I was 26 years old.
I was hopeful.
I was foolish.
I chose divorce.
I don't share much with people about my past relationship(s) for a multitude of reasons. I specifically don't share a lot about my divorce with many people because of one reason. Since I was the one that "CHOSE" the divorce, no matter my explanation or circumstances, I am the one to be shamed. For the first few months after my separation, I attempted to explain to inquiring minds exactly WHY I was getting a divorce to which I was met with these typical responses...
"What could have happened?"
"Aren't you going to try counseling?"
"Don't the vows you took mean something to you?"
"You should give it some time."
and my all time favorite...
"It's much easier to leave than it is to stay and work through it"
If you happen to fall into this category and have dished out this mainly unsolicited advice, please take mine and shut the fuck up. Oh, and let me answer these questions for you.
What could have happened?
The man that promised to take care of me, love and respect me CHOSE to do the opposite and suck me dry of all things good left inside of me. I spent days upon days trying to "motivate" my partner to be an active participant in our relationship and contribute. One day, after years of attempts, I finally realized that is not my job and definitely not my responsibility.
Aren't you going to try counseling?
No. No I am not. I have communicated my needs and desire for change for years. All of which had been ignored. It was his CHOICE to ignore my very simple needs. Now it's simply too late. You had 183 opportunities to make it right over the past 4 years, or at least make a minimal effort in attempt to make it right. Now that I made my CHOICE to put an end to the ongoing saga -- I don't have to acknowledge your requests any longer. Shame on you.
Don't the vows you took mean something to you?
When you bought your house/car you intended to pay for it, right? So when you lost your job you should have hit up the corner and whore'd yourself out to make your payment -- why didn't you? I'll tell you why -- because once you see a tornado on the horizon, you don't jump into the eye of the storm and hope for the best, you run like hell.
My promises mean a great deal to me but no promise is worth keeping at the cost of my dignity, self-respect and happiness. Sorry if you don't agree.
You should give it some time.
Do you know how much time I've given it already? Yes, my marriage was incredibly short lived (we separated after 5 months), but our relationship had existed for over 4 years. Yes, I made a mistake thinking someone would or could change and when I finally realized they weren't going to happen, it didn't fall into the socially acceptable time-table. Millions of people live in denial and stay in unhappy and unhealthy relationships simply because of societal pressures like this. Not me, I enjoy being happy.
It's much easier to leave than it is to stay.
Oh really? Have YOU tried it?
I find most people with this advice are those that would never, under any circumstance what-so-ever (including abuse), leave their spouse. Simply because they haven't left their miserable relationships, how do they know just how easy it is for me to leave mine? You're right though -- it would be terribly hard for me to stay in this unhealthy and miserable relationship but attempting to work through it while beating my head against a concrete wall for another 4 years just doesn't sound EASY to me either. Do you know what I sacrificed to enter this relationship in the first place and then what I ended up losing while leaving?
My decision in sharing this story with you all is because I know it's an unfortunate truth that many people face when making the touch choice to stay or to go. I have chosen to leave out all personal details as I didn't want to get away from the main point and purpose. Nothing about this process is easy, as it shouldn't be. I am baffled at how many people find it appropriate to share their two (unsolicited) cents on this topic. It would be like me walking up to every nipped and tucked woman telling them they chose the wrong plastic surgeon when they didn't even admit to me they had work done. What gives me or you the right to judge someone or their circumstances?
I don't have a crystal ball to tell you what life would have been like to stay and it may have ended up just fine and manageable -- who knows. However, I can tell you with 100% that I would have never found and felt the unimaginable love I am lucky enough to experience on a daily basis now. I am more than blessed today and believe it's partially because I made the hard (not easy) CHOICES that I did.
It may not be what you choose for yourself, but I chose divorce -- and that is why.