An unhappy marriage is not the end

Today, I’m excited to start another series. Let me introduce you to The Divorce Encouragist – I’m going to abbreviate that to DE for convenience. DE is a fellow blogger, blogging at, you guessed it, The Divorce Encouragist. Don’t jump to conclusions … she’s not advocating divorce over marriage. She is however,  advocating divorce over slogging it out in an unhappy, loveless marriage.

DE was with her husband for almost five years, married for just 20 months. They were divorced three years ago when DE was 27. It was one of those marriages that was wrong from the beginning. I asked DE what she’d learned about life since her divorce. Here’s what she said…

***

I’ve learned there are options. If I’m really not happy, then I CAN change my circumstances. I CAN find something better.

I had been very unhappy since before I got married but I didn’t see a way out. I thought this is what people do, they live together and then they get married.

Things had been very bad between us, I had been sleeping on the couch. He came home one night and said he thought we should separate. At first, I was livid. I was yelling at him and I was so angry. He told me he’d discussed it with his parents and I said,

“How could you talk to your parents about it before you talked to me?”

“Isn’t this what you want? Don’t you hate me anyway?” he said.

Then, the light bulb went on in my head and I thought, yeah, this is what I want. I don’t want to be here. So I said,

“OK, let’s separate!”

That wasn’t really what he wanted to hear from me. He spent the next two weeks trying to change my mind, telling me he really wanted to work on things and maybe he’d spoken too soon. But I kept pushing for it.

Conveniently, we owned two houses and one of them was vacant so I moved in there. We drew up a separation agreement and we were signing it at the business we owned. I was just saying to him, “Let’s go out and celebrate, I feel really good about this,” when a woman walked in. I could tell just by the way they looked at each other that she was his girlfriend. She introduced herself to me and said she was sorry things didn’t work out. I asked her if it hadn’t worked out because of her and at first she said no but then said they’d been seeing each other for about a month.

That meant my husband was seeing her when he suggested we should separate. When I realized that, I was extremely devastated for about 20 minutes. I was driving and crying and pulled over. Later, one of my friends said that the girlfriend was not a replacement for me but a toy. She thought my husband wanted me back. I said,

“Well, I don’t want to come back and I’m really not upset about it. I’m glad he has another toy to play with because it will give me enough face to get away.”

They say that when God shuts a door, he opens a window. My husband’s affair was the closed door and the open window I so desperately wanted to jump out of. I jumped out the window and I’m so much happier. At the moment my husband said “isn’t this what you want?” I finally felt very free. I felt there were all these possibilities for me. I had been unhappy for a long time and I realized, I don’t have to be here. I’m going.

***

I’m always sad to hear about people who fall into marriage because it seemed like the next step or because they felt there was no way out of it. Perhaps the silver lining is there are often no children involved and there’s still plenty of time to start afresh.

I’m sure we’ve all known a married couple who’ve you’ve wondered why she stays with him? The Divorce Encouragist’s situation reminds of this and makes me realize that sometimes we’re immobilized simply because we don’t see the opportunities or can’t see a graceful way out.

Hope you’ll be back to read more about The Divorce Encouragist’s story. You can follow her at her blog and also on Twitter – @dvrcncouragist.

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  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/mkatyc KT

    This post spoke to me. I didn't think there was a good way out. I didn't see any other option. I had my doubts from the beginning but just kept on the path of getting married and trying to stay married in spite of the fact that I didn't want to be there and didn't think that it was right. I didn't know what else to do. Odd enough, I'm currently writing about this very thing on my blog right now.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/SinceMyDivorce SinceMyDivorce

      Hi KT, That's a shame you didn't see a way out. I didn't have doubts about getting married. I did wonder whether the love I felt for my husband was the right kind of love to make for a lasting marriage. I also remember standing outside the church and the vicar asking me if I was sure I wanted to do this because if I wasn't he would help me. It wasn't that he knew me particularly well. He probably did it for all his brides but I remember it very clearly and thought what an act of kindness it was. And of course, with writing this blog, I'm going to be sure to give my children plenty of opportunity to change their minds. Hope you'll be back to read more of DE's story … I'm going to link to your blog tomorrow.