When I got married, I was certain that I was going to stay married until one of us died. My husband and I had already been through it all and still managed to end up together so I couldn’t imagine anything tearing us apart. In the summer of 2014, I drove across town in the dead of night to cry on my mother-n-law’s shoulders knowing our marriage had to end. A few days later, we sat at our dinner table and I said it out loud. That night I told my husband that I wanted a divorce.
There wasn’t one big “I’m done” moment, but a lot of small ones. Having our first child magnified all of the flaws in our relationship. Our biggest one being the lack of proper communication. Almost a year into being new parents and I was still sleep deprived and my hormones were off. I was trying to do it all and expected he would organically know when I needed help. When he didn’t, I held it against him. I have always been the type to hold grudges for minor infractions then explode after they become too many to bear. My husband doesn’t sugar coat anything and doesn’t like anything sugar coated. So when I did blow up, he read me my rights… no holds barred.
The stress of new financial obligations, some minor health issues with our son and needed time off work became part of those little moments. I stopped having a filter. He stopped being nice. Although our schedules were similar, we no longer prioritized quality time together. Love was still there but it wasn’t enough. Instead of being a unified husband and wife we became business partners; the kind that believed the other wasn’t holding up their end of the bargain.
One night, we had another argument. The type that hits below the belt. The type where everyone leaves a loser. My home was supposed to be my place of peace and it felt like a battleground. I no longer liked the woman I was. I no longer liked the man my husband was. Our marriage was not what I wanted my son to grow up witnessing. I asked myself ‘If nothing changes, can I live with this life?’ and the answer was a solid ‘No.’ That night, I drove to mother-n-law’s house and cried my eyes out. I was a broken woman; body, heart, and soul.
I played Beyonce’s “Mine” over and over again, specifically listening to two lines: I’m not feeling like myself since the baby, are we gonna even make it? Cuz if we are, we’re taking this a little too far. We had gone off the deep end. We were flawed individuals that had to decide whether our marriage was worth repair. When we finally sat down to talk we laid it all on the line. I said that if nothing was going to change I wanted a divorce. I told him exactly what I needed and in turn, he did the same. We were able to see each other for the slightly changed adults we had become and hear each other objectively.
Three years, and a second child, later we are still working on our communication skills. However, we understand each other’s communication styles better. I appreciate his logical perspective, know I have to listen without too much of an emotional filter and ask for exactly what I need. We both make the decision every day to be present in our marriage and to work together as partners. While there is always room for improvement, I am happy with the woman, wife, and mother that I am. My husband is my partner, my best friend, and the love of my life.
My marriage ended that night and was remade into a beautiful work of love.