It's been three years since I was where you are--- thinking that it was time, I had to say the words..."this is over, I'm exhausted trying to make you happy. " I still remember the combination of nausea and resolve that I felt. The certainty that I finally needed to say the words that had flashed periodically through my mind over the previous 36 months. I held on that long--- 36 months. My kids were small, I kept thinking things would improve. I know many of you have held on much longer.
Over the course of that holiday season in 2014 I was desperate for a sign that things would improve. I sent a flirty text with a picture of myself dressed up for a party I was meeting him at, only to be met with a response that said "I haven't left work yet." I met him at the party feeling ignored and sad. A few days later I flat out said to him "I feel like you don't have anything left emotionally for me." The image of him sitting at his desk, and the look on his face when he said "I think that's probably true," is burned in my mind.
Nonetheless, I didn't file for divorce that January. He wanted to try to work on things, so I agreed. The problem was, I knew I needed time and space to figure out where to go from there. We would talk about what a future apart looked like, and he clearly did not share my vision of supportive co-parenting and mutual respect. These conversations simply made it all too clear that I had to push forward. I couldn't stay married because I was afraid of the divorce process. I waited until November 2015 to actually file the paperwork. As expected, he made nothing easy. He still refuses to speak to me, even though we have been divorced for well over a year. He will not sit with me at our kids' school events. As painful as this is, I still hope that it will improve. I invite him and his girlfriend to sit with me, I invited him to Christmas morning, I invited him to Halloween. Even though he continues to refuse all such invitations, I still hope that he will someday see that our kids want nothing more than for us to be a united front for them.
The lessons of the past three years have brought me to this place... a place where I have reinvented my life, changed careers, and now hope to use my past life as a divorce attorney to help coach people through divorce with emotional intelligence, and a belief that a divorce really can be a healthy transition to a wonderful new story.