I married for the first time in 1984, six months after my high school graduation ceremony. I was only 18 years old and no, I was not pregnant. I had just lost my best friend to a car crash and I was afraid of losing the one person I loved. It was a huge mistake.
My dad’s hopes and dreams were to have me go to college. In fact I was awarded a scholarship to a great college for law. When my friend passed I just felt lost and didn’t think I could go through college alone. I also had never lived away from mommy and daddy. I never had my own checking account or had any responsibility as an adult. The only responsibility I had was to make certain my 1976 Rally Sport Camaro car payment of $46.00 was paid on time at our local bank.
The man I married was 4 years older than myself. He was 21 and I was 17. He had already graduated from the same high school, went to boot camp for the Army and held a full time job. While he did still live at home with his parents, he was on his own. Our wedding was the full blown 500 people Catholic Polish wedding. I was a virgin when I met my new husband – he was my first and he was very proud of that and equally proud to walk down the aisle in my white dress.
Our marriage started to fall apart shortly after the wedding. I had never been on my own before and had no idea how to take care of a household. Within a few months I was pregnant with our first child. I had just turned 19 and was working as a nurse’s assistant at a nursing home. I lifted a patient and started spotting and I knew this was dangerous. I told my husband I could no longer work and he was not happy. We were not poor but needed two incomes to keep us afloat.
I went back to work shortly after my daughter was born. I landed a job at a National Insurance agency as a biller. The pay was wonderful and I was able to carpool with a family who also worked there that lived in our town. I worked day shift and my husband started working third shift at his factory job. We barely saw each other and we were like ships passing in the night. I was such a young mother and had horrible time between the baby’s crying and working – my nerves were shot. My mom came over to our house to help me out and when she didn’t I was always over at her house. I could not disconnect the child I still was.
Our second daughter was born 3 1/2 years later. Here I was two children and under the age of 25 while most of my friends were just getting married or single. I saw the lives they had and wanted that too. I never got to attend college or hang out late at night with my friends. It was my choice to get married and be a mother, and I thought that’s what I wanted, but inside I was dying of depression. I wanted a life, I wanted something else. I wanted away from this man who I felt had his finger on my life and was denying me the happiness I so needed.
The state of our marriage wasn’t my husband’s fault – he basically had to raise me into adulthood. But as I grew and became more independent I had the perception (which was totally wrong) that he never listened to me. I started telling him I was unhappy, while he was trying everything he could to hold us together. In 1993 I told him we were done, that I wanted out. I was attending college to be a nurse and saw a path to my new life. He cried and went to all my friends to get me back. I kicked him in the heart and said no.
It took me several years to approach him after we had both remarried and moved on. I apologized to him for my lack of maturity and the life I took away from him. I am sure he is grateful we didn’t remain together, however he didn’t deserve the pain I caused. I am glad now we are friends, parents – and now grandparents.
Looking back, I have no regrets marrying him, I just think I should have waited. He told me when I left no one would ever love me like he did – and a part of me believes even today that might be true.
More from DivorcedMoms
- Do You Think You Are A Good Wife
- Does The Bad Outweigh The Good In Your Marriage?
- 5 Reasons To Settle For A Good Enough Marriage