I am married. I am married to a man that has been pretty much my whole life for the past 8 years, we have been married for almost four. We have almost broken up numerous times and he has broken my heart so many times that I have lost count. He is a recovering alcoholic. He has been sober for just over two years and I am happy for him and proud of him for getting sober and staying sober this long, all on his own, without any professional help. But, and this is a big one, I do not in any way think that quitting cold turkey without any professional help is the way to do something like that… there are always underlying problems. People drink, smoke, do drugs because they are self medicating for one reason or another. For him its social anxiety, depression, and possibly bipolar disorder. Do you know what it is like to love and live with someone with these problems untreated? Because, I do. I already went through this with my mother and it is torture for everyone involved and I will not allow myself to subject myself to that again, much less bring children into that kind of situation. She did not abuse drugs or alcohol but she was impossible to please and took all of her anger out on me. I have become immune, used to being ignored for days on end, listening to empty I love you’s, and having the person I chose to spend my life with look right through me as if I wasn’t even there. Years of him flying off the handle at the drop of a hat and then telling me that I was pushing his buttons. Fuck you, dude. Seriously, how was I supposed to know that asking to get some stir fry and clementines while at the fucking grocery store was going to send you into a fucking rage? And what does my dumb ass do? I smile. I stay.
I have had doubts, regrets, thoughts of leaving periodically through our whole relationship. To be blunt, I stayed because at the beginning of our relationship I had no self worth; I needed him to need me, and he did. I wanted to prove to my family that someone would marry me, period. I loved him, and still love him, of course. But leading up to our wedding and the following two years he was getting wasted, treating me poorly, and everyday was worse than the last. I kept it all to myself for years. At the end of January we went to the beautiful Punta Cana for our friends wedding. So, we are in Punta Cana and we should be having a good time. He’s miserable. I am trying to do homework for the classes I was taking to complete my bachelor’s degree, and somehow I am having a better time than him. At some point during the vacation I say to myself, Fuck This. This is not a marriage, this man is not my partner in life, he has broken every single vow. Fuck This. He is not there for me, he does not support me, he does not honor and obey. At one point I realized that I actually wanted to go home and go back to work; I would have rather been at work than in Punta Cana with my husband… that broke my heart, again. When we did get home it seemed like we didn’t speak for weeks. I would take my wedding ring off for days, which then turned into weeks. After three consecutive weeks, he finally notices while we are out for a friends birthday. When he asked me where my ring was I laughed; “You’re going to ask me about this here? Now?” He was dumbfounded. He had no idea I hadn’t been wearing it. That is how invisible I am. I told him we would talk about it the next day and we did. I put everything out there; told him that I think we should break up because I don’t see us moving forward from here.I tell him that I feel invisible, that he looks right through me, that every time I am myself around him he acts disgusted, annoyed, inconvenienced, angry. I am tired of walking on egg shells, tired of feeling like I am not good enough, tired of forcing myself to believe “it’s not that bad”. I him that I don’t see buying a house and starting a family with him, all that I see in our future is struggle because he has no ambition, no drive, and no desire to provide for me or a hypothetical family. I don’t think he knows what he wants in life. I tell him to think about it and get back to me. When I follow up with him about a week later he says “You. I just want to be with you.” Yeah,yeah, I get it. You think it’s sweet, romantic. It’s not. This is not ok, not what I want. This is manipulative and just reconfirms that he has no drive or ambition in life. I want a man who wants other things in his life other than just me. Someone who has dreams and plans and has a vision for himself, career-wise and personally. Is that too much to ask?
These conversation have continued. We are still living together and I haven’t told my parents yet and I don’t think he has told anyone. I took my ring off and have not put it back on, it’s been almost 4 months. I am sad but hopeful. I’m tired of settling, tired of feeling not good enough, tired of pretending to be happy and pretending that his behavior and the way he treats me is okay. I want babies and a house and someone who will support me and provide for me if I need him to. I want a partner, plain and simple. Going out without my ring is weird. Guys hit on me and buy me drinks… it’s uncomfortable for me but I won’t deny that it makes me feel kind of good; I have been craving the attention. This was not part of my plan, to be 28 (almost 29) and starting over. The plan was actually to be pregnant, right now. That hurts the most. I always hated that saying “when you know, you know.” But, it’s true, and it’s not just about love. For a long time I wasn’t sure if I wanted children, because I’m afraid I will be bad mom. Then one day something inside me changed and I knew I could be a good mom and that is what I want to be. I want to raise good little people that grow up and inspire others, and are kind, smart, and loving. I want it so fucking bad. But, being a good mom starts with picking the right person to be a good dad. My husband reminds me too much of my mom and that terrifies me. Not that she was horrible, she had her good moments, but she can not show love or affection for the life of her and I don’t want that for my children, among other things. I am also certain that if anything difficult happened, like a miscarriage or infertility, he would not be there for me. He is never there for me in good times or in bad. It’s probably hard for him to hear that, it’s hard for me to say it, but it’s true.
I smile through the pain. Some days it is harder than others. Today is one of the hard days… the more I realize what is right for me the more real and scarier this becomes. I need to take control of my life and do what is ultimately going to make me happy. Staying with someone who does not respect me or celebrate me is stifling me, holding me back from my dreams…
“You save yourself, or you remain unsaved.” – Lucky, Alice Sebold