Divorce · Relationships

Collateral Damage


The world can never pick you apart as quickly as you’re able to do it yourself.  In fact, I might be the master.

You can sum it up so many different ways: “separated,” “it didn’t work out,” “irreconcilable differences,” “we grew apart,” “he’s an asshole,” “she’s a bitch,” but ultimately the marriage failed.

It is not the first to crumble and the reasons are probably not very unique. Yet, I am forever hung up on the fact it failed. That I chose to stop upholding my vows. That I was left so often with the “for worse” that I couldn’t keep waiting for “for better.”

I did wait a long time. In terms of feeling like I broke a promise of my vows, that sometimes gives me a little solace. I tried. But my efforts fell short. When you fail yourself, it becomes easy to doubt yourself.

Now, I recognize that all the good intentions, effort, and desire could is the equivalent of trying to hold together a house with scotch tape. While I did not want to see it at the time, I was alone.  A marriage is about the pair. One without the other is simply a lost cause. You can’t hold up a wall by yourself forever.

Essentially you feel like you blew it because your marriage has crumbled. After all, you promised to make it work. You’ve betrayed your own self on a level. Then, to add to the emotional overload, you feel like a fool for staying so long. At least in my case.

You look at all the crappy things you overlooked and tried to fix and the fact you continued to hope each time he promised you something that he’d follow through. It drives you a little nuts that you couldn’t turn off the disappointment when you were still left wanting. You feel like a stranger to your own self.

In my case, the discovery that there were credit cards maxed out in my name I never knew I had, should have been my first clue this was unsalvageable. Coupled with the fact, mortgage payments were being allocated to pay bookies.  I was rolling over in the middle of the night to find an empty bed. Him gone… only later did I find out he was off smoking crack. A car accident cinched him a boatload of free time and he never really made it back to work after the Short Term Disability dried up.

The last three years of my marriage do tend to mesh together. The exact order is like a tangled pile of rope– I can straighten it out with a little hard work, but most of the time its too much effort. Sometimes there would be days where my ex slipped in and out of the house unseen by me. I remember I would come in, let the dogs out, and walk the house doing a suicide check. Was he hanging from the pipes in the basement- no. Lying in the tub with slit wrists– no. Under the deck–no. Overdosed in the bed– nope. Every so often I would troll Springfield at 2 or 3 am, looking to see if I could find him playing Keno or locate his dealers’ house based on ATM withdrawals I looked up in our online banking or even find him sleeping in his car. I would sit and call his phone for an hour non-stop demanding a response.

I remember feeling broken. I remember not wanting anyone to know. I remember feeling like a zombie. I remember thinking it would pass. We would come up so strong, once we overcame everything together. I remember being so baffled by the fact he just stopped loving me. That he chose all these things over being home with me.

And you can see where the seed of doubting your own value can begin to grow. It has been almost a year since I ended it. And he still has little emotional hooks embedded in me, that he pulls like puppet strings.

I think its hard to be sure of anything after being so wrong about everything. And only with better choices and positive consequences, can you rebuild one’s own faith in their own power, ability, and worth.

I just need more time…


Oh gosh, I just spilled my guts. Please comment and tell me what you think. :)

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