I learned I was going to be divorced as my husband prepared to leave on a business trip.
We sat talking in our bedroom like we always do before he leaves, grabbing a few more moments alone before he departs. He was finishing up last minute additions to his suitcase and I was sitting on the bed enjoying a few moments with him before he left. He nonchalantly turned to me and said:
“Oh, by the way, I filed for divorce yesterday.”
sayread that again?)
My brain didn’t register the words but my heart must have because my breath stopped in my chest. With my mouth slightly open, no words coming out and eyes popping open, I am certain I looked like a storybook fish. One fish two fish red fish blue fish. I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth. I sat staring in disbelief as my husband went back to brushing his teeth. Finally, after what seemed to be an eternity, I managed one word “What?” The word came out in an half choke half cry and I sounded like a dying animal.
So much for having composure in the face of adversity.
He turned picked up his bag and simply explained, “Like I said, I filed for divorce yesterday.” It wasn’t said cold or callously, it was in the same tone he would say hey, remember to grab milk at the store. Which is what really threw me off. He was void of emotion.
He started to walk toward the door and I forced myself to create a sentence: “You filed for divorce and didn’t tell me? You waited until you were going out of town to tell me this five minutes before you leave?” I didn’t scream or rant or even cry. I didn’t understand until that moment, in a state of total shock, your voice is pretty much monotone.
He turned to me and nodded saying, “It seems better this way, no time for a long drawn out talk or emotions getting involved. This way you can take time to adjust.” He kissed me on the forehead and walked off. Time to adjust? He was only leaving for two days.
I didn’t call him while he was gone and he didn’t call me.
When he came home I wasn’t sure how to interact with him. We are both still living in our home. The only difference is now we are acting like strangers. I don’t trust him to talk to him about anything I am feeling, he isn’t the person I should be sharing my emotions with right now.
The one person in the world I shared everything with is suddenly the one person I can’t talk to.
I realized that beyond the outward appearance of a great marriage and even while I was thinking we were this wonderful happy couple, my husband was obviously miserable. To retain an attorney and file for divorce without my knowledge is a huge sign something is wrong, terribly wrong. That he was beyond attempting to fix the problems he saw. He was ready to move on.
I don’t want to date. I want to be married. To my husband. Is that pathetic?
I don’t want to think that the man I chose to spend my life with could so easily walk away. At this point the why doesn’t really matter.He has made his choice to go forward in his life without me as his partner and wife. I cannot take that choice away from him. Allowing myself to dwell on the why is counterproductive, I may never know.
I am hurt. I am devastated. I am heartbroken.
I am not angry.
To be angry I would have to be angry at his choice. I do not agree with his choice and obviously it isn’t my choice, but I have to support his decision. To him it is the right choice. For him this is the path he must follow.
Having forgiven his decision, I can’t hold onto the negative way his choice was making me feel. Doing so will cause me more anguish. I am not willing to lose any of myself to his choice. If I stay angry it will eat at my soul. It is a risk I am not willing to take.
I will let go, fall into the unknown with the knowledge that I will land and get up.
I hope he finds the happiness he is so desperately seeking. If he finds out he made the wrong choice for himself, that is a road he will travel alone because I will let go. Once the divorce is final, the road we shared is no longer on the map.
Some moments pass quickly without our ever knowing we had a chance to learn anything. I have been living a life of these moments. Now I choose to step into a place where I can learn and grow every day.
Decisions made every moment can affect the people we love, our lives and our futures. Some may seem so small when they are actually the biggest choices we make. I have some pretty big decisions to make. I can lay back and let the future be dictated to me or I can grab life by the horns and ride it. I am choosing to take control.
Going through the motions on a daily basis as if I am not getting a divorce is not a good way of thinking. I have said on numerous occasions to my husband that I do not want this divorce. He says he hears my words but his needs are greater. He has found himself in a place of dire unhappiness and the best way for him to find himself joy is by cutting things from his life. Beginning with me. I am of another school of thought, simply that if you are unhappy the first place to look is within not outwardly. Regardless I need to start living my life thinking that this divorce is real.
To properly start down the path to myself I must develop boundaries. We are still living in the same house. As odd as it sounds, it really isn’t uncomfortable. Yet. But there are changes that I will be making starting tonight.
The one question I will ask myself when dealing with my husband in every sense of the present and the future is, What would I do if I were divorced today? Having given this some thought, I have made a large choice to think about small things on a daily basis. Because we still live together, this means making some large changes in regards to some very basic things.
Would I take his clothes to the dry cleaner? No.
Would I make sure he has a fabulous meal on the table? No.
Would I go to lunch with him and the kids? Sure.
Would I expect affection? No.
Would I openly share my personal thoughts? No.
Would I respond to every text, email and voicemail if a personal nature? No.
Would I respond to texts about kids? Absolutely.
Would I become upset if he made plans without telling me to go to
(insert any activity)? No.
Would I expect that we openly communicate our schedules for the kids sake? Yes.
Would I allow him to yell at me? No.
Would I engage him in heated discussions about anything? No.
Would I spend time guilt free with friends? Of Course.
Would I give in to his demands to know every move I make throughout the day? No.
If the decisions are involving the kids the answers are easy. They have two parents who love them. Two people who will be a support system for them their entire lives.
Will I be my husband’s best friend once we are divorced? No.
If he decided after he divorces me that I am indeed the love of his life and he has made the biggest mistake he could ever made, would I return to him? No.
So my new mantra will be “What would I do if I were divorced today.”
Jamie Squires—originally from Mobile, Alabama, now living in Boulder, Colorado—is a Mom, photographer, dreamer, aspiring yogi, cloud watcher, living with Lupus and dealing with chemo. She shoots stuff. She gets the giggles. She wins big at blackjack and will give you everything in Texas Hold ‘Em. She is generous with her spirit and her laughter. She cries when she is angry and tends to make excessively long lists. She eats meat and drinks beer. She hates wearing shoes. She’s passionate and pretty magical. She’s happy and loves anyone who makes her laugh. She is covered in ink. She likes cheese. It doesn’t interest her what you do for a living, she wants to know what your dreams are.