I was living it all these years and was completely blind to it. Not so much in the end, but I certainly did my part to avoid the truth. Now that I’m on the outside looking in, I can see it clear as day.
I am guilty of uncoupling my marriage.
Yes, that’s right. I admit it, but maybe I’m doing so too late. Because for me, my marriage is already over. I came to this realization in the eleventh hour. Maybe if I had recognized it earlier, something could have been done. But I’m just not sure.
I was only 18 when I met my ex. We got married two years later. Had our first child a year after that. We were so young, so inexperienced, so blind to how twisted and turbulent and real life could get. Twelve years later, we found ourselves sitting on opposite sides of the room, unable to look at one another, and discussing custody arrangements.
Where did it all go wrong?
A question I have asked myself many times. If you would have told me five years ago this is where I’d be now, I would have thrown my oblivious head back with laughter. Because back then, I thought we were strong and fighting…no striving. Sure, we had bumps in the road, but who doesn’t?
Back then, I thought we would be able to conquer anything. Now, from where I’m standing, I can see I was so beautifully naive. I was full of hope and optimism, but I was also unconsciously breaking my marriage apart with each passing day.
It started in the dark corners of our marriage that are often ignored or overlooked. It started out subtly and so innocent. Maybe it was when we started arguing about what to watch on television, for example. Seems silly, doesn’t it? But after years and years of arguing over the same thing, it is glaringly obvious just how different we are.
And that might not have even been the start of it. It could have been when I would make mistakes. The mistakes would be addressed, but nothing would change. We just moved on. It could have been when I made excuses for him. “Oh, that’s just who he is.” Even though I didn’t like what he was doing (or not doing), I defended him because he was my husband. That’s what you do.
You love him, flaws and all. You love him regardless. Right?
As we got older and our kids got older and our lives got busier, we slowly started falling into places that were more suited for ourselves, not for us as a couple. “Couple time” became nearly extinct. We would go out and do things together, he and I, but we were always with others. It was rarely just the two of us. And we were okay with it. We made excuses for it.
But, I know now it shouldn’t be that way.
People would joke, saying he and I were so opposite and that we had nothing in common. I used to see that as a strange sort of endearment. Opposites, after all, attract. We were such an odd pairing, but we made it work and I found that charming and poetic. The laws of opposites don’t always work for marriages, though.
He and I started doing family functions alone. Again, making up reasons why the other person wasn’t with us. Not actually making up reasons why, but convincing ourselves it was okay that we were doing these important things alone. Even at home, things started to be done without the other person. Meals. Activities. Decision-making. The list goes on. Conversations were primarily had through text. And it all happened without us noticing; right under our noses.
We had become glorified roommates and that reality was a bitter, jagged pill to swallow. He had pointed it out to me so many times, but I resisted. I didn’t want to allow myself to believe it was true. But he was right. We weren’t a couple anymore. We were two individuals living under the same roof.
Then came the days when we were both just mad.
Mad at the way things were and mad that we couldn’t figure out how to make them better. Mad that we had just sat there while it happened to us. We were angry that we hadn’t put a stop to it before it had gotten so out of control. In the beginning, there was genuine love and affection for one another that we didn’t know how to properly wield or nurture. For years, we had been uncoupling our marriage and when we really wanted a wholesome, worth-while relationship with one another, we didn’t even know who the other person was anymore. Things were so convoluted and separate that it seemed there was no mending it.
Our uncoupling lead to the realization that we would be happier on our own. The ever-optimist in me likes to think that if I had noticed this years ago, then maybe my ex and I would still be together, raising our children under one roof.
Though it’s a cruel reality to accept, that I was so abrasively at fault in ruining something that could’ve been amazing and long-lasting, I have hope that our past transgressions will only better prepare us for what life has to offer.
Read more on uncoupling here.
Make sure you never miss out on a parenting or community-related blog post: sign up to receive CRMB posts in your inbox. While you’re at it, join our VIP List to ensure you’re one of the first to know about upcoming Cedar Rapids Moms Blog events and promotions!!