Two years ago today, I highlighted this on my kindle:
As this cycle continues you feel stupid, defeated, and begin to believe that maybe you really are the central problem. Often the spouse begins to be deeply torn between wanting to know what else he/she could do to help the marriage and feeling cynical / fearful / blamed by any alternatives offered. (Brad Hambrick)
I honestly wonder if I’ll ever feel “normal”. There is something in me defiantly resisting acceptance of the fact that I promised til death do us part and we have parted.
My son, age 4, mentioned off-handedly today that I used to live at his dada’s house. And he said he was sad, because he wished I could live there again. He went on to express that it was disappointing to him that me and his dada can’t be married anymore.
At some point, I lost words for him. I tried to explain to him, in age-appropriate terms, all of the ways that our life is better now. Finally I said he should talk to his dad about it.
When I highlighted that passage, I was living in my 4 bedroom house in the suburbs. Maybe I was sitting on the chaise of the expensive couch we bought together after an exhausting search for the perfect sectional. Maybe I was in our bedroom. Maybe I was at church. The church that was mine, that I brought him into, that’s now his.
It’s not been pleasant. This transition from married to divorced. From wife to practically pariah.
No matter what the story is about what happened, the fact is, it was a relationship. It was a relationship that died – maybe even before I asked him to move out in 2012.
And I have realized that one of the biggest problems in our relationship was 50/50 responsibility.
Because I’ve learned the only real way to show up in a relationship is with 100/100 responsibility.
When you are playing around with 50/50, you’re living in this world of a bizarre game where you are constantly trying to get weight off of your side of the argument and put some on the other. To make it fair. To make it 50/50 instead of 60/40 or whatever you perceive the split to be.
And that just makes fights go on a lot longer than they should.
No. Even though I thought for a long time that I was the “victim” of emotional abuse, I have to accept 100% responsibility for my role in the downfall of my marriage.
I could have been a better wife. I could have been kinder. I could have been softer. I could have shown him more that I believed in him.
Lots of people are divorced. Lots of people are living lives that are a far cry from the life they envisioned. Or from the life they laid the foundation to build.
I might never feel that sense of normalcy. And in a way, I don’t want to. There’s a dimension that I can see now – what is, and what could have been, what will be, and what could never have been… And on this ordinary Tuesday, I am grateful for what is. My extraordinary life.