Earlier this year, I had mentioned to my friend that I was thinking of separating from my partner. I explained how 2015 was to be my year of decision, and I was going to spend this year to making a choice, once and for all. She was sad for me, but said that she was not surprised, because she feels like I’ve been unhappy for so long.
Of course, I’ve wavered on those sentiments so many times since then. It’s funny the way the mind works, especially when you’re an escape artist like me. I think it’s probably “avoidant personality” or somesuch; I shy away from any kind of conflict. So when I’m faced with the conflict of a bad relationship, I want to run away. But then when I think about separating, at first this seems joyously right, but then I factor in the conflict of having to face my partner, having to cause pain to him and my kids, and the uncertainty of being alone, and my escape artist brain desperately retreats. And I figure if the only person currently suffering in all of this is me, then what right to I have to turn everyone’s lives upside down. Or everything seems so “normal” that I wonder what the fuss is all about. I’m just creating a drama in my head for the sake of wanting some kind of excitement in my life.
And I convince myself that it’s all in my head; that everything is fine. I just need to learn gratitude, be happy for the things I’ve got. And I am. I have a fortunate life; I know that. So then I feel guilty for feeling unhappy when, really, what the hell have I got to feel unhappy about??
I said to my therapist the other day that I just need to accept my relationship for what it is. And I finally do, only what it is is not enough for me.
It’s funny that the incident I talked about on here the other day, when he casually told me that he was going away sailing for 3 days seemed to crystallize everything for me. When I told him that it was news to me (which it was), he claimed he’d tlld me a couple of months ago. And you know, he probably did. But I happen to think that when you are leaving your partner to go away sailing for 3 days, meaning she will have to deal with things at home by herself for that period, it is just common courtesy to remind her of that fact. Or put it in the family calendar or something. Especially when, as I know, that sailing trips away require much coordination and discussion; there should be some point when you share some of that information with your spouse. And the fact that he didn’t tells me that I am not even remotely on his radar as a priority. I couldn’t get angry about this, though. I just thought to myself, “It will always be like this.”
The other aspect of this conversation that made things clear for me is the fact that I felt relief in the knowledge that I wouldn’t have to deal with him for 3 whole days. His presence casts a shadow over my mood, and it’s not his fault, but at the same time I can’t help it. It’s a combination of guilt, annoyance and resentment.
Having come to the realisation that the best choice for me is to leave, last night I confided this in another friend. She’s never met my partner, but I’ve known her for about 5 years. Naturally she was supportive and sympathetic. I’m thinking next I might ask my sister too. Of everyone who knows us both, she is probably best placed to give an outsider’s perspective, knowing us both quite well.
Another thing that I had sort of acknowledged, but I’ve finally, this evening, really accepted is that as much as I can list his flaws and behavours that have led me to this place, ultimately this choice is about me. I can point and blame as much as I want, and maybe with justification, but he’s not going to see it that way. I am taking responsibility for this choice.
So I’m coming out as an Unhappily Married person. And knowing things are not going to change, I need to prepare myself to move on.
And funnily enough, snippets of answers to my therapists other question, “What does that look like to you?” have been coming to me this afternoon. I see myself struggling financially, but maybe I’ll move somewhere cheaper. Maybe taking a “Home Handyperson” course at the community college, so I can learn to do those repairs for myself. I see myself growing in strength , instead of stagnating the way I am now. Of laughing and dancing with the kids.
I know it will be hard. But, I think, necessary.