It's been six years since my divorce!
It’s been six years since my divorce. I’m even remarried to a wonderful man. But I still have very strong bouts of anger, frustration, and a sense of loss. I usually start feeling this way when my daughter struggles and “misses daddy”. Or I hear about all of the fun things she does with her dad, his girlfriend, and her daughter. Or when I witness him be a family man for someone else.
We met in college. He called me his goddess. We were instantly inseparable. I had dated so many jerks before him that I thought I had truly found someone who showed me what love really was. To everyone around us, we were the perfect, happy couple. *I* thought we were the perfect, happy couple. We both had grand dreams how our life and family would turn out. We dated for five years and we were married for eight. But after our daughter was born, that is when I started to notice things changing. He wanted more time apart. We weren’t so “inseparable” any more. I admit, I didn’t handle this transition very well and I started getting down and worried that something was wrong. Plus, I had gained a little bit of weight after having our daughter, so I was insecure about that as well (not a lot of weight, I had always been a trim, fit person, so for me to put on 15 lbs was hard for my ego). He pulled farther and farther away. I got more and more worried. He started to work out and lost a bunch of weight. He also started buying new clothes and looking more fit and handsome. These were all telltale signs of an affair, but I couldn’t prove it. And of course, he made me feel “crazy” for even questioning him. One night he didn’t come home. He called in the middle of the night and told me he was leaving me. And of course I finally confirmed his affair. I was devastated. I was devastated for myself and also for my 20- month-old daughter. I did everything possible to try to convince him to work on the marriage so we could provide a nuclear family for our daughter. I know that all marriages have rough spots and good marriages take two people to make it work. So I was ready to dig in and figure out MY role in our downward spiral, because I know that no one is perfect. But it seemed that everything I tried to do to hold us together only pushed him further away. I watched the love of my life, my family, my hopes and dreams, and so many things important to me all drift away as he closed the door behind him. I felt worthless. I felt unlovable. I knew I wasn’t perfect, but I also knew that I wasn’t an unreasonable person. I wasn’t an alcoholic. I wasn’t into drugs. I wasn't abusive. But I never had any idea what he was thinking or feeling. While married, his actions told me how he felt in subtle ways, but never once did he sit down with me and tell me about his unhappiness. Not once did he say “You know, things need to change or I’m outta here.” He just told me he loved me, told me all the right things, while he let his actions tell me otherwise. I still, to the day, don’t understand how it all turned so sour. But to him, the marriage had become irreparable and he had no desire to work on anything - not for me, not for our daughter, not for anyone. He blamed me for his unhappiness, said he needed to “find himself” and “make his own decisions” and then he was gone.
I don’t quite understand how I can still feel quite this much pain after six years, and especially since I am remarried. I am starting to wonder if I will ever put this behind me. But I can’t seem to accept and be happy with this path that he handed to me. I never imagined that my daughter would have a divorced family (my parents are still together, my grandparents were still together, my aunts and uncles are all still together). I never imagined that my daughter would be shuffled between homes. I never imagined that my daughter would have step-parents and step-siblings. I never imagined that the man who seemed to love me so much would selfishly walk away and never look back. It is all so foreign to me, that I just can’t seem to find complete happiness with it, it’s like I short-circuited. Obviously, I make the best of it and it isn’t like I sit and stew about it every day. Plus, I have married a wonderful man who steps up and fills in where my ex left off. But I can’t seem to forgive. I can’t seem to let go of the pain. It can still feel so fresh sometimes. And I don’t know what to do about it.