In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Enough Is Enough.”
I thought I wanted to go to marriage counseling with him. I tried several times to get him to go. When a couple we know separated and started going, he told me it’s a waste of time, a waste of money, the counselor always blames the guy, it doesn’t help. But I tried a couple more times.
And then I gave up. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I totally gave up. My closest friends were concerned about me, that I might fall into depression, I might withdraw. I was concerned too but, feeling so much unconditional love and support coming from these few people who knew the pain I was going through, I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
A friend asked me to promise I would schedule counseling alone since he wouldn’t go. So I did. The night before, I told him I was going. I assumed he would either refuse to go (not that I really invited him) or he would go and be a jerk about it.
We argued about needing counseling. I kept telling him he doesn’t hear me. He couldn’t understand why I was unhappy. He had already made me feel that my unhappiness was the problem. If I could just be happy, there would be no problem.
And then he said he would go. And I picked him up from work and we went. And he heard me. And the doctor did not go easy on him. And he realized what he had done, how he had made me feel, what choices he had made, how he had bullied me into decisions I didn’t agree with, how he had ignored my pleas to be safe in my own home, how he tried to make his dreams ours, why I had started to rely on my friends instead of him.
He admitted saying hurtful things, allowing his parents to say terrible things and never standing up for me, never allowing me to stand up for myself, and in fact, being embarrassed when I stood up for myself in other situations. And I heard that he is embarrassed by who I am, the person my friends adore.
He admitted that he thought we would have kids, although we talked when we were dating (and not even sleeping together yet) about my certainty I would never have kids. His parents resent “my” decision, although it’s none of their fucking business. He pictured himself having kids and finally accepted that we weren’t having any when I was diagnosed with MS, years after we married. I was shocked to hear this.
He told the doctor how he has never accepted my MS diagnosis, that he is hard on me because he acts as though it doesn’t exist. And for many of you, that may not seem like a big deal, but I have an incurable, invisible disease that causes me fatigue, pain, numbness, and lots of doctor visits. I used to give myself shots in the leg muscle weekly and was unable to do it in front of him because he couldn’t understand why I had to mentally work myself into doing it. And he is unrelenting, acting as if I don’t have anything wrong, I should do everything for him, never rest, never be upset, never feel anything about having MS.
So almost ten years after my diagnosis, I understand why I am worn the fuck out–my husband, the person who is supposed to care most about me in the whole world, has made my life harder and harder and harder to prove to himself that I don’t have MS. And I am heartbroken. Most of the people who have heard this don’t get it, but a couple of my closest friends, the ones who understand my struggle to be normal while I really am not normal, cried and said it broke their hearts too.
I thought I wanted to work things out but we’ve come too far. I realized after our session that I want him to be happy, I care about him, I want to support him. But I don’t want to be with him. I don’t want to give him any more chances to break my heart. I want to go.
The recent incidents in my kitchen with him disregarding my food allergies is fueling my desire to have my own safe bubble, to take care of myself and no one else. Someone asked me if I could survive without him. Yes, not only can I survive, I believe I can thrive in a way I cannot, or could not, with him.
I am sad for the end of this, but not sad enough to stay. I’m done.