It's been nearly 15 years since I ended my 2nd marriage. It wasn't an easy thing to do; I knew and I know that I was causing a lot of pain to people I loved. It was necessary.
I struggled with my decision for over 1 year. There were children involved and I remembered the Ann Landers column (remember her?) where she asked "are you better off with him or without him?".
He took it as a total surprise when I told him that I wanted out. Part of me was stunned by his denial of what our marriage had come to be. I guess he thought I would just continue to carry on even though he knew how unhappy I was.
The other part of me knew that he was unable to face the truth. What I didn't realize was how unable he was (and is) to take any responsibility in the failure of our marriage.
Now nearly 15 years later I have more than moved on with my life. Sadly his life has become a self-inflicted trainwreck that he insists is all my fault.
The man I looked up to as someone who would "take care of" me and my girls isn't there anymore. He probably never was. I think I had built him up in my mind as my hero who was rescuing me. He just didn't have that in him and I misjudged who he really was.
We are all damaged in one way or another and those who survive face their demons. Unfortunately he denies their existance. Instead he places blame where there is none instead of owning up to his own part in his downfall.
Divorce sucks when children are involved and even though mine are no longer children, the damage is still being done.
Girls especially need a strong father figure or they often go through their lives searching for one. They settle for less than they deserve and desperate for a relationship, they often lose their own self-worth in the process.
I learned early on that one cannot be both mother and father to a child. It just doesn't work.
I spent many years living a lie with a man with two faces. To the outside he was a responsible, hard-working family man but behind closed doors the demons came out.
No one knew and that made it all the harder when I chose to leave.
Although my children are adults now and they can see who he is, it doesn't erase the pain they feel. Seeing the father they knew turn into a stranger whose choices have alienated him from some of his children is sad. It isn't what I wanted for them.
I cannot imagine what my life (and theirs) would have been like had I chosen to stay. I made the right choice to leave even though it caused a lot of pain.
It saddens me that after so many years he cannot come to grips with the death of our marriage. Although he has remarried he still holds a heavy grudge against me.
It takes two to make or break a marriage. One person does not shoulder all the blame contrary to his belief. I guess it is hard to get a pity party if you man up and take responsibility for your part.
Divorce leaves scars but picking at the wounds only brings you unhappiness.