Photos by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash & Freekpik
Reader discretion & possible trigger warning. This post was submitted by a guest writer; the words were not written by myself and it makes reference to marriage and infidelity and divorce.
If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, click here.
Her: “If you want me to get a divorce, I will.”
Him: “Lol. No, don’t do that.”
This was the day that all the puzzle pieces aligned, and everything had come together. I understood. I questioned. I drank. I crashed… fast and couldn’t escape the overwhelming emotional devastation. I demanded questions and her responses were so cavalier and casual. She was so unremorseful and nonchalant about the fact that she was cheating. What made matters worse at that moment was that her actions had surpassed the physical actions. She was ready to put the fate of our relationship in the hands of another human being.
When someone cheats, it’s not only the act of cheating that creates a problem; the accompanying behaviours amplify the circumstances.
I never thought I would have found myself in that position; however, I always thought if I did, I would just walk away because I’d be worth more and respect myself enough to leave. Instead, I found myself stuck, permanently situated in bed. Five months passed. I hadn’t been to work; I hadn’t slept; I had sunk into a dark hole and felt like there was no escape.
The in-between moments were a blur. I was perpetually angry, withering away, and in a haze. It was almost an out-of-body experience because every step of the way I could not believe that this was me. Every day I thought about leaving, I also felt that I had an obligation to stay. Every day I missed her, or what we had; I had to remind myself that it was in the past. It was a paradox of emotion every moment of every day. I felt insane.
When someone cheats, it’s not only the act of cheating that creates a problem; the accompanying behaviours amplify the circumstances. There are lies, secrets, anger, amongst other things, and that is just within the relationship; the way infidelity affects a person directly is intense. I became overly anxious and clinically depressed; by clinical I mean, doctors’ appointments and prescription drugs.
While I had taken an unplanned hiatus from my life, she was full steam ahead. Her life had no pause, and I suppose I am grateful for that.
After time had passed, she had pleaded her case and begged for a re-do, but I couldn’t find it in my heart to accept her approach. I battled the betrayal and deceit I felt every time I heard her voice or saw her face. More so, I couldn’t escape my inner voice. I knew me; I knew that although I couldn’t walk away just then, I couldn’t be certain that there was a future left for us. I wanted to forgive and forget…
The day came when I got out of bed. I had grown to resent her presence. I stayed as far away from my home every chance I got, at any cost. I was a ghost. The arguments between us quickly shifted from “why would you cheat” to “why can’t you forgive me and give us another try”. If I am being honest, I don’t know why I couldn’t give it another try. It may have everything to do with the fact that I had 100% committed myself to a person who seemingly had very little regard or respect for me as a person.
While our relationship was over and we were very much disconnected, we clung to familiar grounds. We remained cohabitants and continued a very bizarre and detached, toxic marriage separation. We had agreed and set boundaries based on the premise of mutual respect and consideration.
I expected far too much. This joke’s on me surely!
Regrettably, it went from bad to worse, and I can conclusively say that if I knew then what I know now… I would have left immediately following the initial spout of disaster. Months later, with our new system in place—coexisting “respectfully” and semi-peacefully most of the time. New Years, she didn’t come home. I noticed. As the days passed, she was present less and less. The reasons around her plans never added up, and suddenly she didn’t care anymore. She bought her outside life to our shared home. Her counterpart made himself very at home in my house; baking cookies in my kitchen, approaching me in the hallway, entering the premises at his own free will. I inquired as to whether he now lived at the house and was always met with closed off responses.
He then became aggressive at times. She had made him feel so at home in my house that he felt as if it was his home. The things he would say, I strongly felt as if she was misleading him as well, but I left it be.
The day finally came when he took his aggression to an unforgivable level and attempted physical harm. This was the moment I packed my things and left. I hadn’t spoken to her or made her aware that I was leaving. It was my time to depart; I should have left sooner.
I wish I knew what I know now; I could have saved myself many trying times, emotional distress and heartache. In the same token, I appreciate the pain. I am stronger and less naïve. I have a better understanding of myself, and I have had to opportunity to rebuild my life in a healthier, happier way.
The end of the road was a long time coming, but I can finally say… Congratulations, tomorrow marks one month I have been divorced!
What do you think?