9/14 Update: This post was written two weeks ago. I held onto it, wondering if any of this would still ring true or if I was writing it in the thick of it, in the heat of the moment. But it still resonates…
Tonight he said to me, I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t know if I can make you happy.
I often wondered how people end up divorced. As if the ability to dissect it and understand it, meant I could backwards engineer the root cause. If I can identify it, I can figure out how to avoid it.
I’m starting to think that you get to that point of calling it quits because you try to fake it until you make it. And when you realize things aren’t getting better, you find yourself without any fight left. You get to the point where being together, somehow isn’t something you care about anymore. You drift so slowly off course, that one day you see how far you’ve gone, how alone you feel, and think, this isn’t where I want to be. And being alone, now that you’ve felt it for so long, isn’t such a terrible thing. I used to think breaking up my family would be a terrible and selfish thing. But now you think, my children would be happier if I weren’t so miserable. It’s not that your happiness is more important than your children’s. You just realize that there’s no way they can be happy in a home filled with such unhappiness.
I’ve learned a lot this year. I’ve learned that the more alone I felt, the more my love for my boys deepen, as if to say, mama knows. It’s not your fault, mama knows none of this is because of you. I’ve learned that there are moments when I smile because of something they did or said, and then feel this aching in the pit of my stomach, because somehow you’re so simultaneously happy yet so sad. I’ve learned that no matter how much I love my boys, I will not stay in a marriage for them.
So when my husband tells me he doesn’t know if he can do it? I find myself thinking, if you don’t know how to fight for this marriage, I don’t have the fight left in me to convince you to pull through… I find myself feeling not anger or disappointment, just numb. I find myself picturing my life without him, and thinking, this isn’t how I expected my life to turn out. But I’ll be fine. The boys will be fine.