This month would have been my 25th wedding anniversary. In two weeks I will mark my second “divorce anniversary.”
A friend asked me why I got divorced. “You had permission to have other relationships. He made so much more money than you – you didn’t have to worry about health insurance or making ends meet. You could do whatever you wanted and he would support you. You were together for long.”
I could give a list of 100 Reasons I Got Divorced focused on him. His multiple psychiatric issues – OCD, depression, PTSD. His drinking – always passed out drunk, rolling his car on the way home from the bar. How he never wanted to have sex with me. He was emotionally abusive. He threatened my life. I could keep going if you really wanted me to… I bet if I listed every incident and thing he did that hurt me or my feelings or put me at risk the final tally could quite literally be a mile long in the correct font.
But the truth is, I didn’t divorce him because of him.
Simply put, I found my self-esteem. I discovered that I wanted to be in a primary relationship with someone whom I could be in love with and connect with and could be happy with just myself. I love myself. I did not love the self I had to be or pretend to be to stay with him.
Even after I found my self-esteem I stayed for several years. Why? He cried and asked to try counseling (again, but his idea this time.) I knew that for myself, I would not feel good unless I believed had I tried everything possible to keep the marriage intact. I did that. I love myself for trying, I love myself for leaving and protecting myself.
In the end, isn’t that enough? Love yourself.