How I Knew I Needed To Get A Divorce- It took me 4 years to get the courage to break the news to my husband that I wanted a divorce. Here's why I did it.

How I Knew It Was Time To Get A Divorce

Last year, I broke the news to my husband that I wanted to get a divorce. The news was somehow shocking to him. Mainly because he never really took my needs-desires-complaints-gripes-moans-bitches-nags seriously. I regularly brought up our shortfalls and my desire to fix them for the sake of our son. I was continuously informed that I was overreacting (as always) and things were not as bad as I made them out to be. I mean, who am I anyway…nine years younger and inexperienced in life…how would I know what our relationship lacked? We only dated for a couple months before I was pregnant and got married shortly after…maybe we just needed more time to get to know each other. This went on for three years until I decided that enough was enough. My needs do matter and my husband will never understand them.

Telling him I needed a divorce was one of the hardest things I have ever done (aside from leaving my son for 9 months during deployment). It took a good four months to work up the courage to break the news. I had flirted with the possibility of divorce for at least a year and a half before that. I spent countless nights crying my eyes out while I imagined the possibility of handing over my son through a doorway of an unfamiliar house to my devastated husband. That painful thought is what drove me for the next year to keep trying. I made excuse after excuse about why I shouldn’t leave my husband. For a long time, I convinced myself that the good outweighed the bad and that I was happy.

Every Day was Groundhog Day.

As I stared out my windshield into the sea of 5 o’clock traffic on my way home from work, all I could think of was how I didn’t want to go home. I didn’t want to walk into the same dreary routine…walk in, take my boots off, crack open a beer, sit next to my husband, tell him about my day for 30 minutes as he stares at the TV, sit and wait in silence ………………………………………. yup, ZERO response, take out my phone, browse the internet for the next hour, entertain my son, eat dinner, drink another beer, give my son a bath, put him to bed, drink another beer (or two), browse the internet for two more hours, now buzzed enough to fall asleep without thinking about my hollow life…sleep…wake…repeat.

I Was Depressed.

Then it dawned on me. I was depressed. My heart had slowly sunk into a cold dark hole of emptiness. My only escape was that beer waiting for me in the fridge. How did I get here? I had always viewed life in such a positive way. With HUGE dreams. Always passionate and inspired. Why did I lose that spark?

What did I have to be depressed about? I mean, I had a beautiful, smart son, a faithful husband, a successful career, my two best friends, my gorgeous white Jeep, the body I worked so hard to get back, all the clothes and makeup I ever wanted…what was missing?

As the intense orange beam of sunlight hit my eyes, I stared back into it. I got lost in its power. I felt such tranquil and peace. I closed my eyes and allowed the warmth to surround me. Everything around disappeared and it was just me. Snippets of my youth came flowing past my eyes…like a filmstrip.

Teaching my sisters a self-choreographed dance, singing at the top of my lungs into a recording karaoke machine, sketching my newest fashion idea, painting a scenic meadow watercolor masterpiece…

“HONKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!” The car behind me blared. I came back to reality.

I Forgot Who I Was.   

That was it. I was missing ME in my life. All the things I loved about life had been missing for the past 15 years. I had set up a life-to-do-list early on in high school (military at 18, marry by 21, kid by 22…) without considering my passions. The things that made me, ME. I had forgotten all about them up until this point. I had lived a machinelike life of people pleasing for so long that I forgot who I was.

After that moment in the car, I couldn’t help but panic. I did not want to rip my son’s life in half. He was only 13 months old! So I stayed put and kept the “D” word to myself for a while.

6 months later, my husband had to go on a work trip for a few months. It would leave my son and I home alone for the summer. I really wanted us to work on our marriage while he was away. Maybe our hearts would grow fonder with the distance? I hid a bunch of little love notes and flirty tasks into his luggage and called him as often as his schedule permitted. I knew that would help us re-spark our love.

As time elapsed, I had received only two responses to the countless notes that I so strategically placed in his belongings. I was pretty disappointed but convinced myself that he was very busy I was being dramatic as always. We would talk on the phone often in the beginning, but as more time passed, the conversations got shorter and shorter and without content or purpose.

When he left, I started a new job as an executive assistant and took two college classes. I was taking care of my son alone for months. Sure, at times it was very overwhelming (mostly because of the new demanding job) but overall I was happy. For the first time in over a year I woke up excited to start my day. I was Superwoman, I could do it all.

How I Knew I Needed To Get A Divorce- It took me 4 years to get the courage to break the news to my husband that I wanted a divorce. Here's why I did it.-Inspirational Quote

I Realized I Didn’t NEED Him.

I would call my husband to tell him all about my day and get nothing back in return. There were times when I really needed his input or advice and he would literally have NOTHING to say. Not that he wasn’t listening, but he really just didn’t know what to say. I would feel so dissatisfied with my “vent” session that I would call someone else and share the same story to get some stinkin’ feedback! I started to realize that I didn’t need him. We just had NO connection whatsoever. I felt as if we were roommates who shared a child. He didn’t feel like a lover OR a friend.

I Didn’t Miss Him.

During the last month of his 4 month trip, I couldn’t help but feel that I didn’t want him to come back. I know that sounds bad, but I finally had everything in order. My son and I had a BLAST every weekend. We did whatever we wanted. There was no time limit or guilt for not being at home to cook dinner. In the past, when we went out with the three of us, it was nothing but stress. My son had been colicky since day one and carried it into his first year. My husband couldn’t handle the crying. He didn’t understand our son and WHY he was crying. He didn’t know him like I did. My husband would get upset EVERY SINGLE TIME we went out. It was so stressful to go anywhere because I had to keep the baby from crying so my husband wouldn’t want to leave.

That was no longer a factor with him being gone. I could finally take him to all the places my husband would avoid. I never felt a stronger bond with my son. I was HAPPY. For the first time in soooo long. I really just didn’t miss him at all.

When he returned, things indeed went right back to how they were before. Groundhog Day.

6 months later, I got tasked for a deployment. I knew that the deployment would make or break us. I didn’t want it to break us, but understood that it was a possibility. I vowed to myself that I would take the time alone to reflect on what I really wanted. I wanted to rediscover myself. I missed me. I didn’t have a hard time saying goodbye to my husband. I was so excited to have time to myself for a while. 2 months passed and I didn’t miss my husband. I didn’t ever want to talk to him or tell him about my day. After all, he wouldn’t ever have anything to say. He rarely contacted me either. We just really didn’t need each other.

That’s when I could finally accept that it was over. That I had tried it all. Over our marriage I tried to get us to counseling, sit and talk about finances and investments, create a parenting plan that put us on the same page, go on date nights, “sexy” nights…he didn’t want to do any of it. Or figured it wasn’t necessary. Obviously there is a lot more to “our problems” than what I could possibly type about without this being 100 pages long, but you get the gist.

I Wanted To Get A Divorce

I called him when I finally worked up the courage and told him everything I was feeling and that I needed a divorce. Of course he fought it a little, but 8 months later…he signed the papers. I stuck with my guns and just knew he wouldn’t be able to change. He is who he is at age 35 and I am who I am at age 26. We deserve people that understand us and that connect with us on a deep level. We deserve to be friends with our significant other. I finally acknowledged that I deserved better and I was NOT going to settle for less.

How I Knew I Needed To Get A Divorce- It took me 4 years to get the courage to break the news to my husband that I wanted a divorce. Here's why I did it.

48 thoughts on “How I Knew It Was Time To Get A Divorce

  1. Malissa, this is such a brave post to write and I think it’s great that you knew yourself well enough to make that tough decision!! Good for you 🙂

    1. Aw thank you so much Molly!!! I truly appreciate that. It was NOT an easy decision that’s for sure. And I definitely paid the price for that choice, but so far it has been well worth it! My blog is proof. 🙂

      1. Hi ,I’ve been married 23 years and I’ve tried so hard this year to change and be everything a man can ask for, I get stuck with tons of bills .he moves back to mommy .Our adopted child 11 going on3 disabilitys . My heart is broken for her not sleeping or eating. He wants a divorce.i trying to pray and think he neve4 really loved me .yes in the beginning., Maybe ?only God knows are hearts but right now ,ours is broken.

  2. Great post! it reminds me of my first and last relationship… I was with my boyfriend for 5 years, before I finally realized that I can’t do it anymore. Our relationship didn’t grow at all, I felt like I’m stuck in that awkward “getting to know each other” phrase and no matter what I did it didn’t change.. So I gave up on trying and at the end realized that I have fallen out of love with him without knowing when it happened.

    I guess it was a first try fail, because we’ve been together since I was 16.

    1. Annie I feel ya! I don’t look at any relationship as a failure, because I grew so much from every one of them! I became a better, stronger person. <3

  3. You are so strong my friend. From the time I first read your story to now, you continually amaze me with your strength, courage, and ongoing desire to be the best you and best mom in the world. Love it! Wish were closer 🙁

    1. Aw Patricia!! Thank you! I truly appreciate that. I definitely was, especially because my family didn’t really understand. It took a good 6 months for things to feel a little bit normal.

  4. Good for you for biting the bullet and making the change you know is needed! SO many of my friends stayed in miserable marriages for way too long. Thanks for sharing your story, I’m sure many women will relate!

    1. Lauren, it was soooooo harddd!!! I luckily had a lot of time to reflect on my deployment to make sure I was doing the right thing. Thanks for the words of encouragement!!

    2. I’m one of those that have stayed way too long. I wish I could get the guts up to leave. Friendship is definitely not part of my relationship.

    1. <3 KRISTEN THANK YOU! It lifted the weight off my shoulders, even though it was terrifying. I used this article to tell everyone on FB because I didn't want to explain myself a million times. We had that picture perfect FB marriage that everyone wanted. So for people that don't normally keep up with me, it was pretty shocking!

  5. Thank you for your honest post! I am so glad to hear you were able to find out what was right for you. It’s hard to do what’s right for ourselves, even though in the long run if we all did that things would be better for everyone.

    1. Thanks Lana!!! Yes it’s really REALLY hard when it all goes down, but even after..my Ex told me he was also unhappy but didn’t realize it until he found someone else that showed him how well he could connect with someone. He had never experienced that before. 🙂

  6. Wow… My friends want a divorce as a result of that they feel like they are stuck in their boring marriages and that they feel their husbands do not meet their needs for some reasons. However, I admire your courage. And that’s true – I miss myself alone sometimes 🙂

  7. The most difficult decision of my life was admitting that my marriage was not going to work. I’ve been unhappy for about a decade, but just buried it and kept pushing on. I didn’t think i could do better. I even had 2 kids in that time.

    After 12 years, I decided 2 months ago that I’m done trying. I have a 6 year old autistic son and a 10 month old colicky daughter. It’s hard to parent alone, but its also such a relief! I can do things on my schedule without worrying about upsetting my husband. I was scared that I couldn’t do it, but we are all so much happier.

    Thanks for posting this story. It is great to feel like I’m not alone in this journey

  8. I found this very interessting, cause I see how difficult it is ro change someone or something.
    With the mother of my first born, we where engaged, we’ve know eachother more than 6 years. I tried everything to make it work, she didn’t, yet she left me.
    The mother, of my youngest didn’t know eachother that well, as I moved in to her appartment After 3 months of dating. We where fighting, yet happy at the same time, and decided, to make a child. We’ve changed our mind, because of the things we wanted to do, (she was studying, and I wanted to start my pen buisness) it was to late, but we embraced it.
    One evening, we where both tired, we got to fight over money.
    She broke up, and I left.
    I Would have done anything but I realized that we went to far to fast. Didn’t know eachother that well.
    Still today I believe in us, but it’s hard to tell cause we are so up and down, but chemistry is SO Good.

    I see that we men tend to be simple and naive. 🙈 No matter who we are.

    It’s a natural habit as we dont think or Wonder as much.

    But some men should wake up, but they sadly don’t, so if they do and you love him, a second chance Would be in it’s place. But sometimes things just go to fast .

    Well written, Malissa and Thank you for sharing! 🙏🏻

  9. Well…this is weird. I scrolled through the comments and don’t see any guy’s input or comment. But here I am, in a similar boat but being a guy experiencing something similar. I’m not married, but I am with my gf of 6 years. I feel the way you’ve described about not wanting to go home to do the same thing over and over each day. For me, it’s work, gym, then go home and hope there’s dinner from my stay-at-home gf. If there isn’t dinner, then I’d cook something so we can have dinner on table. Then tv as we eat dinner. Her days are usually if not always bad b/c of her personal issues she’s battling. I’d ask how her day was and get “it’s the same; why do you want to be with someone like me.”
    Whether I had a great day or average day, she doesn’t ask how my day was and skips to how bad her day was. I don’t even know why I’m typing…but I enjoy hearing someone is happy and escaped from their hardships. I came here from your FB page. Keep smiling and do what makes you happy.

  10. You’re an inspiration!!!! I was separated for 9 months this post touched me so much. Never give up true love will come when God says it’s the right time.

  11. I recently just went through this as well. Married for 7 years, together for 10. After fighting for our marriage and requesting counseling over and over only to go and have nothing change. I would go see him in his office and he would barely acknowledge my presence. It was a roommate situation where I made dinner, housework, dealt with the kids’ things, day in and day out.
    There was zero communication. There was zero affection, unless it would lead to sex. I was tired of not being a priority, tired of not being a thought in his mind at all for that matter.
    Everything we did was what he wanted to do. Anything for my family was a fight, his family took priority. Always.
    Every day there was an issue. Every freaking day. It was exhausting. I didn’t want to be unhappy for the rest of my life.
    Then I went overseas for a month for work. While I was gone I had time to reflect on me. What I wanted. What I was missing. I prayed and prayed for a sign on what I should do.
    I got home and within 1 hour, I knew. I needed out. I was devastated thinking about tearing my family apart. Sharing my 3 children. Not seeing them everyday.
    No one understood either because I portrayed our life/marriage as this perfect thing. No one saw it coming and therefore I got little to not support. It wasn’t until I just rattled off years and years of pent up situations/issues that had lead me to this point. Of course adultery was brought up because I had been gone for work and came home and wanted the divorce. No one saw what I had been going through for years and years of my fighting for this marriage.
    He didn’t fight me on it. He didn’t ask me to stay. He didn’t agree to counseling or speaking with our church. He didn’t do anything.
    Instead he agreed to it, signed the papers and that was it.
    Until now . . . He now tells me he didn’t want it and that he should have fought for me. Until now he has waited when I gave him 10 years of my life and he just threw me away.
    So now . . . I have my own life. I get to have friends. I get to talk to people and socialize without the repercussions after. I am in control of me.
    Sharing the kids wasn’t easy. My first holiday without them was sad, to say the least. But I got through it because I know it was the best decision for ALL of us.
    I am happy. Healthier than I have ever been. Best shape of my life. And I am free to be ME!

  12. Been trying everything to make my wife happy…. like your situation, we are quite a few years apart…. 15 to be exact…. She has a son from a douche that doesn’t want anything to do with him… I have been there for more than half his life…. but he manipulates his mom to get what he wants when he wants it… and here’s a thought…. when you’re in a committed relationship, aren’t there times when you “expect sex” valentines, anniversaries…. we’ve been together for 8 years and never made love or had sex or got down and dirty on any holiday…. been married for 5 years and never once had maritals on our anniversary…. I try….. but all I ever get is later or my body my choice….. everything this woman has ever asked for I give her…. I ask for 2 things for the last 8 years and I don’t get them…. she’d would rather text whoever it is she’s texting all night long than spend any alone time with me…. but then blames me for our inadequate sex life because I fall asleep in the chair by 9…… I get up at 4 in the morning to go to work….. I’d like some alone time with my wife….. before 10pm…. her kid is now 13….. I’ve told her to talk to him about us needing to have time alone….. she refuses…. I miss my wife! I want her! But I’m thinking she’s wanting someone else….. this isn’t my first rodeo…. I was married to a cheat for 16 years prior….

    1. It’s certainly possible that she’s talking to someone else. Not necessarily cheating, but confiding in someone else emotionally or on a different level than you two have. It sounds like you two lack friendship and have lost each other a bit. Once someone devotes themselves to someone else emotionally, it’s very hard to divide their attention. They will start comparing you to the other person they are talking to. Even if they don’t know this person very well, they will make you out to be the one that has all the problems. I don’t really think it’s you per se. I think she may be missing something in her life and isn’t communicating it to you in a way that you can understand and fulfill. It’s her responsibility to identify and take control of the issues in her life and she should allow you as her husband to help her with that. The best possible thing I would do to salvage things before it’s too late, is to take her out of her element for a while. A cruise or something out of the country so she can’t have access to her phone. It will give you two the chance to reconnect, let loose and communicate all of the things that you have going on or are lacking. It will force her to listen to you without constant interruption. If she loves you, she will take that opportunity to reevaluate what she’s doing and stop it. Instead of accusations on your part, show her compassion, understanding and offer her support of what she needs. Don’t go on the trip seeking sex, go to build a friendship again…and if sex just so happens, well that’s a plus! I hope things get better <3

  13. I loved this so much. Thank you for writing this. At the same time this scares me because it’s exactly how I’ve been feeling. And I wish it wasn’t. I love my husband. We’ve been together since I was 15 and he was 17. It’s been 10 years. Married for 3. We have a 6 year old and just had a baby boy he is 2 months. I moved to a small town for him and have been here for 5 years. We both hate living here and we are only here for work. I never considered divorce until this year. My pregnancy was so hard when I was feeling so distant from my husband. Most nights he would sleep on the couch and I’d be sleeping alone in bed. I didn’t understand why it seemed like we were so disconnected. It made me feel so insecure. Especially being pregnant. It got to the point where I was so convinced he was cheating. It’s happened before we got married. I went through his phone and sure enough saw him talking to another girl. He didn’t physically cheat cause she lived in another state. But the way they were talking was definetly cheating. It’s been almost 4 months since I’ve found out and confronted him. We have been trying to work things out. He cried and said he didn’t mean it and he didn’t want to lose me. I felt so helpless knowing I was about to have a baby and needed his help. I couldn’t just leave. I forgave him. Things are ok with us…. well we act like it is. But there isn’t that passion anymore. I try to forgive him but it’s so hard to trust him anymore. And atleast once a day what he did and how he hurt me pops up in my head. And I’m so scared he is going to continue to go behind my back and betray me agian. I constantly look through his phone but I know he knows and I’m sure he deletes stuff. I don’t want to be that wife that has to look through his stuff. But he is such a good liar I don’t even know what to believe anymore. I’m scared to start my life over. But at the same time we are both miserable. I am from AZ and I miss it more than ever. I day dream of living there, single with my kids. I think he loves me but I don’t think I’m what he wants anymore. I feel like he just feels bad for me and the kids. He swears he is in love with me but I can’t feel it. I feel numb sometimes when I’m around him. I feel super insecure. I feel like I constantly annoy him. Even when I try to dress up I don’t see that spark in his eye anymore. I keep telling myself it will get better. Maybe it’s all in my head. But I guess the truth is the pain he caused me really made me look at him and our marriage differently. I don’t want him to think I’m just being insecure, I truly can’t trust him anymore. I want to be with someone who makes me feel like I’m the most beautiful girl in the world. I’m only 24 years old. I don’t really care to be in another relationship. I just want to find myself agian. I lost myslef trying to please him and worry about what he thinks all the time. And my kids suffer cause they see our unhappiness. I just don’t know if I would be happy without him. I really feel like I would. I think it’s just scary to think of raising my 2 kids alone. He is an amazing dad. But I’m tired of living like this and feeling like I’m not enough for him. He always says he doesn’t Deserve me and I always told him he’s crazy. But lately I really feel like it’s true. He isn’t loving me the way I deserve. I don’t know what the next step is. I don’t know what the future holds. I just want us both to be happy. And our kids.

    1. Hi Michelle,

      I’m so sorry you feel this way! I know exactly how you feel though. I had an ex that cheated on me all the time and I kept taking him back. I too didn’t trust him ever, always looking through his phone. I constantly had a sick feeling in my stomach and never felt like enough for him. I left him for my ex husband…he was so perfect compared to my ex! I didn’t know what I needed or wanted. I was so young. You are at an age now where you are coming into your own and figuring out what’s important to you and what’s not. Men mature a lot later than us women (around their 30’s). I wouldn’t be surprised if he cheated again, and even if he isn’t…you won’t ever feel that you trust him unless you two magically found a way to open up and communicate honestly with each other. I feel that that type of communication has to be there from the beginning or it will never happen, or only happen in small spurts (like when he gets caught). Do what you think is right. Follow your gut. It’s so terrifying, and you will be very unhappy in the beginning out of fear, but over 6 months or so, you will start to feel good again. As long as you can find a way to do things without a huge fight, you and the kids will be okay. It wasn’t until I met my boyfriend Mike when I realized how much damage my past relationships caused me. It took over a year for me to feel confident again. He brought that out in me…he got me to start writing this blog! He pushes me to be the best woman and mom I can be….and I believe everyone deserves to be in a relationship like that. If you want, join my co-parenting Facebook group and you will see that being divorced with kids isn’t the worst thing in the world. <3 Best of luck love!

    1. Hey Sarah, how are things? The guilt can be absolutely overwhelming!!!! I feel ya. My son is thriving right now and I now have the support of my family so I couldn’t be happier! I have also found a guy that treats me like a queen and loves my son! We’re the best of friends…I didn’t know that type of love even existed. Hope things are going well with you!!!! <3

  14. This is such an amazing post!It’s almost like you were talking about my life,minus the deployment. I have been struggling for a year, keeping the “D” word to myself. This July will be 3 years we’ve been married, and we are both miserable. I’m finally at the point where I can look at our relationship and say that I am in an emotionally abusive situation, and that I need to get myself out of it as well as my 2 year old daughter before it starts affecting her. I’ve been so afraid of what will happen when I tell him I want a divorce,and I’m still afraid of how I will make due,but I know it’s time.Thank you for this inspiring post.

    1. Hey Kelise! How’s everything going? At the end of the day, you have to do what’s best for you and your daughter. It is heartbreaking at first, but over at least 6 months you will feel things starting to get a little “normal.” It’s terrifying, but telling him is the hardest part…next to being away from your child. Just remember, he has equal rights to your baby girl, and don’t try to take her away from him if you can. The only thing his dad wanted out of the whole thing was that I didn’t try to take Caleb away. And I haven’t. He’s actually really stepped up as a father and they now have an amazing bond! Sometimes I feel like they are even closer than me and my son! <3

  15. How is your son handling it? I am torn because of my 3 and 4 year old. I was on a work trip for 5 days and was just excited to see my kids. I didn’t miss him, he got mad because I wouldn’t say that I missed him. Any advice?

    1. Hi Tina! It’s been over a year now of co-parenting and I must say, things are going very well! It helps that his dad and I remained on good terms for the sake of our son. You have to learn to compromise and never threaten to take the kids away from him. I have made a lot of personal sacrifices to keep the peace between us and do what’s best for my son…even if that means him being with his dad more (due to my work schedule). The kids will have long term damage if you two argue in front of them and spite each other. Don’t use the kids as pawns and keep all the conversations about divorce and the parenting plan between the two of you without the kids around. Try joining my Co-parenting clan on Facebook. We are super supportive and will give you advice from all aspects. 🙂 I hope everything works out for you! keep in mind, it’s all about perspective. If you decide to go through with it, just know it will take at least 6 months for things to feel a little “normal” again. <3

  16. I am reading this article with tears in my eyes and it’s like you wrote exactly what is in my head. The only difference is we have been together for 23 years and married for 19. Thank you for writing this I am still working on getting the courage to tell him I want the divorce. This is one of the hardest things I have ever done.

  17. Great post! I completely understand where you are coming from – although how I left was under different circumstances, and one that I will always regret to some extent and others I don’t know how it could have been anyway – but besides that, I realized the day my mom had her seizure and later we found she has stage 4 breast cancer that I couldn’t end up like her – not the cancer but how she felt about her life – she was unhappy when she got home, her tumultuous relationship with my father became worse and in realized, and made the decision that I was depressed, and completely unhappy. I had also thought about divorce for over year (together 4.5, married 2). Although to some it may not seem like that long, but when you have lost yourself especially when I used to be so strong and it’s gone, I needed it back. He was being disrespectful, I was always being over emotion, or not communicating well or at all, he would call names and yell, never listen, tell me I was lying about my feelings, that I was being malicious on purpose – things were always good when we were out in public and hanging out with friends, seemed like we were best friends and in love. But whenever there was a problem and I brought it up, I never knew if I was going to get Dr Jekel or Mr Hyde – that scared me, so after so long I stopped bringing it up, my thoughts and feelings and wants and needs were put on the back burner

    We talked at times about how our relationship was failing, but it would always be at 11pm at night when we were both tired and cranky and turned into a fight – I would always suggest doing it during the day, but his work, second job, being on his phone (which was fine until I got on mine, then I was ignoring him), or watching tv/baseball. I tried taking about things, matin suggestions, at times I would get a response like “well I’m just the worst husband in the world then,” or “don’t worry about it I will just take care of it from now on,” (which was never the case anyway). I stopped fighting for my right to be treated well, I would end up in our arguments crying, almost in he fetal position while he talked at me – I couldn’t do it anymore – we have been separated since October, I have started the paperwork, but he is resistant to getting another divorce, and “not fighting for it.” He states that I’m taking the easy way out, maybe for him, but after fighting for so long, this isn’t easy, I don’t like to give up, but I cannot be who I need to be and he cannot change in our relationship. He has a daughter who is 12, I love her, she has a hard time and I know this will break her heart, but he needs to learn to be there for her. He would always defer to me to do everything for her because he would always get too busy with his stuff, I hope this changes now that I’m gone. I will always be as much in her life as I can.

    I love who he used to be when we were both new – up to 6months to a year in our relationship, then it changed, I remember one of he first times he got mad at me, for not covering pasta and getting the microwave splattered, yelled about it – he gained control and I lost mine – I am now working to get it back, yet he still doesn’t understand and he thinks it will change, that he can change – he might be able to, and I hope he does, just not with me. I cannot and will not put myself there ever again.

    Thank you so much for your post – it gives me strength – I find so many articles about how to deal with when your spouse leaves you, it’s nice to hear from your perspective, which is where I’m headed too. I’m glad things seem to be going well, although there are and will be struggles, as in everything, as long as we know in our hearts it is doing the right thing, we will persevere.

    1. Wow, Amanda! That’s a lot girl. Did you move away? Is that why you say he has your daughter? You did the right thing by following your heart. I applaud you for that. It’s not easy whatsoever. There is no worse feeling in the world than feeling helpless and trapped. My ex boyfriend made me feel that way all the time. He had total control over me. My old boss also made me feel that way. He belittled me so much that I lost faith in myself and started believing what he said. It took so long for me to overcome that and gain my confidence back. My current boyfriend Mike really has opened my eyes to my strengths. It’s like he sees a totally different person than I see. He brings out the best in me. I’m now one of the most confident people ever. I do speaking engagements and live video. I have really put myself out there the past couple of years to boost myself esteem. Mike actually got me to start this blog. You have it in you to be strong again…you just have to take that time to find yourself again. Just make sure you stay connected to your daughter. The guilt of not being around her may consume you and set you backwards. Don’t ignore those feelings. I repressed my feelings for a long time and just stayed really busy to ignore them. As a result, I put a bunch of walls up and stopped being affectionate to my boyfriend, my son, even my animals. Pay attention to how you feel and get the help you need…whether it be therapy, the gym, whatever. Just make sure you take care of you before you try to take care of anyone else. Thank you for sharing your story Mama!!!! Take care love <3

  18. Malissa I applaud you and all the women who have the courage to say they want a divorce. I didn’t have as much courage. In fact saying to the man I fell in love with at 19 that I didnt feel like i fit in the relationship anymore after 22 years was cryptic. After 18 years of ups and downs (mostly financial) and 2 children and not maintaining trophy wife stats I realized I wasnt happy. I loved myself but he loved what i used to look like more. He was a status climber and I have never been one so I was tried and convicted of settling and being a dream killer.. Living beyond our means satisfied him immensely but made me frightened and anxious, eventually resentful . I was protective of his ego because he knew when to feed me the feel good goodies, mentally and physically. I was living my life and career on auto pilot. Life long depression whispered taunts that i should be thankful he picked me. Passive aggressive anger opened the internet door for me and I found men friends. The poet, the intellectual, the fetishist, the comedian and the sensitive strong man. They all fed the parts of me I had learned to compartmentalize for 20 years of marriage. Sooner or later the need to have a personal connection came to be. Messages out side of the chat rooms, emails phone calls…. i was addicted to the attention and feeling alive again. He found out the first time. I swore I’d give it up. He travelled a lot worked as much overtime trying to make more money and match my salary. The second time he found out our relationship really suffered. A true narcassist he rejected any of my explanations of how unhappy I was and why. He told me how sought after he was and moved out. Eventually we reconciled and got back together. We were leary of each other. Marriage counselling, date nights even swinging! I realized I didnt love him like I did once and he didn’t trust me like he did once. He left the second and last time, again because I met someone on line. I was in a bubble I justified it all making myself believe that no one would be hurt so long as I could keep it a secret. After angry words and a bit of time passed we agreed to divorce. There was no drama no fighting no pointing fingers- we both cried. I told him I didnt know how to make him understand me but i wanted us to stay friends because we were ultimately each other’s best friends. We agreed to do the divorce amicably and co parent as well as we had parented (we parented very well together). We went to the parenting classes together. We both cried at divorce hearing. We left the court staff speechless. In all of this i had to learn who I was as i had lost much of myself to keep the peace. I had to learn to do important things by myself because it was easier to let his ego be in charge than to fight or to be criticized . I colored my hair and polished my nails as i liked. I went shopping for myself because i was no longer the trophy in a mans life.
    We talk often now, co patenting our 12 year old as we promised to each other. He has moved on in everyway including with a new baby. There are times that it is surreal that we can now work things out and not hide behind masks or cut each other with barbs.
    I am the happiest I can remember being in a very long time. Divorce was very much like burying a living thing but it brought forth a ressurection. I am grateful I made to the other side whole, shaken a bit, but whole.
    Thank you for the gift of sharing.

    1. Daria,

      What a beautiful message! I appreciate you being so raw and real. Sharing your story will inspire so many more people going through the same thing. Fear of the unknown is what deters people from doing what they really want, and you coming out on the other side winning will give people hope. I too struggled with the attention piece. I decided right before I deployed that I was going to get my shit together. I couldn’t have my cake and eat it too, it just wasn’t fair to my family. The positive thing that came out of your situation is you can say you tried, you experienced a whole lot and I’m sure you won’t settle the next time around. You only get one life! Lucky for you, your ex was able to do the thing that you couldn’t bare to do. I’m so happy for you! Hopefully your kids are taking everything as well as possible, but it sounds like since your coparent relationship is in tact, they should be okay. 🙂

  19. Malissa, this has been so incredibly helpful to me. It is uncanny how similar your situation is to mine, right down to the ages of you and your husband and me and mine. Hearing your process has given me new perspective on this situation and is helping me work up the courage to ask for a divorce. Thank you for sharing your experience!

  20. I am right there but trying to get the words out……a few months ago my passive aggressive husband and I argued and I said what are we doing this for anyway…..and he replied. Let’s call some lawyers on Monday and end thos and I said yes fine..then he freaked out and said he did t want a divorce. I haven’t stopped thinking about it. Our kids are grown. Our marriage is dead. He told me he isn’t even attracted to me so what the heck am I doing. I need to choose me and go but I can’t quote bring up the words. 25 years is long enough. Of course to complicate things my Mom decides to come for a never ending visit and I don’t want to do this with her here. She’s awful to him. I refuse to berate him in front of her so I defend him. My spouse is not a bad person he just has morphed into a room mate and doesn’t really give a crap about me. He says he loves me but is not supporting anything. I am diabetic and I constantly have to remind him I’m I can’t have ice cream before I go to bed and really not at all. I’ve been diagnosed for 3 years now. I believe if he really cared he would support me not wait until I go to bed to binge on sweets.anf keep offering them to me. That’s not love. He’s indifferent. I appreciate your post. And the courage it took to tell your ex. I don’t have any excuses. I need to just tell him.

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