So off to counseling we went, again, but for only the second time as a couple. This time I knew that we were done. Our brief marriage of five years and two kids was about to end and then a new life of uncertainty and grey area was about to begin. We would never work.
It was hard to end, but I knew it needed to be done and I decided it would be at counseling. It was hard. God, was it hard.
I just didn’t know that a day would come and it would either be my soul or my marriage. In the end, my soul won out and my marriage was about to die. I loved me more than I loved the cheating bastard that I called my Husband. But, I still loved him, even after all the hell he put me through.
What was wrong with me? How could I love someone who treated me so horribly? He cheated, gave me an STD, left me in the hospital and I still wanted want him? Why is it so hard for me to walk away? God, I have issues, I thought. But, at least I found enough self respect to end this disaster before it gets worse; I am still whole.
As I drove toward the unobtrusive building for our counseling session, in downtown Bellevue, I glanced to my right. The divorce papers were no longer in the drawer, but tucked next to the seat in the white Expedition. I brought them to the counseling session because I was going to drop them in the mail on my way home. The end was next to me. It was strange to know that my life was about to drastically change in the next instant.
I was done.
Soon thereafter, I sat on the sofa, in the counselors’ office. I turned to Husband, soon to be Ex-Husband, and said that I couldn’t do this anymore.
“I want a divorce,” I choked on the words and sobbed into my palms. My lungs heaved in and out and I starred miserably out the window into the grey sky. I knew in my heart that if we stayed together it would mean the end of my heart. I truly believe that he would have affair after affair after affair and I would waste away to nothing.
The rain spat down on the windowsill.
He nodded. He knew I would come to this conclusion. He was just really trying to be patient and ease my way into it.
Done. The marriage was done. The confusion whether to stay or go was over.
The counselor didn’t get it. She probably saw this all the time, and didn’t really think that I wanted a divorce. But this was a new counselor for couples counseling, and she really didn’t know me. She thought I still wanted to work it out, and tried to make another appointment. But Ex-Husband knew that I was done. He saw it in my eyes and my broken shoulders.
“We don’t need an appointment,” he said, “she wants a divorce.”
He cried too. While, I was a mess on the couch, crying, heaving in a ball, and dizzy, a small light came on. It was myself grabbing a tiny piece of dignity back. I was still here.
There is something better out there for me. I know that I will one day find another man but after I have been me for a while. I will explore the Pacific Northwest and go on adventures to see what makes me me. I will love my kids. I will teach my students, and I will write.
I cried before counseling. I cried hard during counseling and I cried after. We were done and now I had to begin to find me again.