She had spent the past 2 years getting her masters degree in counseling. She had grown frustrated with the continual supply of crap teachers were required to do.
Just let me teach had been said more than a few times.
We had struggled financially from the absolute beginning of our marriage. We were very young, me being 20 and she 19, but there was powerful love and we had a dream. Our finances eventually got the best of us and we declared bankruptcy last December.
I had been addicted to porn from a very young age. Abused from birth, molested at 12, found a movie in dad’s drawer a few months later and a way to deal with the pain had been found. Marriage was supposed to take over my sexual needs and desires, but that never really happened.
What a coincidence. All 3 of these things coming to a head at virtually the same time. She finished her degree last December, actually walking the graduation stage in a few days. I disclosed my sins to her in mid-November. Our financial burden being mightily eased in December.
It appears the final piece of the puzzle came about last month. A former colleague of hers had become the principal at an elementary school in a neighboring district. She called My Bride, a former teacher of the year and a genius at educating kids, to be her new school counselor. Nervous and very unsure of herself, she went to the interview. She says she bumbled about on some of the questions, but felt well about it overall. Knowing her, I was keenly aware that her “bumbling” was probably impressive. Less than a week later she got the call offering her the job.
It has been less than a month since that new job, and the newfound freedom that came with it, came along. The combination of financial freedom, educational freedom and professional freedom were intoxicating.
The only item in which she was not free was emotionally. She had a boat anchor of a marriage weighting her down. Her husband was a porn addict. Yes, since November he had made real changes. But since January, there had been other changes. His depression had taken firm gold of him mentally. He had become increasingly paranoid.
It seemed everything she said was being used against her, like she was on trial for something. That paranoia of his began manifesting itself as anger. Why was he so angry at her all of the time? She didn’t know and it hurt. A lot.
They had been in marriage counseling for a bout a month. He had become increasingly inpatient with her. He had seen no relational improvement since December. She and the therapist told him to calm down, these things take time. Why could he not realize that? Why was he being so pushy? They didn’t realize what he subconsciously knew.
The past few months had become overbearing with anger, paranoia and pain. He was pushing. He would explode sometimes, a lot of times, over incredibly small things. He wanted answers to questions and refused to allow her any space for privacy. “If I have to be radically open, doesn’t she?” was something he had try been thinking. He never had it in those words though. Perhaps had he articulated that…
Since marriage counseling had begin, he had been trying hard to make the changes the therapist wanted. That was mixed between his painful and angry outburst that had been fights over very small issues. She had been dismissing the counselor’s lessons from the beginning. He didn’t understand. It was her idea to restart marriage therapy.
There had been a major, major fight a few weeks ago. He said he wanted a divorce. She believed him and started working out the issues of running a house without him. She came to accept she was getting a divorce when she realized she could run the house without him.
The previous counseling session was about de-escalating the tensions. It had been working pretty well. There had been a pretty small argument lady Friday. He told her that it wasn’t a big deal. It isn’t a big deal to you was her answer.
Saturday had even bigger problems. He had overreacted to the issues from the night before. He was in a truly needy place on Saturday. He needed her to let him draw near for her comfort. She couldn’t allow it. “Why not? Why can’t you at least give me basic human comfort?” I can’t give you what I don’t have. he tried to turn it around when he saw how badly she was hurting that night. She was crying about her sister’s illness and their son being at prom; she was worried about them both. He asked if he could comfort her. No was all she could say.
He didn’t realize it then, but a connection had been cut.
On Sunday, things truly had simmered down. She even told him they had enjoyed a good day as they went to bed. He said the usual evening prayers over her, the kids and their marriage.
They didn’t really even see each other on Monday. She had been to the doctor. Afterward she went to her going away party her coworkers threw her. Being one to not really ever drink much, she hated the taste, he was surprised when she told she had consumed 3 drinks as they lay next to one another in bed. Since it was time to sleep, he said their prayers. He asked her to pray for him. No, I can’t do it. I have a hard time praying for you in front of you right now.
He was hurt pretty bad by that. This time, he was aware of a connection being cut.
He had forced a conversation during the day. Something about why she didn’t like hypnosis. Why do you have to push me with all these questions after I tell you I don’t like it? You push me away when you do that.
She had a hard time coming on for therapy that night. She sat in her car crying. He called to see if she was alright and if he could help her in. I don’t need your help to walk in.
He felt another connection cut.
During therapy, for the first time, he pretty much put it all out there. He needed some type of emotional love from her. Here’re presence was no longer good enough. She was crying. She had been crying from the time she came in. The therapist was confused. “Is there something you aren’t telling us?”
He was sent in the hall so they could speak in private. He could feel the rest of the connections being cut as he stood outside of the office.
She wouldn’t look at him as he passed her in the hall. He knew. When therapist sat him down, he knew before she spoke. In fact he had written a quick blog post as he had waited outside the office. He had written a number of texts to her e pressing his broken heart and how dad he was that things were ending.
The therapist sat him down and calmly explained that she no longer wished to work on the marriage. It had become too much. He had known.
He didn’t cry.
His head was spinning though. This day had been expected from almost the very beginning. Just a week after disclosure he knew it was coming. Maybe the past few months was his way of grieving the end of all he had ever known since high school.
She was making a clean cut. A new and exciting job in a new school district. She was going to make new acquaintances there. She had been freed from the weight of overwhelming debt. Now, it seems, she would be free of her marriage as well.
She was completely starting over.
No residual baggage or pains. Only new adventures.
He was left with misery. He had grown up with her. They started dating when he was 17. He’s 41 now. He has never known what it’s like to be an adult without her.
Can he make it without her? Maybe. He doesn’t want to.
A small hope on reconciliation exists though. They are only separated. They both say they love each other deeply. They believe each other on that.
The love that burned hotly between them is still in there. He still had that twinkle in his eye when she is seen or even thought of. He holds out hope against hope that the marriage can somehow recover.
He prays she will be open to that in the coming weeks or months.
They have been together for 25 years. He has been working to kick his addiction for 7 months. They have been working, seriously, on the marriage for 7 months. Is it really fair to anyone to throw that all away in such a short time? Can’t time heal THIS wound too?
Have the problems been around so long, she is unable to believe they could possibly change?
That’s the question this story revolves around.
He prays she can see that spark and she chooses to give reconciliation a chance.
Is a happy ending possible?
It’s possible that you can only answer that based on whose viewpoint you ask it from. Would reconciliation be a good thing for her? Is the love that once was around in large enough quantities that she sees reconciliation as possible?
He prays those answers are yes. Their kids pray those answers are yes. His family prays those answers are yes. That’s all he knows though.