A year ago today. Exactly.
My misery had been escalating for months. Experiencing Faraway Lover and making new friends and a lot of reflection made it impossible for me to ignore what I had known for many years. I was fundamentally unhappy in my marriage.
I had been talking to a very close friend about wanting to end my marriage. But I was stuck on the next steps. I like to plan things and I couldn’t figure out what I would do. What kind of response I would get from my husband. Would I be okay. Would my son be okay. Guilt about knowing that most things were fine. But at my core, in my heart, I knew there should be more. I knew I was unhappy and I was pretty sure my husband was as well.
Of course on the surface everything looked fine. We were always good friends.
Last year today, laying in bed side by side, he on his iPad and me reading, he looked over and basically said:
“I think we are done here. Do you agree?”
For fifteen years, at various moments, I had wished that door would open. We had debated divorce several times. Always made the decision to stay together. Sometimes because we believed we could do better. Sometimes because of our son. And sometimes just because the alternative was so damn scary.
I vividly remember what went through my head when he spoke those words:
Ann, you have wanted this for a long time. You will figure it out. The door has been opened to you and you just need to walk through it.
So I agreed.
I also vividly remember the overwhelming feeling I had the moment I agreed:
I instantly knew I would be fine and we had made the right decision.
We talked about what was next. I didn’t cry. We opened a bottle of wine, and over the course of the weekend, hammered out a separation agreement. I volunteered to move out of the house we had shared for almost a decade. We agreed to our son living with us equally, we came up with a one-time financial payout to compensate me for leaving the equity in the house, and we agreed to how we would handle our son’s expenses. No lawyers, no bullshit, just us.
The following weekend I bought a townhouse condo and managed to get a very quick closing date – less than a month. I knew that our marriage was really just a friendship since we still slept in the same bed and there was really no change to our day-to-day lives. Two weeks later we told our son, as I had to start packing. The story of telling him is for another day.
One year ago today I started my journey of becoming free. Listening to my gut. Letting myself be exactly who I am. I’ve never looked back – other than to write about it 🙂