Today starts a series of posts about Kristen who I met through another interviewee. When I asked Kristen what she felt was her most significant accomplishment since getting divorce, she said, “finding extreme happiness.” Isn’t that great! Before I spill the beans on her “extreme happiness” however, I’ll let Kristen tell you about her marriage.
I met my husband just one year out of university. I was quite young and sort of naive to what I really wanted in my life. He was four years older than me. We got engaged very quickly and then I was married at 26. Looking back, I was so young to commit to something like that without really knowing who I was as a person. I feel that your 20’s are about self-discovery when you figure out who you are and what you want in life and I didn’t get a chance to do that.
I felt something awkward on my wedding day. I woke up that morning and felt as if I was just going through the motion. It was becoming more of a day, an event versus something I think should signify true happiness with two people coming together and genuinely wanting to spend the rest of their lives together.
The marriage quickly became more of a friendship than anything else. We were very, very different. Things that drove me, didn’t exactly drive him. As the marriage continued, I felt this gravitational pull that was tugging me apart. I did what I think a lot of people do to try to save the marriage – you think maybe if you have a family things will change and you’ll connect in the way married couples are supposed to connect. We had our first daughter in 2004 and for a while we were very engaged in being new parents and connected. However shortly after that we went back to way we were.
Despite that, I really wanted my daughter to have a sibling and we ended up having our second daughter in 2007. Within weeks of her birth, I visited a divorce attorney for the first time.
There were problems in my marriage early on and I chose to deal with them by ignoring them, thinking that it was “for better or worse” and that it would resolve itself. I thought if I confronted the problems, we might even up splitting up and I didn’t want that. I wanted our marriage to work. We had a second child too and obviously, the problems didn’t go away.
Tomorrow Kristen will share her decision to get divorced and how her husband reacted. Hope you’ll come back and visit.