It’s hard to say who caused the other more pain or anguish. We were miserable; I was fighting for a marriage and for a future that, if I’m completely honest, neither of us wanted. As the years passed, I became more of a nagging mother than I did a loving partner…and what’s worse is you allowed it. I would never disrespect you or our marriage by delving into all the issues we had, as there were far too many, and there’s not enough time to adequately address them all in a way that’s fair to either of us.
Leaving you wasn’t a shock to many, but it showed who was really paying attention. The family and friends who I had so easily manipulated into believing I was happy were aghast and questioned my motives—the ones who truly supported me didn’t wait for a response, but happily rejoiced in my newfound sense of freedom and independence. The others quickly delved into the world of gossip, believing the worst, whether it was the claims of infidelity or the claims of mental illness. Yes, I’m aware of every lie, every excuse, everything that portrayed you as the victim and the saint. These may not have been perpetrated by you, but I do know you stood idly by, allowing them to continue. Believe it or not, I’m even thankful for that. Toxicity comes in all forms, and no one is going to stand in my way of happiness. In the end, people believe what they want, and I will continue to wish them all the best.
I’m in no way claiming to be an angel; I was quick-tempered, impatient and—more importantly—not in love with you. Ensnared by the idea of the world that if you’re not married by a certain age or settled down that you’re incomplete, I jumped at the chance to be married. It was an empty vow, and for that I’m sorry. In the end, I wasn’t angry with you, I was angry with myself. I was angry that I allowed myself to stay with someone who didn’t care if I was there or not, who pushed me to the brink of wanting to cheat, while I remained faithful. I hated you for making me feel that desperation to be craved again. To feel so unwanted by someone who vowed to do otherwise was heartbreaking and soul-shattering, but then again, I did the same, didn’t I?
We would have been great friends. We had our fun, we had our laughs and we even had times where I could lean on you. However, we allowed our pride and sense of comfortability to overrule our common sense, causing both of us to stay, when in the end, we both know we should’ve never made it to the altar.
The struggle with infertility was yet another failure in our marriage, one that I see as such a blessing. I loved being a stepmom, and I loved your son more than I could ever say, but bringing a child of our own into that environment would have been foolish and selfish. For all the miscarriages, failed pregnancy attempts, doctor’s appointments and everything else that we underwent, I’m now so appreciative of it all. We are free to be ourselves, without each other, without strings and without the sense that we made a beautiful, innocent baby for all the wrong reasons. The stark clarity of that realization comes at such a bittersweet cost, but one that has only allowed me to grow stronger with my sense of self.
In the end, the more I learned that I can do things on my own was the more you sought to keep me attached to you. By then it was too late, I was no longer under the delusion that I needed you, let alone wanted you. After years of crying, begging and fighting my way to stay in your life, I was becoming happy without you in mine. When you asked me what I wanted in those final moments, I think both of us knew what I had to do. I had to be the bad guy, I had to be the one who walked away and I had to be the one who said enough was enough. Your eyes weren’t begging me to stay. They were begging me to do what neither of us had the strength to previously do.
I’ve now found a relationship based on appreciation and respect. A relationship that allows me to continue to grow as a woman and as an individual, while rejoicing in the fact that I have a partner who stands to fan my flame rather than snuff it out. A relationship that makes me so happy that when my failed marriage comes up, I just smile and hope that you’ve found the same. I’ve found my sense of wonder and have traveled to great lands with the promise of so much more to see. I’ve once again found my voice and have allowed my creativity to flow. I’ve delved into writing again.
I don’t regret marrying you. I don’t regret the fights, the rollercoaster of emotions, the date nights, the moments when we thought we had a fighting chance, or the moments of overwhelming defeat when we both had to finally admit that we weren’t meant to be. I prayed for us, I prayed you and I prayed for myself. The decision wasn’t easy, nor did it come lightly or with anger. It came with a sense of relief, it came with the sense of finality that we didn’t know we needed, but were so appreciative of.
In a world full of hate and bitterness, I’ve found what it means to be in love—with life, with lands, with cultures, with a man who is proud to call me his, and more importantly, with myself. I can’t predict the future, nor do I wish to, but at least now I can look upon the past and smile. I was not defeated. I was not tamed. I will not shy away from battles. I will not hide myself again. I will love fully. I will laugh heartily. I will dance my way through this life.
For that, thank you.
Like this post? View similar content here: When Love Fails, Learn To Grow