From the moment we had eloped in a fit of romance and love, Alex regretted the decision. It was probably sometime in the first month when he said the “D” word. Which I had promised myself I would never let happen. Alex didn’t even tell his family about our marriage until 8 months into it. By that time, I was already pregnant.
He threw the word divorce out so easily. He spat that word right in my face because he knew how deeply it hurt me. He knew it would make me change whatever behavior he wasn’t liking at that time.
Two years, one mortgage, one auto loan, and one child later I had heard “divorce” talked about so many times I lost count. Then, after one particular arguement in December of 2012, I looked him in the eye and said, “OK”.
He left the house, still angry, on his way (ironically) to a concealed weapon’s class. I played with my 10 month old son in his room that Saturday as I called my parents to tell them, for the first time ever, the truth about my marriage.
Once, before we were married, Alex had me write a letter to my parents. The letter was to detail graphically the sexual nature of my past relationships prior to meeting Alex. Tearfully, I sent them the letter and apologized profusely for being such an unlovable, impure child. My heart was broken for disappointing everyone I loved.
Looking back, I’m sure my parents looked at each other with grave concern for my choice in fiance. But they wrote back a cheerful, loving, hopeful letter that put my mind at ease and they reassured me how perfect I was to them and how much they loved me.
When I called that Saturday in December, they were shocked at the things Alex had said and done. I felt a huge, heavy weight lift off of my shoulders as I was no longer keeping this secret of a hellish marriage to myself. They validated my concerns and reassured me I was making the right decision.
Even then, I knew that I didn’t want a divorce. I would be a single mom. I would have an “ex husband.” I would call this my “first marriage.” How mortifying. Would I end up like my aunt who has been married at least 5 times?
I didn’t want the marriage I had but I didn’t, necessarily want it to end. I wanted him to change. Drastically.
I stood my ground and watched him for weeks go back and forth. Equal parts of apology and disdain. I call it the “Narcissistic Whiplash“. I found pleasure in having the upper hand and being able to take control of my emotions and not worry about his.
I pushed forward to hire an attorney. I made arrangements for who would live in the house and take care of our son until papers were filed. I felt alive and in control again. Instead of fear walking into my own home and dread leaving my office.
The decision, in my mind, to divorce wasn’t fully settled until I went away for Christmas. Alex and I had decided that he would leave our marital home and not come by or bother me from December 4th, 2012 until December 20th, 2012. I would spend Christmas with my parents and sisters in Florida while he took our son to spend Christmas with his family. As heartbreaking as it was to spend Christmas away from my son, those 3 weeks in December were spent just him and I, I will treasure that forever. It was quiet and peacful and happy. Great memories.
During Christmas break, I found refuge with my family. They gathered around me with tears and strong hearts to defend me and protect me. On Christmas morning, Alex blitzkreig-ed my family through text with one long, vicious rendition of vile accusations of cheating and wild speculation about my religious practices. After they all read the texts, they looked up at me with eyes wide. A few responded with curt, rude responses but they all hugged me and cried for me. They were glad I was out and so happy to be with them.
That is when I knew and was so relieved that I did want a divorce. The fog that I had been living in was swept away by a strong breeze of reality and I was free to breathe deeply. Mind you, everything from our finances to impending child custody was a pile of shit laying before me – but I’d never smelled anything so wonderful in my life.