At the time, I thought the six months before I left were the hardest, toughest, most emotionally draining time of my life. I was barely functioning, I felt like I was just going through the motions, being miserable, growing deep resentment towards my husband and this fake life we were living.
He was portraying the “nothing was wrong, and we are still the perfect couple” facade to his friends and family. What he wasn’t expecting was me telling his family one day, after a night out in the city, that our marriage was far from ok and that we were probably headed for separation. Slowly I started also to let his circle of friends know that I was no longer happy in the marriage, which caused such a stir – this couldn’t be about their friend, the guy whom in their eyes was the “perfect husband.” I slowly and surely became the “bad guy” because I was smearing his reputation. Little did they know how much this man had controlled every aspect of my life and that we had, at this point, been living separate lives for well over 6 months. I was becoming more of the babysitter while his social life was flourishing. Not only did he have a babysitter, he also had a cook, housekeeper and a wife to show off during family gatherings, and especially to his friends when they came to our house, which was more often than not.
Our marital home, during the entire marriage, was the “go to” house for all his friends. It was a home version of the Cheers bar. Friends were in and out. I’ve seen it all. Break ups, new relationships, fights with significant others, new jobs, any reason to come by to have a drink or two. That was our house.
I had expressed to him for months my intent to move out. Hell, I even gave him the option to move out himself, but I knew that was never going to happen. I actively searched for a place to move to, but I was paralyzed by fear and the unknown. He had put the fear of God in me by repeatedly telling me how I would never be able to afford it, it would be hard to sustain a household on my own, and that he wouldn’t be able to afford living in our house without my income, etc. Typical of him. He’s done that so well over the last 10 years that he controlled most of what I wanted to do. My social life, friends, and everything else. So this was especially an easy task for him.
Until, one day, I was so deep into my depression that I was unable to even get up to go to my son’s baseball game. My husband typically needed all hands on deck whenever he was tasked with something that has to do with the kids. For him to take our son to the baseball game required me to get our son’s uniform together, dress him, pack his water in his bag, and feed our kids breakfast, while my husband leisurely got himself ready and maybe packed his son’s gear in his bag.
I refused to get up this day and told him he would have to make do without me. This was just unacceptable to him and he threw a fit. I saw his mood shift and transform and he became confrontational. I had accommodated this man for 10 years, so my refusal to get up was monumental. He was so angry that he lost it and was yelling at me in front of our children. I also yelled back and for the very first time, he called me a b**ch. At that very moment I decided that this was not behavior I was going to subject myself to nor would I expose my kids to this type of environment. So I let him leave the house with son in tow and my daughter and I went straight to the nearest apartment complex, which before I had been refused to even consider. I went there with tears in my eyes, heart racing and fear and signed a lease on the spot, with a move in date scheduled the next day.
I was so scared out of my mind that I could hardly talk or breathe, I was shaking, but I bravely told my daughter that everything was going to be ok. I went home and told my husband that I signed a lease. He was, for the first time, speechless. That moment of his weakness was my moment of triumph and independence.
During the next several weeks, I filled the apartment with everything necessary (thank you Amazon Prime). I assembled and lugged every single piece of furniture that is settled in the place that I now call home. Today, as small as this place is compared to my previous house that is nestled in a golf course community, I don’t miss a single thing about living in that house. I am happy, adjusted and I look back to that day knowing it was the best decision I have made for myself and my children. Today, my kids and I are happy and we have everything we need. Plus the added bonus of peace, a very happy mom and a pool we are very happy to use this summer! I have created a home for my new family and this is where, as cliché as it sounds, I appreciate the phrase: “Home is where the heart is.”