For close to two years, my marriage has been heavily weighing on me.
I have looked at other couples, filled with jealously at what it is they have. The closeness. The intimacy. The connection.
I have felt lonely in my own home. A house with people in it, but no one to really talk to.
I have dreamed of having good–or even decent–sex again.
I have grieved for the things that I don’t have…the relationship that I want–one where I can share with my spouse–cry with him, hug him, and feel loved by him.
Yesterday, I looked at my husband and said, “Honey, I’m not happy….I think we should get a divorce.”
His reaction was different from what I expected. I expected him to be upset–but I also expected him to know that this was coming. I have brought it up before–I have told him I need changes or I can’t stay anymore.
Instead, he sat straight up, looking panicked. He asked me twice if I was joking. He asked me if I was seeing another person.
Then he got angry. He accused me of ruining our family. Of hurting our kids. Of not caring.
I care so much, it hurts. I have held off this moment for months…hell, years…to avoid hurting him.
My WHOLE entire life, I have sacrificed my own happiness to avoid hurting anyone else or making them feel uncomfortable.
But the last few years have been a journey. I have grown. I have realized that, maybe, just maybe, it is not my fault that some people don’t love me the way I wish they could.
When I met my husband at the bright young age of 19, he was 33. In the 12 years since then, I have changed.
Back then, I wanted to fix him. I knew he struggled with anxiety and depression. I knew he was pessimistic and negative.
But I thought I could make him happy. And he could keep me safe.
I was wrong.
For many years, I thought it was me. I was not enough. Not sexy enough. Not skinny enough. Pretty enough…
Just not enough.
That is how I have always felt. It felt normal.
The days, the years…they started to weigh so heavily on my soul that I could no longer function without intense panic and anxiety.
However. I was different. I sought help.
I want to change. I welcome it.
So, I went to therapy. I branched out. I made some friends. I found a church community I love. I went back to school and started teaching.
All of these things?
They really made me see how different I could feel.
I have wanted, FOR SO LONG, just to be loved.
In therapy, I get absolutely devastated at the thought that no one person will ever be enough for me. That, truthfully, the only person who can love me enough is me.
I want to stomp my feet. I want to throw a fit. It feels so unfair.
It feels so impossible.
How can I ever not need someone else? How can I ever be enough for me? Why can’t I be someone’s priority?
I still don’t know those answers. And I know moving out of my home with my husband and into a place with just my dog and two kids doesn’t seem like a logical answer.
…but it feels like HOPE.
It feels like I could finally, possibly, find myself. Without sacrificing who I am for the sake of someone else’s “sort-of-happiness.” Or, really, not too “unhappy-ness.”
I’m not sure it makes sense.
It is certainly scary as hell.
He wants me to stay. He wants me to take it back.
But, he never once stopped to fight for me. It was all about the kids.
And that tells me something.
After a day of fighting and tears on both sides, I have told him we can give it through the holidays. Some time to get our finances in order. For him to get some sort of plan of action to change if he thinks he can…but I told him I just don’t know that he can.
For once, we are 100% honest.
He acknowledges that he doesn’t know how to love me the way I want to be loved. He doesn’t know how to hug me when I need it. He doesn’t know how to listen. He doesn’t know how to be happy.
And, after all these years? I acknowledge that I can’t make him know those things.
I can’t make him do anything.
I am only in control of me.