I’m not a religious person. I was raised Catholic, but stopped believing in a higher entity a long, long time ago. There are times I wish it wasn’t true; that I could lay my problems at the feet of some deity and have them figure it all out, but alas, it is not the case.
So, I have to sort my problems out myself. With the help of some experts; I’m a big fan of self-help books.
I’ve read books — recently and not-so-recently — about divorce, separation, marriage and what-have-you, to try and help me sort through my feelings. They all talk about this cyclical emotional state I’ve been going through, and the descriptions are dead on. The mental tension builds up until you reach this crisis point. You feel like you can see the way ahead. Then the guilt and bargaining starts — maybe I should try X, or maybe I didn’t do Y well/hard enough. Then the tension eases and you are back to where you started until discontent sets in again and the tension starts to build.
And it’s exhausting. It really is.
Today I have been ruminating on the guilt that hit me yesterday. I have a habit of looking outside myself for the answers; to see if someone else knows. So I read stuff on the internet about people who have divorced or separated, and the reasons they did it. And when I read around, it seems some people have really chosen some arseholes to be married to. And that makes me feel guilty because, honestly, my situation is not as bad as theirs. I’m not being beaten, or raped, or verbally or mentally abused. He’s not a lazy bum who sits around all day drinking beer. He’s not cheating.
And I feel guilty because there seems to be an unwritten rule somewhere that unless it’s, like, really bad, you should keep on trying. And I’m not. And I don’t want to. Which makes me feel even guiltier.
So usually when I get to the bargaining stage of this cycle, the guilt wins. I tell myself that I’m crazy. There’s no problem, it’s all in my head. I even started on that argument again yesterday, but then I forced myself to examine my reality as objectively as I could.
There is one, key, core issue at stake here. I no longer want a relationship with my partner. I’m happy to co-parent. I’m happy to let him have the house (for a small price). But I no longer want him. And it’s not because he’s bad or I’m an unappreciative bitch or anything like that; it’s just that we have, rather boringly, grown apart. Both of us could probably point to a hundred little indicators along the way here, but honestly it doesn’t matter. There were choices we made and here we are. Honestly, we didn’t too bad a job, and if we both liked one another enough to share a companionable relationship, we could probably keep going for another twenty years. But we don’t. We just don’t. We’re not only not in each other’s orbits; we’re not even in the same solar system any more.
And that makes me feel sad. I’m sad that he will be hurt. I’m sad that he will feel rejected. I’m sad that I am closing the door on this era of my life. It’s going to be a huge wrench, and a huge adjustment for us all, but I firmly believe that ultimately it is the best decision for all of us.
Because I might not have faith in a god, and I might not have faith in the internet, and I don’t always have faith in the self-help books, but for the first time in my life, I need to have faith in myself.