I left my husband of 12 years one and a half years ago, I moved out. If I am going to be honest with myself, which I aim to be, I left that marriage several years prior. I was a tender 24 years old when I walked down the isle to face who I thought I’d be with for the rest of my life. I met my husband, we will call him Jim, when I was 21 years old. He was substantially older than I, eleven years my senior. It definitely was not love at first site, me, having broke it off over three times before finally agreeing to commit to him. (You’d think that would be a red flag, but if it was, I didn’t notice.)
Fast forward two years we welcomed our daughter into the world, two more years our son. I came into the marriage with two boys as well, making our family of six within the first two years of marriage, to say things were busy is an understatement, they were intense. While I busied myself with motherhood and an inhome childcare it was easy to stave off the feelings and thoughts that something was missing. It was easy for my sons first four years of life.
We moved to a bigger city at my urging right around this time, I thought I needed more people, more to do. I really thought that might solve the issues I felt to be present. After moving to the city and both of us getting new jobs, it was clear, the issue was deeper. It wasn’t a job, or hobbies or even having enough to do, our issue, that to this day Jim doesn’t recognize or understand, was a lack of willingness and openness to grow with one another. Something I should have realized before walking down that isle, if only I had asked myself what my hesitation really was, where was it coming from? People can be very quick to tell you to stop obsessing, stop worrying, take the plunge! Sometimes though, it comes back to bite you in the ass.
When I left I had to give Jim a reason, didn’t I? I told him the only thing I knew at the time, I need to be on my own but I don’t know why. As you can imagine that went over like a lead balloon. He couldn’t understand what I was saying let alone how long it has been festering within me. I knew at that time that I needed to get out to remember who I was. I felt defined by motherhood, defined as a wife. Back up, about 20 years ago.. I was a teen mom. I mention this because it plays a part in all of this, enormously so. As a teenager I got pregnant, I put everything I knew to be me selfishly, aside and became the mother I wish I’d had. I never thought I’d wake up one day and miss me. But I did, and it happened.
The day I left, November 18th, 2018 was definitely one of the best days of my life. I have never once looked back with regret on that day, nor have I missed that wife. Which, if you know me, regret & guilt plague me, so it holds a lot of meaning to me. In the beginning, say, the first two months or so, I spent my time making my house a home. My then sixteen-year-old son lived with me full time, while Jim and my two children would go back and forth every other week. I enjoyed decorating the house the way I wanted it, to buying all of the things that my youngest two children would need to feel at home & happy. I recall one day during those first few months I sat on my used couch while staring at the wall and enjoying the peace, I thought to myself how blessed I am to be able to have my own space, my own way, my very own couch (used as it was,) I sat there for a very long time soaking it in. In those moments I gave myself permission to stop pushing myself for a moment, and just breathe. Those breaths I will come to think of as my first breaths of me, I was breathing as me and me alone. It was an amazing start to my new single life journey.