Putting A Voice to Divorce
We live in a cynical society. Nothing shocks us anymore, no matter how violent or heartless or heinous. We view divorce in almost the same way, are we even shocked or surprised anymore when we hear about it. Not really, it’s almost as though we expect it. No matter what statistic or website you use the number is 50%. 50% of couples that get married will get a divorce. That’s 1 out of 2.
No matter how often it happens or how expected it is, it’s still people’s lives. You don’t fall out of love overnight, you don’t stop being happy because you walked down the aisle. Sure people get married for the wrong reasons but it’s more to it than that right? It has to be.
This article is my conversation with a woman that was divorced after only a couple years of marriage. She was incredibly honest and open with me. I write about love and dating and lust but I rarely write about what happens when that love and lust start to fade away. Here is her story.
Together for five years she knew he had flaws but on their 5th anniversary when he got down on one knee none of those flaws mattered. “I knew he was everything I wanted within the first year we were together. There was just something about him as a man that let me know he would be my everything and everything I ever wanted. For her the marriage was never about the marriage but about the man and the love, everything else was incidental.
Whether it’s a marriage or business venture there will always be blame placed. In the mature situations both parties will usually acknowledge they played just as big of a role as their mate. Often times the role can be something as simple as ignoring the signs in front of you.
“At the end of the day I do blame myself for some of it because he cheated on me before we got married but I had it in the back of my head that he asked me to marry him so obviously he’s trying to change because he knew how much marriage meant to me.”
“Looking back I see God has given me so many signs letting me know that; that was not the man he had for me but me being silly and crazy in love I ignored it all because I knew the man he could be, but he wasn’t ready to be that man just yet. The majority of the reason we are divorced is his fault.”
“He still blames me, he tells everyone he divorced me because we argued too much and that I had too many people in our business, which isn’t true. We divorced because he conceived a child with his sister in law (his brother’s wife’s 22 year old sister at the time) during the time we were having complications trying to conceive.”
“I found out about her and the child after he divorced me, he puts all the blame on me so he can justify what he did. I had to continue to tell myself that it wasn’t my fault but I should have let go long before I said “I DO.”
We think of abuse as physical and even emotional or mental abuse we have this image of a man screaming and yelling while the woman is crying on the bed. Emotional abuse is more sudden than that. It breaks you down over time and it erodes not just the individual but the marriage.
“The memories that I go back to are the ones when I found out about other women, the times where he called me fat, ugly and other names I can’t really repeat. There were so many good things about him but he was a very insecure man and always degraded me and made me feel like I was the ugliest woman in the world. I use to blame myself for him cheating on me.”
The lifeline of a lot of marriages is love, support, faith and trust and once you start to lose those you lose the intimacy. Sex can cover a lot of flaws, good sex can make you feel like you’re healing from an argument when the truth is you’re just masking the causes of the arguments.
“There was a point where I did stop having sex with him because I knew he was sleeping with other women and I was more concerned about my safety then his sexual needs. Before all that I did a damned good job of making sure his sexual needs were met. Let’s just say he was and is a man that will never be completely satisfied.”
It can be hard going through marriage or relationship problems. A part of you wants to vent, to get opinions, to ask people around you for help. Another part of you tells yourself, “This is between my husband and I and no one else should be involved in our marriage.” No one should have to go through the pain of ending vows alone but who can you trust?
“No one really knew about what I was going through except a few friends, my cousin and his wife. They were there from the time everything hit the fan. No one knew why he started acting the way he did towards me, he told them all he didn’t want to be married to me anymore because we argued too much.”
“When I looked at him I couldn’t even recognize the man he was anymore. At that point I knew something wasn’t right. I just couldn’t figure it out. Once we got divorced it was in everyone’s head that I was the reason for the divorce. My family in Seattle didn’t know about my divorce until after the divorce was final. They were upset about it but they were mainly upset because I was here in Houston by myself going through everything alone and no one knew. About a month after that, that is when I found out about the baby, once I told my family and friends the real reason behind the divorce they were livid.”
Even after all that, after the emotional abuse, the cheating, and the lies. You can’t help who you love. You can’t help but feeling like you’ve taken a covenant with God and by giving up on your marriage you’re breaking a promise to God. It’s not as easy as just saying, “This isn’t working so I quit.” It’s never that easy even when it feels like it should be.
“There was never a point where I said I couldn’t do this because I was not going to give up on my husband. I knew he was going through something and I needed to be there for him. Even when he told me to stop calling and texting him (mind you we were still living in the same house when he told me this). Even when he stopped coming home at night, would not talk to me, called the police on me and lied and said I broke it to our house just so he can get me out of there.”
“He called me out my name, talked to me crazy. Lied to me and told me our home was being foreclosed but he ended up renting it out after he moved my stuff out knowing I had nowhere to go. I still prayed for him every night, sent him encouraging text messages, told him I was there for him and we can face any obstacles that come our way. At one point he told me he was cheating on me and I told him I already knew.”
“My biggest fear was that someone else would end up pregnant. I asked him was someone pregnant and he told me yes, I don’t know what in me told him that everything will be ok; we’ll get through this, we just have to find a way to deal with it. The love I had for him made me want to stick by his side and ride this out. That same day he told me he lied because he wanted to see my reaction and all along that lie he told me was the real truth. Even after all that I fought for my marriage up until the day I signed the divorce papers. I didn’t want to sign them but I only did it because I saw that’s what he really wanted.
Once the papers are signed and you realize life has to move on, it’s going to move on with or without you reality sets in. A reality that can be scary if it’s not what you wanted in the first place. You have to start from scratch knowing that no matter how good things may seem you can’t control what’s coming.
“In a way I started dating but I have not committed to any relationship. The reason why is because I am seriously scared to give my all to someone again after going through everything I went through. I’ve had numerous guys ask me to be with them, propose to me but I know before I can give anyone 100% of me I have to give myself 100% of me first. It does feel different because I miss the married life, I’ve never been the type to talk to a bunch of different guys. I’ve always been a relationship person. At times I get to a point where I don’t want to talk to anyone because it’s just overwhelming. They want so much of my time that I can’t and don’t want to give them because of the fear I have of falling for them.”
That’s the voice behind divorce. Not having a party or celebrating her freedom but simply healing after happily ever after turned out not to be so happy after all. Millions of Americans and people all over the world have to pick up their lives and start over. She’s just one of them.