Many women have shared how there was a single moment or incident when they knew their marriage was over, when they knew they had to leave. Here’s IronSpineSally’s moment:
For me, it was a conversation that we had on the couch, where he told me he resented me for pretty much everything.
I remember that things had been getting really volatile at home, and he just had a blow up about stupid things. He threw a pie plate because he wanted to bake a pie and didn’t know how, and when I tried to help him, he would accuse me of withholding information. It’s so ridiculous when I look back on it. At that point, I had already had a bag packed in the car in case things got out of control and I needed to walk out, because he had been so crazy
Then, I came home from work and I was trying to make falafel and I started a small kitchen fire. He was at work and he was supposed to be working until like 3 o’clock in the morning – he was in the restaurant business. So I had this flaming pot and I threw it outside, and of course it landed in the pile of leaves that caught on fire, so I called 911.
By the time the firemen got there, everything was fine. I was so embarrassed that the house smelled like grease fire. I didn’t know if he’d be angry or not when he came home but I knew he was going to at least make fun of me relentlessly for probably the rest of our lives because that was the kind of thing he would do, and not in a joking, fun way either, but like a “my wife’s so stupid, this is what she did” kind of way.
I was so stressed out about that, and just after the firemen left, he called and he was on his way home from work. I was a little short with him because I was dealing with cleaning this up and I was also in the process of taking an online course. He just blew up on me and said something to the effect of “fine, I won’t come home then, I’ll just go out and I’ll come home when I’m ready and I’ll just ignore you when I get home.” I was so angry at that and I was really upset because I knew that he was going to come home and he was going to be mad at me now.
He stayed out until like 2 o’clock in the morning, he didn’t come home, after all, so I got up and went to work in the morning and he didn’t speak to me that day until I came home from work and that’s when we had the conversation. We sat down on the couch and I said to him we needed to talk. I told him I as short with him because I was embarrassed about the fire, that I didn’t want to be made fun of, that he’d surprised me coming home early and I felt like he overreacted.
He just started listing all of these things,
“I resent the fact that you controlled the money while I was away, I resent the fact that you didn’t ask me about buying the kayak, I resent the fact that you’re in therapy and your therapist is brainwashing you.”
I kept saying to him I wanted to do couple’s therapy, that our marriage was too important to let this go, that we couldn’t just ride this out. I could see him getting angrier and angrier and his eyes were watering, but I could look into his eyes and there was nothing there. The wheels were turning and he was trying to think of the next thing he could say to turn what I was saying back on me. He had no interest in what I was really saying. He told me I shouldn’t have my own money, all I needed to contribute to our relationship was emotional. He was going to take charge of everything and then everything would be fine again:
“We don’t need a therapist, we just need to sit and listen to what I have to say.”
It was so bizarre. I remember telling my mother it was like sleeping with the enemy. It was all animal, there was no person there responding to me in an emotional way the way that you would expect. I just knew I had to get out because he’s not literally going to kill me, but staying, I’m going to lose it, I’m going to lose my spirit, there was no way I could do it.
The Divorce Coach Says
Making the decision to end your marriage is difficult and while others may be happy to tell you what you should do, ultimately it has to be your decision. You have to own the decision. What that means is, if you’re not sure it’s the right decision, then you’re not ready. You’ll know when you’re ready because you will have a moment, like IronSpineSally that will bring your marriage into sharp focus and your decision will be clear. The future may be uncertain and cloudy but there will be no doubt that your marriage is over.
I call these “catalytic moments” and you’ll find lots of other posts about other incidents that have brought much-wanted clarity under the “Divorce Catalyst” category.
Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik