The first in a series of posts on the beginning of the end of my marriage, and a look back at our relationship, from meeting, dating, engagement, and the in-laws (that could be an entire blog in itself, but that’s a story for another day…!).
So, “where it began” really doesn’t even scratch the surface of the beginning of the end of my marriage, and I don’t think I’ve quite recounted that here yet, in almost a year. Perhaps part of it was purposeful, for not wanting to relive those moments, but now that I am so far beyond that, looking back feels more like continued healing, and, sharing the experience with all of you – those going through divorce as we speak, those recently separated, those who are well beyond as “freshly” divorced as me (September, officially). So, here goes…
It was late October, just after our two-year wedding anniversary, which came and went without so much as dinner out, no card, no romance, not much out of the ordinary. And, not that I’ve got high expectations or am high-maintenance when it comes to “stuff” in a relationship, but it just felt definedly different. And, Pete had been acting differently over the past month, sort of withdrawn, not himself, stressed out, lost in his own world. It didn’t feel terribly different than when he’d been stressed out at work in the past, as he sometimes shuts into himself and just deals with it on his own, but at the same time, it was much longer than normal, and he just wasn’t himself. We weren’t having sex, and we hadn’t for quite awhile (at least 2-3 weeks) and he was just withdrawn. There. But not. So, that night (I think it was a Sunday, but I don’t remember the actual date), as we were laying in bed and his indifference and quietness finally got to me.
I asked him what was wrong, he didn’t answer. I asked him if he was ok. He didn’t answer. I asked him if he was stressed. He said yes. I asked him if it was work. He said he didn’t know. I asked him if it was his family and he said no. I asked him if it was me – fully expecting him to say ‘stop being stupid’ – and he said yes. I asked him what he meant. He said he didn’t know. He was facing away from me in bed, and curled up, and he refused to look at me. I shook him slightly and asked him to explain what he meant. By that point, my heart had sunk, my body was shaking, my knees were knocking and I was scared. This felt real, and scary, and the first inkling in my mind that something was definitely – perhaps permanently – wrong. And to think it could be us was so infathomable to me at the time, that I was in utter shock.
Then he said it.
I’m not happy. Something is wrong with me. I think it’s us. I think I don’t want to be married anymore.
I was crying, shaking, bawling, but at the same time, I was angry. I didn’t understand, I thought he was jumping to conclusions. HOW COULD IT BE US?! It has never been us. So, HOW COULD IT BE US? After almost 9 years together and 2 years of marriage and never a fight between us.
How could it be us?
I just didn’t understand, and I cried, and I tried to understand, and I just didn’t. I said that I refuse to believe that, that it can’t be us, that we have a wonderful marriage, we don’t fight, we are very compatible, we have a wonderful home, two wonderful cats, a brand new bathroom that we designed top to bottom, a circle of friends, good jobs…and each other.
So, how could it be us?
We went to bed that night agreeing that we needed to talk, and figure out WHAT this was. That it WAS NOT us, that maybe he should talk to someone, that maybe he was just confused.
The next day, I woke up and thought it was one of those nightmares that just you wake up from and realize it wasn’t true, and you feel a wave of relief. Yet, it WAS true, and I was scared, and ashamed, and sad, and crushed, and well, broken. I didn’t tell anyone, I was afraid to, I was ashamed to say it, for fear of making it real. But it was real, and I had no idea where to begin, what to do, how to save it, or fix it. I wanted to run away. I wanted to hide. And most of all, I wanted it not to be us, and for Pete to come back to me and realize what we had was one of a kind, and could never, ever be recreated.
I didn’t know it at the time, but it was the beginning of the end…but also the beginning of the beginning, of the most awe-inspiring year of my life.
Wow, writing this down brings me rushing back to that moment – I can feel my knees shaking, I can feel the bewildered look in my eyes, and in Pete’s, and I never, ever want to feel that way again. Tomorrow, part II of this post – and realizing, that at 29, I was going to get divorced.
To be continued…
Broken. It’s how I felt. This song spoke to me, for months. I was broken, I didn’t how to fix it, I didn’t know where to go. Who used to “fix” me, comfort me, make me smile, make me feel safe – was him. My love, my best friend, my all….and he wasn’t that anymore. How do you feel anything *but* broken?