I married my childhood sweetheart on April 17, 2004, just before I turned 22 in a big, white ceremony at the church our families had belonged to since we had been born. Minutes before walking down the beautifully decorated aisle, my mother pulled me aside in the brides’ sanctuary and said, “You can still walk away, you know. The money doesn’t matter.”
It wasn’t until she said that to me did it really strike me that I may be doing the wrong thing.
As I walked down the aisle flanked by both my mother and my father, my mind was wrought with thoughts such as, “I’m still young and we could always get a divorce.” Something a young bride should be thinking as she’s approaching the man she believes is the love of her life? No.
It didn’t take long before things started to fall apart between myself and my beloved. He spent most of his nights closing down the bars on the strip a few blocks away from our house and sometimes, he would even bring half of the bar home with him to continue the party in our garage. All while I attempted to sleep so that I could get up in the morning and go to my boring corporate job, of course.
I noticed that our checking account was quickly depleting and that numerous checks had been written out to “cash” in his hand writing. I also noticed that his ex girlfriend had started coming around, hanging on with people who made up the outer ranks of our friendship circle.
We began to fight a lot. We fought about everything; the kitchen remodel, the late nights in the bars, his ex girlfriend, our friends, his pot smoking past times, the bills, etc. I had never felt more alone in my life.
I started suffering from severe depression and anxiety. And I realized that what I wanted most was the friend I had lost when I said “I do”.
I met someone at my boring corporate job who made me feel (as cliche as this may sound) alive. He was funny, charming and incredibly caring. He was easy to talk to and I found myself telling him things about my dissolving marriage that I wouldn’t dare tell anyone else. Upon learning of some of the misgivings of my marriage, he wanted to “save me”.
I told my husband I wanted a trial separation. He said, “If we’re separating, why don’t we just get a divorce?” I said, “OK.” He was hurt, but I was past the point of caring.
My coworker friend and I started hanging out at bars with other coworkers and soon the other coworkers wouldn’t be invited. Soon, we found ourselves in restaurants instead of bars. I was thinking about him constantly and just the thought of him would bring me immense happiness.
The husband was relentless. He wouldn’t give up. I began to feel really guilty and decided that I would give him another shot, which lasted only about 3 weeks. When I finally said, “It’s over,” our walls suffered the brunt of the blows, with random holes punched into them here and there.
I did all the grunt work for the divorce, filed the paperwork, paid all the fees, took care of the house, etc and all he did was drink himself into black outs and blow up my cell phone at all hours of the night. I started to hear rumors about myself being caught in bed with two other men, getting fired from my job…you name it.
I never confronted him about any of it, because I wanted to prove to him that I could do without him. I could walk away and not look back over this heinous excuse of a marriage.
Here I am, approaching 30, married to that coworker friend of mine who to this day saves me in ways he’ll never understand, watching our son grow up before our eyes.
It’s true what they say, time does heal all wounds…or at least makes it easier to forget them. The details of the drama are all a little fuzzy when I look back now, which is just fine for me, it leaves more space for the clarity of the future.
Wow, hindsight really is 20/20.