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Why My Marriage Ended (in Under a Year)

To be honest… I don’t know. I’m confused. I’m lost. It’s been one day shy of a month since this whole separation process started and I still feel like I’ve been hit by a massive truck and I’m slowly trying to pick up the pieces. I feel like I’m missing a limb.

I recently learned that we, as humans, have some of the same types of cells in our hearts and in our gut as we have in our brain. And that I understand. My heart is aching and my stomach is in ongoing knots as my mind cannot stop thinking and going over the details of the past few months to try to understand where we went wrong.

Not having written in a while, I had to get out and finally put pen to paper to allow myself a little closure. To allow myself to put it all out there so that I can try to move forward and make myself whole again.

Here’s what I know from everything I’ve seen or experienced… incessant lying, cheating, and an intentional or unintentional decision to move towards isolation all started to become a “thing” on one side of our marriage. I started to feel like an observer in our own marriage getting caught up in a spiral downwards with nothing I could do – I tried everything I could think of. Then, after constantly feeling my heart breaking and my life falling apart in front of my eyes for a couple of months, he decided he wanted out just one day shy of 11 months after we said “I do.”

I recently read a quote by r.h. Sin that says, “The fucked up part of it all is that, even though she can hear her own heart breaking, she’s still willing to love the same one who broke it.” That makes sense to me, too.

While I could go over an incredibly detailed account of the timeline including each tiny detail, I won’t because it continues to make my soul hurt and because it’s not a worthwhile use of my time at this point. In this all, I know that I wasn’t perfect either… but I know that I was in our marriage for better or for worse. Even though that ended up being one sided, we’ll get to where I am today. Because that’s also where I’m trying to get mentally.

I am heartbroken and disappointed. From the very moment that it actually hit me that this is what was happening, that our marriage was actually ending less than 12 months after it started, I’ve been fluctuating between three emotions… sad, disappointed, and angry.

But I know I will be happier in the future, even if it takes a while to get there. There are even a few moments when I’m happier now. I still think about him a lot, and I still miss him like hell. I know if I ever see him again, I likely won’t be able to breathe right. But sometimes it doesn’t hurt to think about him. And you have no idea how much progress that is.

According to my therapist (thank sweet baby Jesus for that one), I’ve been going through the stages of grief, because it seems that I am literally grieving the loss of the man I thought I knew for so many years. My body isn’t processing nutrients like it should be, leaving me weak. My mind is constantly trying to figure out what the f is going on with my life, leaving me fatigued. My entire being is confused and shocked in every way possible.

But the truth is, at the end of the day, I have to accept that I didn’t want this. I still don’t want this. No matter how many times he could hurt me, or even try to hurt me, I loved that man. Not because I’m desperate or because I need the attention – any woman can get attention with the right amount of confidence (or fake confidence) and feeding into a guy’s ego – but because I felt like so much of the story we were supposed to be living was unwritten and missing.

Marriage is difficult, we all know that. But what very few discuss is the different values people have when they go into a marriage. Some people sign up for the real deal – the “I want to see you every morning and night, I’m your partner through thick and thin, I want to help you through the messy parts of life” deal. Others sign up for the idea of happiness – you make me happy, but I might make a change if something shinier comes along. And I think that maybe we just didn’t match in terms of those values. (Of course, in certain circumstances there should always be exceptions to this rule.)

But if I can learn anything from this ordeal, it’s to make sure that you have the same marriage values. Make sure that you know that you can lean on each other through anything. I couldn’t make him happy in the moment for who knows what reason and he immediately ran the other way. Make sure that, if you decide marriage is right for you, that you both can stick with and trust each other with anything.

I don’t know where I’m going from here. I know I’ll be happier one day, but I honestly struggle with the idea that I might ever love someone as much as him. He was a shithead, but he was my shithead. And I still miss him every day.

Truth be told, I didn’t recognize him by the end of our relationship. He had turned into a refrigerator – nice and shiny looking on the outside, but cold as ice on the inside. He had chosen to live a life completely separate from me.

But I’ll always remember him as the person that I love. The one who could stop my tears by telling me he was with me every step of the way and let me fall asleep in his arms while telling me that I was his everything. The one who wrote in my birthday card in late February, “Wifey, Every day I think about how I am the luckiest husband in the world to have a beautiful wife like you. I am excited to be by your side on your birthday (day, week, month, year) and hope you have the best 30th birthday ever! I love you! Hubby” three months before he told me he didn’t love me and wanted a divorce. The one who sent me the lyrics from Christina Perri’s “One Thousand Years” saying how perfectly he felt it fit the two of us. The one who taught me how to ski, brought me on my first hikes, and led me to start this fantastic career I now love. The one who welcomed friends with open arms, didn’t shy away from tough conversations, and where we took turns helping each other succeed.

In finally signing our settlement papers, I decided to spend time in Lincoln Park Zoo and by the lake in Chicago where we spent some of our best years together. Back then, I never could have imagined the extreme happiness and extreme sadness that he would cause and I would feel within months of each other just a few short years later. I couldn’t imagine being here now in this place – mentally, physically, or emotionally. (I was also the crazy lady staring at the gibbons in the zoo balling my eyes out, but that’s another topic for another day.)

Right now, I have a tough time imagining that I won’t feel this pain every day, but I know that’s not the case. This too shall pass. It might pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass.

And heck, if I could love the wrong person this much, just imagine how much I can love the right one.

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