When do you call it quits? At what point do you finally acknowledge- too much damage is here and we can never repair the tsunami that blew through our marriage. When? What’s the formula for making that determination?
I read an article this week that said 57% of marriages stated they were thriving five years after discovering an affair. We aren’t even close to being included in that group. For some reason, finding this out demoralized me. It’s been five years since my husband confessed and I feel our marriage is in crisis more than ever.
Those that know me off blog understand just how dire things are. But I will peel back the curtain slightly and share just one example of what I battle. I’ve had plenty of discussions with my husband lately- hours worth in fact. An incident occured weeks ago, whereby he admitted he lost his drivers license and had no way to rent a car. You see, his irresponsible behavior caught up with him when he failed to take care of his vehicle resulting in blowing up the engine. Yep, that’s what happens when you don’t check your oil people. I could have killed him.
So here he was- without a car- and unable to even rent one. When it dawned on me…he lost his drivers license when he went CHRISTMAS shopping over three months ago. Christmas people!!! Now I don’t know about you guys, but my brain would have been screaming at me to take care of my missing drivers license. Like within 2 days of realizing I lost it. Every time I drove, I would have been stressed out knowing I was driving without one. But that’s just me. Clearly, my husband and I are polar opposites in that way. Me being the responsible one–him shirking away from all responsibility. Yep, he stuck his head in the sand (again).
I asked him point blank, “Are you having an affair? Your behavior reeks of someone who has checked out of their marriage. I know the signs and you are simply not “with it”. He assured me he wasn’t, emphatically denying it.
So I went about asking a barrage of questions, “Why have you not made an appointment with the DMV?” And he said, “Well I looked online but they didn’t have one for months.”
“Ok but did you try looking at different locations?”
With a few swipes on my phone, I found several locations with availability that week. But he needed a car ASAP, so he really needed a replacement drivers license fast. He logged onto his computer while I yelled across from the kitchen, “March 15th–I found one at XYZ city. You’ll have to drive 45 minutes but they could see you in 2 days.”
More groans…when finally he found an appointment for the next day, although he would have to drive an hour away (not a big deal–an inconvenience but doable). Phew, crisis averted. He is scrambling to resolve. I’m obviously frustrated by his laziness but I’m seriously sitting on the sidelines trying to allow the natural consequences of his behavior to wreck havoc on his life. Nothing motivates people more than the feeling of shit of the world mounting upon you.
The next day he left for work. I looked at the time later that afternoon and thought, “Oh he is probably leaving the office now for his DMV appointment.” When all of a sudden, wouldn’t you know it-he calls me in a panic. “Can you please gather up all these documents? I need them for my appointment, to get my drivers license. And can you drive them to the freeway and meet me? I won’t be able to make my appointment otherwise, as I am short on time!”
I could have killed him.
“ummm… You want me to drop what I am doing to come and bring you your paperwork? Don’t you think you should have read the DMV requirements for getting a replacement license last night? And retrieved those prior to leaving the house this morning? You want me to save you–to bail you out? I really think the best option is to let natural consequences fall upon you for not being prepared. For not having any foresight…”
Wish I could say I stuck to my gut response, but I didn’t. Time was of the essence. Natural consequences did not fall upon him. I bailed him out, driving to where he needed me and giving him the papers.
In that moment, I realized I am just an enabler to him.
I am disgusted by his behavior. It’s as if I am married to an irresponsible 12 year old. When I handed him the papers, we didn’t even say a word to eachother. A few minutes later, I sent him the following text:
“I’m honestly done being married to you. I am. I would rather be a single mother and at least have a shot at happiness than keep pushing mud up a mountain. You aren’t happy. I’m not happy. It’s obvious you will never be what I need in a relationship and it’s about time both of us face that fact and pull the plug.
If you want to be lazy that’s fine. But don’t drag me into the lazy husband pool anymore. I’ve allowed this for far too long. I’ve become an enabler to your shitty behaviors and you’ve lost me. I have always said the affairs won’t be the reason why we divorce. It will be THIS dynamic which will break us.
We are done.”
His reply? None…crickets.
We have since cooled down. And we’ve had more talks. Still living in functional harmony like we always do. Still socializing with our neighbors and doing things with the kids. Putting our best faces on. But the issue remains.
Today (on Easter nonetheless) we had a monumental 6 hour discussion spanning the entire length of our marriage–what’s gone wrong, at what point/what was going on in our lives during certain parts. His perceptions. My perceptions. His hurts vs my hurts. We’ve gone through it all. I think the end is near for us.
So something popped into my mind this week that never has before.
The loss of CEO caused me unbearable pain friends. It’s taken me so long to even write that but it did. More than he will ever truly know. But perhaps that pain was to prepare me for an even greater pain–that of losing my husband and all the unmet dreams I had for us.
I can’t even say that I am holding on by a thread anymore. One person can’t make a marriage. One person can’t be the only one communicating. One person can’t give and give and give, while the other one takes and takes and takes.
As one of my blogger friends said to me offline, “A grown man who can’t handle his drivers license and car? Friend, this problem is far greater than YOU.”
So when do you finally say “enough”? When do you finally pull the plug friends? I refuse to become an ugly person should we divorce. I will hold my head up high and walk away with nothing, if I have to. I don’t want to fight. I want my children to be proud of me. To know and see that I didn’t let my pain turn me into some bitter person. I want an amicable divorce. An unconscious uncoupling if you will. One where we are still close friends, still vacation together with our kids–but just are no longer lovers or spouses.
I just can’t be the glue holding everything together anymore. I have nothing left to give. I need a true partner in a husband. My heart is screaming to have my needs met in our marriage, and it falls upon deaf ears because he has his head stuck in the sand. My husband stopped trying- stopped fighting for us. Stopped working at building a new marriage. He admitted it wholeheartedly tonight when I confronted him. So nice of him to have shared that memo with me.
I never married with the intent to ever divorce. It simply was not an option in my mind. I always believed we would work anything out, even this. But I’m spent. Emotionally I’m done. I feel an incredible desire for closure and to just be alone.