I was never one of those little girls that dreamt of getting married. I never gave it much thought but I just assumed I would be alone. I saw myself as a single career woman. As a teenager I had the usual teenage romances. But after a month or two I would always break things off to make sure they didn’t get serious. Then I was 17 and I met him. And all of those thoughts and fears flew away. He knew how to make me feel safe. He knew how to make me laugh. He loved me. I loved him. Years went by and for the first time in my life I wanted those things all of the other girls dreamed of, but only because I wanted them with him. Things unfolded before me, marriage, children, and the perfect home. It was all unplanned but yet a dream come true.
I am a Christian. I thought we had a Christian marriage. He said he believed in being honest. In forgiveness. In love. He said he loved those things about me. I never rushed into a relationship. I prayed. I prayed. And I prayed some more. I was careful with my heart. I swore that he was a blessing from God.
And, right now, it is 11 pm, on the night before our 9th anniversary. My precious boys are sleeping upstairs in their bunk beds. I am alone, but not as alone as I am when he is home. My husband is out with one of his girlfriends. I wonder how she makes him happy. Maybe just because she isn’t me? I bet she is prettier, skinnier, and maybe even smarter. But I doubt she loves him as much as I do. I wonder how it could ever be worth throwing away the life we had.
And it has been this way for years. And somehow I convinced myself I could fix it. That if I prayed enough God would fix it. That I could change enough to make him love me. So many nights I sat sitting on the couch next to him sobbing and begging for him to tell me how I could make him happy, but all he could tell me is how awful I am. The church told me if I was patient enough that God would fix our marriage. I endured affairs and abuse and I believed him when he blamed it all on me. If it was all my fault then somehow I could fix it, right?
But I couldn’t fix it. And God didn’t fix it.
The day I was served with divorce papers he came into my room with a smile on his face, just so he could see my tears. He is trying to get full custody of the boys. He says he will make sure I am homeless so that I can’t get them. He says he doesn’t care what he loses just as long as I don’t “win” I told him that I have already lost. I beg him to make this as easy as possible on the boys. That I would agree with anything he wanted if he had their best interest in mind. He says I deserve to suffer. He knows the best way to make me suffer is to take the boys from me.
And as hurt as I feel, I will keep fighting. I will fight for what is best for my boys. On the days when I just want to stay in bed with the covers over my head, I think of Caleb’s mischievous yet innocent giggle. I think of how when Noah says “tickle me Mama” he starts laughing uncontrollably before I even touch him. And I know I have to get up and move on, for them. My heart hurts for them, more than it hurts for me. They deserve better, I wanted more for them. The feeling that I failed them is the worst feeling of all. But I am determined to make this the best I possibly I can for them. They deserve a childhood full of fun and loving memories. Carefree Summer days spent outside splashing and laughing. Sleepovers with friends where the biggest worry is what movie to watch. Dancing in the living room. Singing in the car. We will have lives full of love. And it is a shame that some people choose not to share that with us.
I would have done anything to save my marriage. I just wasn’t enough. I thought we would be together forever. He used to cry when I told him about how if I died first I would wait for him on a cloud. We picked this house dreaming of growing old here. I thought we would grow old together.
But that just isn’t how it worked out. And it kills me inside. But the people who love me really believe that the best is yet to come. And it is hard for me to see but I trust them. And I trust that God will make good out of this.
Sharing this is a huge step for me, even though really it is just the tip of the iceberg. It is something I have felt I should do for a while, but have been too scared. It is terrifying to open up, for lots of reasons. One of them is the fear of being judged. I wish I could say I don’t care what other people think, but I do. But I have come to a point in my life where I can’t focus on who might judge me and for what. If you want to read this and judge or gossip about me, go ahead, that is your right. But please remember, we’re all in this life together. And no matter what you do, and no matter how hard you try, there are just no guarantees.
Life is short. And I am sick of pretending to be someone I am not. If this helps one other person have the courage to speak up and just be themselves then it is so worth it to me. I am going to live a life of love. Real love. Join me.