I’ve been telling myself for a year straight all of the reasons my marriage is over. All of the negatives. Almost inflating them in my mind so as to disconnect from the stabbing pain in my heart.
At first things were crazy. Trying to find our footing. Flailing around, wondering how this could have happened to our perfect life.
There was the initial pain. There was sobbing alone on the ground on my birthday last year, just not understanding how I could not have been enough. I would rationalize and tell myself there was no way it could be broken. That we would absolutely fix this and make it through just like everything else over the last 12 years.
I quickly learned that I did not have the power to put it back together on my own. I couldn’t force the warped puzzle pieces to fit the way they once had. But don’t kid yourself, I sure as shit tried my hardest.
Then came the part where I would try to tell myself it was all in my head. That somehow I was wrong. That I could live with this new normal so that I didn’t have to tear down the walls on the beautiful life we had.
Next I blamed myself. If only I had done this or that I would have been what she wanted. If I was more fun, more sexual, not so serious. If, if, if.
When we finally got to therapy I knew we would fix it. We would certainly not throw away all of these years, memories and love. All therapy did was explain to me why things fell apart. But even the best therapist in the world couldn’t make her choose me, us.
Then the realization that we were done. That we couldn’t put our story back together. We couldn’t unsee what we saw. And we couldn’t unknow what we now knew.
Those months were the most painful I have even walked through. I had support but nothing could take away the pain of losing my best friend. Even if I did know it was “for the best”. Having to keep it together inside these walls was excruciating agony.
Then she left. Fuck. I could breathe in my home again. I could sit on the couch. I could turn the corner without seeing the glaring reminder of all I ever knew.
I was now alone for the first time in over a decade. Not only alone. Lost. Heartbroken. And trying to hide it the best I could. After all, this was my decision. How could I bitch about it now? I couldn’t. I had to be solid. I had to keep it together for the two boys and all of the adulting left for me to manage on my own.
I told myself and others, “Look at me, I’m making it through without the breakdown!”
Im not. I’m down, and I’m broken. And it has come to mind that I need to honor that. I need to stop fighting it. I need to accept the fact that while I may be able to keep up with the day to day, that is clearly no indication of what is going on inside.
I can keep this show looking good on the outside. I can manage all the things. I can make sure noone thinks I’m losing it. I apparently successfully had myself believing that lie.
Today, on my birthday one year later, I am being honest. With myself, and anyone who cares to know.
It kills me that while we are still quite amicable, there is a lot of pain in this for me. I tell myself I need to set boundaries for her. They aren’t for her, they are for me. They are to keep my heart safe. As safe as it can be today.
We will continue to love each other and our son. That will never change. But if I’m going to get past this, I need to feel it with honesty. I don’t have to be a bad ass day in and day out. I’m allowed to feel hurt, even if I don’t always believe that myself.