Caught sleeping while married

I’m starting a new series today and would like to introduce you to Sara who is a reader of Since My Divorce and agreed to an interview following a couple of comments she left. Sara was a married at 18 and the divorce was final a month shy of their 10 year anniversary. She has two children, a son who’s five and a daughter who’s nine. Her ex lives about 15 miles away and the children spend alternate weekends with him.

I asked Sara to talk about what lead to her divorce. Here’s what she said:

It wasn’t an actual event or something happening. I remember coming home and he was sleeping. It was the afternoon, the kids were up and he was sleeping. I just looked at him and when he woke up I said,

“Is this really save-able?”

“I don’t think so,” he said.

“Is this really what we want?”

And we didn’t. We had even gone to a marriage counselor before and he’d looked at us and said,

“I’ll be honest, I don’t think there’s hope for you guys.”

OUCH! We did try. I think we both tried at points but we both let go and we both got to the point where we weren’t happy. I knew I wasn’t happy.

I grew up in a very dysfunctional household. My parents were one of those couples where you wonder why they were even together. They didn’t get along, they weren’t happy and we kids weren’t happy either. I didn’t want my kids growing up feeling what I did.

I felt I deserved to be happy, the kids deserved to be happy and no one was happy so something had to change. I couldn’t take anymore of the “we’re going to work on it.” You can only work on a marriage so much if the other person doesn’t want to work on it. If he isn’t willing to do anything, it doesn’t change anything.

Even though we both agreed on the divorce, the process was pretty draining. Here in Arizona, it’s mandated that you have to wait two years before you can even file for divorce. There’s was no way I wanted the government telling me how long I had to be married so I found some loopholes. He would always say “I don’t have to sign this” so relying on him to do his part was draining. Dealing with the courts and their rules was draining. And it’s an emotional process to begin with.

I remember the day it was done, I went and had a quiet dinner with the kids and it was such a big relief.

“At least that part’s done!”

It’s hard to move on when you’re dealing with all the paperwork, the court. It’s even hard to get in an emotional state to move on when you’re still having to deal that stuff.

Looking back now, I don’t regret my decision. I couldn’t have stayed married for the kids. I saw that growing up and I see it in other people and I feel it’s so much more damaging to everyone, not just the kids. Parents need to be happy too.

Since My Divorce

Sometimes, it can be the simplest, little action, like finding your husband asleep in the afternoon, that brings your marriage into focus and allows you to cut through the “we shoulds” to see your future path. Sometimes it can be more dramatic, like a spilled secret about your sexuality,  or a smashed treasured picture telling you to stop ignoring your inner voice or even a surprise pregnancy. These moments though are key – I like to think of them as your soul shouting at you. It’s probably been trying to nudge for a while and then in that single moment, you get the message. You understand that there is a path to happiness and you have to trust even though you don’t know where it will lead, that divorce comes with a safety net.

Could any moment be more symbolic of a failing marriage than one spouse sleeping on the job? Was there a single moment when you knew it was time to end leave your marriage?

You can catch up with Sara at her Sweet Land of Chaos blog and at Super Saving Sense. You can also follow @SuperSavingSara on Twitter.

  • @TsQuest

    It is SO true what she said.

    "You can only work on a marriage so much if the other person doesn’t want to work on it."

    Amen to that.

    Thank you for sharing this!

  • April

    I too have issues with the government making the rules for my marital status! One of the (many) reasons I won't allow an institution into my personal life every again.

    • SinceMyDivorce

      I don't mind so much a state setting a process for divorce but I don't see why the rules should be different depending on whether you were married in a church and went through pre-marital counseling. Surely the rules should be the same for everyone ? April – are you saying you won't get married again?

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  • Bucksome

    There wasn't a clear cut moment for me.

    I was one of those that was willing to stick it out for the kids; but he wasn't so we ended up divorced.
    My recent post Internet Savings: Coupons

    • SinceMyDivorce

      I knew that sticking it out for the kids wasn't something I was capable of. I would love to talk to you about being "willing to stick it out for the kids" – how did you come to that decision, how did you see your marriage working etc. How do you feel about your husband's decision now, with hindsight? Looking forward to meeting you at the Savvyblogging conference :)

      • Bucksome

        I don't know if I would have felt that way if the marriage had lasted longer, but that was my thought at the time we separated.

        I'm looking forward to meeting you IRL as well. It's not too far away!
        My recent post Internet Savings: Coupons

  • Awake

    The thing about sleeping really hit home for me. My ex has health issues, including depression, and he sleeps A LOT. There was so much of our life, and the kids' lives, that he just slept through. I'm embarrassed to say that I had at least a couple dozen of those "DUH" moments where I KNEW it was never going to work, he was never going to change, but I didn't have the strength to leave so the offenses just piled up. When I finally left was after we had had some pretty intense counseling for several months, I thought *maybe* we were getting somewhere, and then I caught him in a lie. His face looked so sweet, warm and open as he looked me straight in the eyes and lied to me. When I produced the proof that he was lying, he immediately went back to being the same old belligerent jerk he had been in the past–just like flipping a switch. Scary! And finally I knew I could not, would not tolerate it for one more day.

    • SinceMyDivorce

      I know what you're saying – I struggled with knowing that I couldn't get my husband to change but wasn't that what I signed up for when I made my vows. Would you be interested in sharing more of your story? I'd love to hear more about the moment you knew enough was enough.

  • Nancy Wurtzel

    I think it is very common to contemplate divorce for a long time and then there is that moment that everything crystalizes. At that point, you can simply no longer stay. It is THE moment! Thanks for a great post as always, Mandy!!