I had a conversation with my ex I said I would never have. Something had been bugging me the past few days to just do it. So I did. I told him that we would not be having one again, and did he want to spend it arguing over stupid stuff or dealing with important things between us, before we started what was to be months of court and before our marriage was over. There were glimpses of the man I loved dearly. I found myself feeling that same familiar shock at some of the things that were coming out of his mouth. He wanted to argue points from what I called his “mind’s timeline.” He always brought up conversations, things I could never remember or that just didn’t matter in the grander scheme of the end of our marriage, and I just found myself lost in that old familiar feeling of “Can’t you SEE me?” He felt that because I’d not told him immediately about having some conversations with my ex husband that therefore I was untrustworthy in all other matters. He kept insisting that I bought colored contact lenses. I have no idea why he would insist on such a thing. He kept saying “I SAW the packages in the bathroom!” Well, um, you were mistaken because I have never worn colored contacts. I wouldn’t. It was troubling even more so to hear him recite, “There was brown, blue…” I mean, what? If there were colored contacts there, why would I bother to deny it? But there were not, which freaked me out all the more that he insisted there were. He argued his point as hard as he argued his points that I did nothing for the past four years, just sat around like a lump. Apparently struggling to raise three kids in the midst of dealing with depression and a sinking marriage, seeking therapy to try to fix what was wrong with myself and my marriage was “nothing.” I just can’t understand how I can love this man, still. I feel like there is something so deeply wrong with me that if I don’t figure out why I allow myself to get caught up in relationships with people like this I will never be able to trust any man again. I can’t see it. I know I am worth more. I guess I just chose wrong. I waited for him to prove to me that I didn’t chose wrong. That he would realize that he was being harshly unfair and unreasonable; that he would have some epiphany and fall to his knees and bare himself to me and show me that he really wasn’t some smug asshole looking for a pat on the back and that he could really meet me in a place of love and caring and be willing to stop being so hurtful.
In stark contrast to the arguing over stupid shit and our expectations of each other, there was some real emotion. There was a few moments where we cried and hugged each other. I think there should have been more of that. Maybe we shouldn’t have talked at all. I look back now and wish we hadn’t. That we’d just cried and hugged and really felt wht was going between us; the longing and the grief and the love that was still there. It was excruciating.
It shouldn’t be this hard. I can tough my way through a lot of shit. But having my husband tell me I did nothing during our marriage to earn everything he gave me, that I should get my hands out of his pockets (referring to rehabilitative alimony reqests and a van paymet he agreed to make on his own), well, what can I do? That was the last thing he said to me in our exchange this morning. “Prove to me you care about me. Get your hands out of my pockets.”
And there you go.
I’ve heard it said—from lawyers and judges and therapists—that if there is any love left in a marriage at all, to fight for it, to not go through with divorce. At all costs and whatever you have to do, if there is real love there, fight for it. But I ask, when does the cost just become too much?