After much resistance on his part, we have started mediation. It seems obvious to me that it is a better option than divorce attorneys but… But he was told by a friend’s girlfriend (an attorney) that mediation is expensive. We got past that and I got a recommendation. He balked that it wasn’t closer to him. He was told we could file our own paperwork. I told him I looked at it and didn’t want to do it on our own. He looked and reluctantly agreed. He was told by someone that the mediator would try to rack up the billable hours. I pointed out that was why we should use the recommended mediator. And finally we went.
It was like counseling. Emotional. Uncomfortable. Rough.
When we left, and I was driving home, I was overwhelmed with sadness. I cried and cried. I got home and cried. My dog tried to hug me while I texted my bestie.
I know I made the right decision. I do not question my decision to leave him and get divorced. I do not question it in the slightest. So why am I so sad?
Why am I SO SAD?
We had good times. I haven’t forgotten. I was happy enough to marry him and I never thought I was the marrying kind of girl.
But I do find myself looking back and thinking about how I didn’t really know who he was yet, during those good times, when I thought he was on my team, when I thought he was supportive, when I thought he would do anything for me. Before I found out I was on my own, that he would not support me if it wasn’t easy for him, that he wouldn’t do anything for me. That he wouldn’t do anything for me that I would expect a friend to do, let alone a spouse. Before I realized he was no longer MY friend.
Before. When I was happy to be with him. To do for him. Before he wore me out. Before he saw my disease, my fatigue, my limitations. Before he decided I wasn’t strong enough, that he could make me stronger through his denial of my disease. Before he took my exhaustion and used it to bully me into doing everything for him.
Even now. I helped him set up his checking account, get a credit card. Rarely a day goes by that he isn’t in touch with me by phone or text or email. I want to avoid the contact because I feel so shitty afterwards. I get irritated because he’s asking for my time and energy and mostly for things that don’t matter or a normal adult would not need help with. I put him on speaker phone and set it down so I don’t throw it in anger.
He complains constantly about how little I’m helping with the house we are selling, forgetting that I sorted, packed and moved by myself, leaving him with a miniscule amount of sorting left. And he is moving out of state, leaving me to deal with the house until it sells. He wants me to get the rest of my stuff out–I didn’t realize it was so urgent. I agree to rent a truck and take care of it this weekend. I feel bullied again. I feel anger. He always gets his fucking way.
I know he is avoiding the truth, that his busy-ness as he gets ready to move is a form of denial. I feel terrible for him, for hurting him.
I know it is right. That he will, eventually, be alright. That this move away from me and his family will force him to become more self-sufficient, to grow, to be better. Maybe to even follow his dreams that he had but denied–like having kids.
And for me…
Even with my disease, I feel healthy. I feel awake. I feel happy. I feel freedom. I feel hope.
And sometimes…I feel sadness.