If you’re almost out, the thing they’ll try to do is manipulate you back in.
I filed for divorce from my husband 72 days ago, this time. I actually filed for divorce from him six years ago but didn’t go through with it.
I remember showing up in Court only five days after I filed and greeted my lawyer with a smile. She asked me if I was ready to get the temporary orders for the divorce underway, that it shouldn’t take long as the judge had us first on the docket. I remember looking at her and not being able to speak. Just five days before, I was in her office like a mad woman, telling her I was DONE! I wanted out of this marriage if it was the last thing I would ever do. I remember telling her I can’t live the way we were living, it was Miserable, it was Hell and I wanted OUT.
Now I had to tell her I didn’t want the divorce.
Apparently, I did want to live in misery and burn in Hell.
All I could do was tell her I made a mistake and that I was going to believe him when he told me he would fix us, that we would both work together to keep our family together. We would live happily ever after! Not that she believed me, but we walked into the courtroom and the judge asked me if I wanted the divorce and I told her that I had changed my mind and that I wanted to stay married. The judge applauded me for being strong and wanting to keep my family together. She applauded me!
I walked out of the courtroom and my husband was there waiting for me with a look on his face that made my chest tighten and my stomach turn. I guess I could describe the look as if I was about to meet Ted Bundy or Hannibal Lecter. He didn’t have a happy expression or even relief, it was more of a “got you” look. I told my lawyer goodbye and walked out of the courthouse with my husband to start our life over.
As promised, I stopped the divorce so that we could attend marriage counseling and begin building our life back again. My husband was almost overly excited as he kept telling me on the way to my rental house that he was glad we were doing this. Mind you, he NEVER believed in therapy. He thought it was a waste of time. I told him one time that I needed to go to a therapist and he told me to give it a couple of days because I was on my period when I said it and of course, that was the reason that I was feeling the need to see someone.
So he dropped me off at my rental house and told me it would be good for us to live separately, that it would take us back to our dating days. I agreed with him and gave him a kiss. I was not in the house for five minutes after he left and my phone rang. It was him. He asked if he could come over for dinner after he closed the printing shop we owned. I did fail to mention that one point, we owned a business together, but that is a whole other story! Anyway, I told him he could and that only started what would be every night coming over for dinner.
So much for living apart…
Our appointment with the therapist was a couple of days later and when it finally came around, his anxiety level was high. He started showing signs of his old self, grumbling over the fact we were doing this, but then retracting it and giving me that weird scary smile that I like to refer to now as the serial killer smile.
As we sat on the couch in front of the therapist, she asked why we were here and he responded that we needed to sort out why I filed for divorce. She looked at me with the question and all I could do was cry. I wanted so much to tell her that I couldn’t stay married to someone who belittled me and my kids (not the one child we shared), talked down to me, was jealous, never appreciative of anything I did, of everything I did. I wanted so bad to give her examples of what an evening would be like when he was in a bad mood or had been drinking too much. I wanted to have her hear everything that I had been holding in then turn to him so that finally he could be accountable!
But instead, I continued to cry and he did the talking.
As it turns out my husband was right about therapy, it WAS a waste of time. With him doing all of the talking, I just fell right into his way of spinning everything around back to me. He admitted he didn’t do anything around the house because I was a control freak and everything had to have its place. He admitted that he was very jealous. He pointed to me and asked her why wouldn’t he be jealous? “She’s beautiful, a great mother, wife and more importantly she’s my best friend.” He went on to say that if he didn’t appreciate me, it was just that he was so busy providing a better life than what either one of us had growing up. He wanted to give that to me, so if he needed to tell me more often that he appreciated me, he would! So for the next hour, he made himself look like the perfect husband with faults of course that could be made right. That along with the serial killer smile.
The therapist looked at both of us and said she had only one problem with the whole scenario. I thought, “Great! She sees me crying the whole time, there has to be something wrong with this picture!” The problem was we didn’t need counseling. She could see that my husband was well aware of his faults and that because I was crying it was good that it was all out in the open now! We were sure to be well on our way to fixing the issues since everything was on the table. She was very happy we would be leaving with our newly discovered selves and our bright future ahead of us.
I did stop crying at that point, long enough to start laughing hysterically.