We held hands the entire drive home from the therapist’s office.
A decision had been reached.
The words spoken out loud.
Later would come the tears. And questions.
So many questions.
Some people offer disconcerting looks, you know the one that says, “oh, I’m sorry, I brought it up.” and then quickly ask if I got married too young, like that’s a suitable excuse.
“No, we were 27 and 30 respectively,” I answer matter-of-factly and in my mind think: old enough to have been around the block a couple of times, but young enough to still believe that love conquers all.
A lot of people don’t even bat an eye and a few are shocked as hell at the discovery.
I was married before I met Lucas’ father.
Over 50% of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. I am not proud to be a part of this group. I know it shamed my parents, especially my father. I apologized to him over and over again.
My ex-husband and I met in college, dated for three years, broke up for six months, reunited, were engaged for a year and married for almost three years. No one did anything wrong in our marriage, but neither of us happy. We shared some good times, great laughs and I don’t regret a single moment I spent with him, but somehow I knew our marriage wouldn’t last.
No one gets married to get divorced, but sometimes love doesn’t conquer all. It’s native to think it does. I know this now. Sometimes priorities are warped, you lose sight of yourself in spite of yourself and over time realize the person you thought you fell in love with is someone else entirely. People change. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.
I knew something was missing.
It was me.
I was missing from my own marriage!
From the moment I said, “I do,” my true authentic self began disappearing. It was slow at first and then like a whirlwind. I became this odd matronly figure that wore clothes that were a size too big and I started buying trivets and cookie jars. I was trying to be the “perfect” wife, knowing full well that no such thing existed. The more I lost myself, the sadder I became. Then I focused on trying to make myself believe that I was okay with being content.
I hate that word.
All the sacrifices and compromises weren’t worth it and in then end, I was only compromising myself.
We spent several months in mid 2002 trying to figure out what to do and if our marriage was salvageable. We sought marriage counseling and finally after many sessions and sleepless nights decided to go our separate ways. It was, to date the hardest decision I have ever been faced with.
My ex-husband is a good guy; charismatic and ambitious. He has a wonderful family and had an all-American upbringing. We wanted different things and in an effort to be true to ourselves had to say goodbye to one another.
I haven’t seen him since early 2008. He attended my parents memorial service, which was both unexpected and sweet. We’re Facebook friends (I think?) and we exchange yearly holiday cards and the occasional e-mail. He is remarried and has children and I hope more than anything is happy.
Anything but content.
I’ll never forget that drive home that hot August night.
As sad as I was, I was at ease.
This post is for Write On Edge’s weekly writing assignment RemembRED. This week’s prompt was: Write about a moment in your life when you knew something had to change drastically. Maybe it was a relationship, or career, parenting, school, diet – anything.