The thing about getting divorced is…there’s always two sides to the story. I ask you to remember that of course, this is mine.
Before I left him I was the most depressed I’ve been since my beloved grandmother died 14 years ago. I didn’t care what I looked like. I’d gained weight. I had no interest in making new friends in my new city and state that we moved to for his job. I wore whatever was comfortable even if it looked horrible on me. It was an effort to just leave the house most days. Depression robs you of everything that makes you feel like you, and loved, and valuable. You feel worthless and wretched all day every day. I looked worse than I felt. I look back and am sad because my son won’t have any pictures of me or us for the better part of his 2-4 years of life. I avoided being seen at all costs because…I wasn’t being seen at home.
My ex isn’t a horrible, abusive, cheating, lieing, sack of garbage. He has his issues which aren’t mine to share here, but we will say that in a relationship, he wasn’t able to provide what I needed.
I got married when I was pregnant, in a courthouse, with my parents as witnesses. There was no party afterwards. It was a quiet affair and I felt very ambivalent about the whole thing at the time. He was the first man to ever follow through on a lifelong commitment to me, and that was the main reason I agreed to it. No one else had ever said “I’ll love you forever” and meant it. If I asked him now….he still says he loves me and didn’t want me to leave. He just didn’t know how to provide or be what I needed. I knew it was doomed early on.
I am a very sensitive person. I’m empathetic, and perceptive…I pick up on people’s emotions, or energy, right away. I do best with people who are well balanced and overall happy and calm because people with too much turmoil or drama in their life give me anxiety. I can feel their stress and it stresses me. As a general rule though I avoid all forms of drama and people who constantly have it. I also avoid conflict. I’m not good handling it or having it in my life. To this very moment, no one on my ex’s side of the family knows we’re divorcing and it’s not within me to be the one to tell them. There’s going to be drama, and it’s not up to me to tell them.
When I met the ex I was in high school. He was a very funny guy who tried to ask me out. I was a freshman, a little quiet, a little shy, and he was older and not afraid to joke and poke fun at me in front of classmates. Not the way to win my heart. 30 years later we would reconnect online, conceive a child during his leave from the military, and get married, all before we’d been together even a year. I told myself it was ok since I’d known him since I was a kid.
I’ve always been very picky about men. I can tell right away when I meet someone if we have chemistry or not. If the attraction is strong enough, and there’s a connection, I know. I don’t think I’m unusual that way, but I think some people have never felt that for some reason. I chalk it up to being in tune with their own needs and wants and possibly a person who isn’t very emotional or in touch with their emotions may struggle more than others. My ex isn’t an emotional guy. Not at all. Didn’t even cry when our son was born. All of this is ok, I’m not judging, it’s just the first reason we didn’t connect very well. I knew and yet…once pregnant I tuned that part of my brain out. My baby needed his daddy.
As previous posts indicate, I’m someone very familiar with bouts of depression. Anxiety was a newcomer to the party after the birth of my son but depression and I are like old friends. So, stands to reason that after having my sweet babe that I’d go through postpartum. Right?! It was almost guaranteed. The ex was at a loss. I know most guys would have been, but he really struggled. He’s not big on physical contact. We rarely held hands. Never cuddled. I can count on one hand the times he kissed me…with his tongue people. I got chaste pecks on the lips or face every day before he left for work but that was the extent of our physical touch every day. It’s actually amazing we made a baby…
I think for so many reasons, mostly because I am so emotional, I never felt understood by him. Every six months or so we’d talk about the things I needed or why I was sad or disconnected from him, and then we’d move on. Nothing was ever different and I tried everything, including therapy. He never wanted to do couples counseling till the end when I was so far past being able to stay with him.
I have had some very deep connections with men I’ve dated. The type that you never forget. I am still friends with two men in particular that I remember feeling… “at home” with. Men who knew just by speaking to me over the phone what type of mood I was in, or if I was ok. I’m so grateful for both of them because they were there at times that I needed someone to take care of me, or hold my pieces together for whatever reason. I’m a lot more mentally strong and independent than I was when I was younger, but back then I needed every bit of love and care both of them provided. (I’m sure this will come up again in later posts). These past experiences I know have shaped my “ideal” of a relationship and yet that doesn’t make me sad or regretful. I felt the most peaceful and satisfied with those two men. I know that type of relationship is possible for me again.
I have never felt more lonely in my life than while I was with my ex. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. We had separate lives but lived in the same space. We never went out together for dates or talked about anything other than household things, bills, or our son. When I was happy or sad or in between it wasn’t something I shared with him. He is to this the day the most emotionally disconnected person I’ve ever met. I actually feel sad about this because I have no idea how to relate to him or how he navigates the world most days.
Living alone has been a change, and a relief, and a catalyst for bad feelings to pop back up. As you’d expect, I have almost too much time to sit in silence and think now. Since my son is staying with his dad through the end of the current school year, it’s just me in this one bedroom for now. Just me, and all the dark corners to sit in and think dark thoughts.
I have to keep pushing through. I left him because I was too young to give up on true, heartfelt, deep connection kind of love. I want hand holding. I want kissing. Lots of it. I want passion, and laughter, and the expression of emotions even if there’s conflict or anger involved. I want to look at someone and KNOW how they feel about me….that I have their heart. I want that look that someone gives you when they really see you for who you are, and love you despite all of your flaws, and broken pieces that have been glued back together. I want nothing short of…pure magic. I think I owe it to my heart.
***There are so many reasons that our relationship failed and without his permission I can’t list all of them here. Just know, it was something I battled with myself about in my head for over 3 years. It’s what’s best for me…and ultimately all of us. I couldn’t be “sad mommy” anymore.