When April (@aprilabtbalance) left a comment here a few months ago that she had made a conscious decision after her divorce that she wasn’t going to date, I knew, in this age of online dating, I had to talk to her. Our interview started with April sharing that although she and her ex were together for seven years, they didn’t actually get married until she was seven months pregnant with their second child. Less than three years later, their marriage ended. April couldn’t fight her husband’s drug addiction any longer.
I’d actually left him a few times before and then gone back. This time we’d had one of our talks where I tried to impress upon him what his actions were doing and I had even told him a few months earlier,
“There’s only so far I can bend and then I’m going to break.”
He looked like he was hanging on my every word and absolutely committed to turning things around. Well, I went to bed and then when I woke up, I went to get the cash I’d hidden from him. It was our last $200 and I needed to buy groceries or pay for day care or something. I don’t remember exactly what I was going to use it for but it was for the well-being of our family. It was gone. He’d found it and I knew he’d spent it on drugs.
I was so angry that I stood completely still. I have certainly lost my temper with him and he brings out the worst in me but this time, it was complete stillness. That’s what I remember about it. It was just an overall moment of clarity. I was wondering why I wasn’t bursting into tears but I had no more tears left.
When I had left before, there was always that question at the back of my head,
“Would he change?”
“Could we make this work?”
That was the moment that answered those questions. No, he was never going to change. Since I left him, every action he’s done has just further convinced me that I was right, that he’s just not capable.
That happened between Thanksgiving and Christmas and no one wants to go through divorce during Christmas time so I waited. Then I told him on Valentine’s Day because I couldn’t live the lie anymore, I couldn’t pretend to want to spend this day with him. My eldest was in Kindergarten and I wanted her to finish out the year at her school so a week after she graduated we were on a plane to California.
I call this a “catalytic event.” It’s a single moment that brings everything into hyper focus with a clarity that didn’t exist before. The moment itself may not be particularly dramatic or devastating on it’s own, like finding your spouse asleep on the couch, or your spouse calling you the c-word, but what it symbolizes is so much more. You may have been thinking about divorce for months, maybe even years, wondering if it was the right decision and then in that single moment, like April says, you know the answer.
And that’s what I tell people who say they’re thinking about ending their marriage but they’re not sure – “Don’t worry about it, don’t stress about it because if and when the time is right, you will know it.”
April blogs about balancing her life at It’s All About Balance – please visit her blog and show her some bloggy support. If you want to read more about her ex, she’s has a helpful page X-Chronicles page with links to posts related to her ex.
Photo Credit: Photos8.com at Flickr