I just knew the marriage could not work. I knew that marriage counseling would not work. There was nothing to “save.” I went to a convention and I shook off the shackles [of my unhappy marriage] and felt enlightened, alive, and confident. I had not felt this way in so long! I took off my ring and declared myself free. I came home and he was crying. I told him I was moving in with my parents. How could this marriage possibly work when he was either screaming at me or crying? My parents did not understand why the marriage was over. I was ashamed to tell them the real reasons I was leaving. I didn’t want to tell them about his drug and drinking habits. I didn’t want to talk about his anger and depression. I really didn’t want to tell them that I knew the marriage was a mistake in the first place! How could an educated person like me be so dumb? I felt like my mom did not trust me; she was resentful. She was upset our marriage was breaking up. She kept asking me, “When are you going back home?” When I packed up, I had sobbing fits; I finally told my mom the truth. I was overcome with shame. I just decided: “Let’s get on with this.” It was very painful
I was tired of trying to be someone I wasn’t. I wanted him to grow up. I left. I only took half of our belongings. I left a lot behind. I found an apartment all by myself — it was the first time in my life I was all alone. It was really, really hard. I cried for weeks. What was I crying for? I had an aching pain that I could nothing about. I had given eight years of my life to this relationship — all for nothing. I was angry with myself for being blind to who he really was, even though it had been in front of me the whole time. I blamed myself for a lot of It — I had failed at marriage.
The pain and sense of failure is hard to imagine — until it’s your life and your divorce
I was so unhappy. I was such an overachiever I was ashamed to admit I was getting a divorce. I could not sleep and would take a Sominex and have a light beer every night in order to sleep. I avoided my friends. My dad finally called and said I have a lawyer for you. At that point, I realized my husband had hidden all of the assets.
How could I — a strong, independent woman let myself get into this position? I had a long haul to forgive myself. It was hard to look back and believe that was me.
I felt a lot of self-hate over the divorce. I felt like a failure. I tried to never think about it.
Wouldn’t you rather deal with a breakup or a canceled wedding than any of the above? If you find yourself saying “….we can always get a divorce” it’s time to sit up, take charge and find the courage to end your relationship. Talk to a trusted friend, an advisor, a therapist—anyone who can help you tap into the courage you need to get out. We know it is always easier said than done. But you CAN do it. Here is some final advice from women who have been there:
Listen to your gut instincts. Where does your true happiness lie? Pay attention to those red flags. Remember, when you’re in the bottom of the barrel, you can’t see the top. Cut your losses, move on, and don’t throw good years away. I had feelings of unworthiness and worthlessness. My poor self-esteem got me into trouble, into the mess I found myself in. If I had been more secure, I would have never gone through with the wedding. You must be able to support yourself and live on your own. Do not be afraid to do this!
Never use marriage as a crutch for your issues, family problems, tragedies or even pregnancy. If you are having second thoughts, listen to your intuition. Talk to family members and friends who can see the relationship from the outside. They may have a better perspective.
Don’t get caught in the trap of “When I marry him, I’ll change him.” And don’t think that fatherhood will change him for the better, because it won’t. If you suspect he won’t be a very good father, you are probably right. Do not marry him because he will not change.
Do I wish I could do it all over again differently? Sure. I wish I would have waited for true love like I have now. My (current) husband is my best friend, lover, partner, confidant and father to my children. My ex-husband married the 15-year-old baby-sitter and had two kids with her. He is almost 50 years old and is still an asshole to me, his children and now his new wife. If your gut says run — you must run! No matter what, you must listen to your gut. It knows you better than you know yourself. It’s your internal warning siren!