PART I – THE HEARTBREAK
No one gets married to get divorced. We as women are inherently programmed to make it work no matter what the consequences or sacrifices are. I gave up a beautiful home, a fulfilling career, and moved away from my friends and personal stability to make it work and that is how my heartbreak began.
My ex-husband is active duty military and we met while living in San Diego. I was finishing graduate school and was set to begin my career as a school psychologist. We were married in a civil ceremony in January 2012 and then had a big wedding celebration in July. I started working in a highly regarded school district in August and then SURPRISE, in September I found out I was pregnant.
Our first year of marriage was not easy and that is what everyone says. Everyone says your first year of marriage is the hardest, but that it gets better. My first year of marriage was such a whirlwind of change and adjustment that I had no idea what hit me. All I know is I overlooked, didn’t see, or just plain ignored all the red flags that were waving in my face. And it didn’t get better, it got much worse.
Ten days after our beautiful daughter was born, my husband was gone.How can this happen!? Gone to a training exercise for four weeks. I was home by myself with our newborn daughter learning how to be a first time mother. Then when our daughter was a mere five months old, her dad deployed to Japan. The good news is I wasn’t alone. I lived where all my friends and support system were so I was happy and well taken care of. So happy in fact that I rarely missed my husband. I got accustomed to the routines that I created for my daughter and I. I was independent and enjoyed the life I was living.
Shortly before our daughter’s first birthday, my husband returned. It was a very difficult transition but I tried my best to make my husband feel like he belonged. Like he had a place in these routines. No matter how hard I tried it was never enough, never ever enough.
Anytime there was a disagreement, it was my fault, anytime I had an an opinion, it wasn’t necessary, and anytime I wanted to do something for myself, I was selfish. There were so many heated arguments and somehow I was convinced it was my fault. So I signed up for marriage counseling. BUT my husband just couldn’t understand that he actually needed to participate in marriage counseling to make it work.
He came to about two sessions. When the therapist discovered and pointed out his anger trigger, that was enough for him. He quit right there and was disgusted that I had the nerve to bring him somewhere where fault was found in him. I vividly remember the therapist asking me what “percentage” I felt like I should get a divorce. Without hesitation, I responded “75%, 75% sure I am getting a divorce”. She said, “wow, most people say something like 50%, you must have put some thought into this.” My response – “Yes, I’ve put a lot of thought into this.”
Fast forward several months…orders from the military are expected to come, meaning a real decision would have to be made regarding this marriage. The orders came. New York. Garden City, New York. Do I stay in California? Do I go with him? What on earth am I supposed to do?
No one could make this decision for me. Even though I told the therapist that I was 75% sure I was getting a divorce, I really wasn’t 75% sure that I really wanted a divorce. I did not get married to get a divorce.
It would be so much easier to just stay in California though. My friends are here, my job is here, my stability is here. But I don’t think I can stay in this marriage. He is terrible to me. I have done so much to try to make it work. He has done nothing.
But then….the charm returns. The charming man that originally swept me off my feet returned. “We need to make this work,” he says, “I can’t go to New York without my family. I love you and I love our daughter, I can’t move there without you. We will have a fresh start. And we will make it work.”
I believed him. But not without doubt. I was so scared, I wanted so badly to trust him, to have confidence in us, and wanted a fresh start, but I still wasn’t sure.
In spite of everything, I wanted to keep my family together. I couldn’t be the one responsible for breaking the family apart. So, we moved. July 2015. We sold our beautiful home, I resigned from my stable career, and said farewell to friends that I had known for over a decade. I was determined however to make the best of it. I found a new job, was excited to meet new friends, and looked forward to a new experience with my husband and my daughter.
I asked myself: how can this happen?
Worst decision I’ve ever made in my life. After extensive personal sacrifice and a hope in a dream that I secretly knew would never come to fruition, my husband served me with divorce papers, a mere three months after moving. Heartbreak doesn’t even begin to describe it.