It makes perfect sense to me. It is a totally unorthodox approach to repairing a relationship, to divorce.

Ending it frees me to find real happiness with this man, whom I otherwise feel trapped with.
I remember the attempted divorce of 2006. He said we were either in or we were out. He knew he had too deep, too thick and too terrible of secrets. He’d already been seeing prostitutes at that time, I think. Or maybe me calling off the divorce last minute was what pushed him to prostitutes soon after. I was clueless at the time. Just thought my husband wasn’t interested in me, or in sex/women in general.

I remember lying in bed one night, a night or two before it was finalized. We were talking about staying together after divorcing. He’d moved out at the initial blow up, I filed for divorce, a month or two later he came back and we started trying to “work things out.” We slept together, lived together, functioned as a happy family of four. But that night in bed, when I told him I still loved him even though he couldn’t act like he loved me, that I didn’t want to have to leave him, but wanted to divorce anyways… he said no. He told me we are either married and together or not together and not married, that I couldn’t have both a divorce and still be in a committed relationship with him.

He couldn’t explain why beyond saying that it just didn’t make sense.

But it did make sense to me. I loved him, but he couldn’t show that he loved me. He couldn’t connect with me, couldn’t be expressive with me. Couldn’t “see” me, compliment me, desire me, touch me, kiss me, make love to me, could barely get through detached sex with me. He had ceased even smiling at me. We had ceased pleasant dinner conversation. It was horrible. Far worse than it was in December, because the pleasantries had come to a halt.

So of course I wanted to divorce him. I’d become codependant on him since giving up my business in 2003 to heal THAT infidelity (when he fucked someone else while I was pregnant with his first child.) That was my first mistake that set the precedent for the next decade.

So anyways, back to now.
We’d have a minor setback, some disappointment, some thing that wasn’t quite perfect. I’d get upset, to varying degrees. But no matter how hurt or angry or upset I am, I know I am stuck here. Why? Because we’re married. Yes, we could “get divorced.” But guess what, that means a whole lot of difficult decisions that scare me if done in anger. I don’t want to risk decisions made in anger when it comes to financial survival or child custody. I don’t want to make those decisions when we’re not both on board. I need it to be a reasonable, level headed, non-heated, non-angry agreement.

As long as we’re married, I will feel trapped. I depend on him financially, thanks to my deluded idea that we’d be married for years to come, when I gave up my lucrative business in April 2011 to move for his career advancement.

I will feel trapped, because I AM trapped. I have no earning potential here, like none. I could get “a job” but not a real job. I have four kids. Two are still home, one has FIVE more years before school. I can’t up and get a job that is going to pay me enough to make day care costs worth it and be flexible enough for this stage of life. It’s just not realistic.

As long as I’m trapped, I can’t forgive and can’t be happy. If I am free, I have the space to forgive, the space to find happiness, acceptance and clarity.

I still LOVE him but I can not TRUST him. Though I love him, he has hurt me so very badly, wounded me so deeply. Trust must be earned. I choose him, and that means that I choose forgiveness if trust can be rebuilt.

Somehow, the neglect and porn is not as big of a problem as it should be. It is a big problem but it isn’t what stabs me in the heart and punches me in the gut. My big problem is that he intentionally neglected and denied attention to my breasts, that he gave his penis and come to other women. Those are the deep wounds. And never being seen, never being noticed for my beauty, the amazing things that I do and that I am.

My point is that I just feel trapped being married. Period. If it doesn’t make sense, I don’t care, it is what it is.

Lots of people have warned me that the legality of being married is bigger than I realize, that getting out from under that will “feel” different than I realize. I will suddenly be “free” more than I know, and the weight lifted off of me will just be gone, and I’ll go find other fulfillment and validation outside of what he offers me. I can not stress how unlikely this is. Anything is possible, yes. I can not know the future, no.

And others have warned that without being married, him and I both, as individuals, won’t have that last straw tying us together. He won’t have the incentive to be faithful to me, and I won’t have the incentive to stay with him without “having” to stay with him. And yeah, I guess that’s kind of the point. I WANT us to be free to act for ourselves. To feel safe (legally/financially/custody-wise) in any action. I want him to know that if he starts to neglect me or starts using porn/prostitutes again, that I most certainly WILL leave him. And even if I simply can not forgive, if I can’t go on like this, porn/prostitues/neglect or not, that I can leave. That we both know we’ll have legal access and arrangements for parenting, finances, etc.

I want to be in this relationship because we both individually choose to, not because we feel we must, out of necessity.

I need to be a desire, and a choice, not a legal fulfillment.

The truth will set us both free. Free to find ourselves, to be together, to belong to each other, and to fulfill our own personal desires of happiness. Hopefully, that freedom will lead us to each other and self-fulfillment will be enhanced with one another. There’s no guarantee, but I know we love each other, love our children, and will do our best.

I feel so good about what we are doing. I feel pretty strongly that we WILL work things out and stay together. I have faith in him, whether he deserves it or not, whether it is statistically likely or not. I am proud of him, I see real changes and progress, I feel his love in a new way. I feel his commitment. That could all change any hour of any day, and it could all be gone, but for today, I feel the reality of it all and I choose him.

I am thankful that he is “letting” me divorce him and still willing to work on himself with me in his life. I’m thankful that he is still choosing to be with me, despite legally divorcing. In the face of all of the sadness and trauma, I am somehow still thankful for him. Because I love him.

And today, I choose him.

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