Divorce is an ugly word, even though we know over half of marriages will end that way, never mind your religious affiliation or if you come from a broken home. Then the odds certainly swing away from success.
When you add mental health issues, such as OCD, a demanding career, starting a business, and a spouse with issues of their own, trouble brews like thunderheads on the horizon. You can’t hold them off forever, and it is going to storm and rain. The ideal situation is to wheather those storms the best you can, but everyone has a breaking point. I reached mine myself recently, and decided it was time to let go.
The commitment. A working relationship requires 100% effort on both sides. In days of yore, unbalance was the norm. A woman simply shut up and took it, even if her husband was abusive. On the flip side, many men became “pussy whipped,” controlled by their wives, asking permission or for a “kitchen pass.” The latter is almost funny, except that both types of relationship are abusive and unhealthy.
Then society awakened to the worth of the individual, and we seek to empower ourselves. The idea of 100% commitment to another person takes on a whole new meaning. No longer are these lopsided relationships acceptable.
Acceptance. Everyone is flawed, and the sooner we accept of ourselves, the sooner we can accept the flaws of others. Writers and creative people tend to embrace nearly anyone, as we are an odd bunch. Our spouses usually react one of two ways: they either embrace this and join the fun of our community, realizing there is no “right” way to act for us, or they stay out of our circle of friends. Neither happened in my case.
Silence. Right now it is relatively silent at my house. One child, 12, is getting ready for school. He knows that dad is working, i.e. writing, and he has slowly come to respect and accept that. My daughter, 18, just got home from working night shift. She’s almost done with a CNA course, and is headed for the medical field. She’ll be moving out soon, in June. I’m proud of her.
But I will be moving out first. Because yesterday was filled again with the sound of yelling, insults, and disrespect. Something present for the last two years, but worse since I told my wife I was leaving. I could have just walked out, but I wanted to be fair, and give her and the kids some warning.
The commitment was gone, one sided and exhausting. The acceptance of my career change two years ago never happened, even though it paid the bills and then some, and respect for what I did every day, of my work space and time, went as well. A few months back, after a particularly emotional breakdown on her part, I knew it was over.
Finally, I got the courage to stand up, and tell her I was going. Unhealthy relationships don’t always show up as a bruise on a cheek, or a bandaged arm. Sometimes, the bruises are way deeper, and more easily hidden.
I don’t hate her, in fact quite the opposite, but we’re broken. I’m broken. So I have chosen the path to healing. Letting go.