Death By A Thousand CutsIt's been over 30 years. We've been through so much together, raised two children, and have created such a rich shared history. I don't regret my marriage. I just don't want to live like this for the next 30 years.
For the last 10 years I've tried to fix our intimacy. I learned a lot through workshops and counseling. It's really not about the sex. That's just a symptom. Unfortunately, I've been the only one who was willing to work toward change. I wasn't content living with my best friend. I wanted more. Just as he settled in to being comfortable living with his best friend.
The epiphany of what went wrong came to me while talking with a friend. And, I shared it with my husband during a therapy session. There was no one thing that had pushed me over the edge .... woke me up to see why I wasn't happy in the life I was living. It was so many things, big and small. That's when I referred to it as "Death by a thousand cuts." I listed many of them to my husband. I explained how I felt about each thing. I explained the story that went on in my head when he would say "You better stay with me .... no one else will ever want you." I think about this now and can't believe that there was a part of me that really believed this. Now, of course, he's saying that he didn't really mean that. He knew it was an absurd statement (that he repeated over and over). My self esteem was so low that I did believe it, for way too long.
I became whatever everyone else needed me to be. I lost myself. That worked very well for me as I raised my children. I was their mother. My role was clear. My children are now grown.
Over a year ago now, I woke up to see who I really am ... to understand my own self worth. And, I've never been happier. It's taken most of this past year to understand all the changes I was going through ... all the new feelings and desires. It's taken months to explain it to my husband, to get him to understand why I am leaving.
I'm married to an alcoholic. So, it has been difficult to have meaningful conversations. For reasons that I am unaware of, he stopped drinking a few months ago. He started back up again a few weeks ago. After 21 days without a drink, I decided that it might last a little while (he's stopped many times before). That's when I started going to counseling with him and explaining what was going on with me. And, more importantly .... I was very clear in stating that I was leaving.
I am so overjoyed at the prospect of moving out. I am shedding so many responsibilities. I will have only myself to take care of. I can stop living for others and start living for myself. Actually, I started that process about a year ago. I'm getting pretty good at it.
Last year, when I first told my husband I wanted a divorce, I really didn't feel inside of me that it would happen. Unconsciously, I believed I wouldn't be allowed to leave. I suppose I was thinking of myself as a child. And, now .... I've finally grown up. I'm in charge of ME.