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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
When your world falls apart, when he changes everything you hoped your future would hold. Starting to come back, take hold of your life and know that the world goes on, just a little differently, maybe better.

Submitted: August 07, 2017

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Submitted: August 07, 2017



I was with him for almost 17 years, married almost 13. I didn't know it was coming, nor did my friends, family or colleagues. Sure we argued occasionally, like all couples did, but we got along more often than not.

After we were married, but before I had my daughter, I came downstairs one night and he was sitting in front of an open fridge and crying. I didn't know what was happening. He told me he suffered from depression. This was news to me, I had known him for years at this point. He was a happy , fun loving guy. Of course the first thing I thought was that it was because of me. He assured me it was not. He said he had gone through bouts of depression before and that he didn't know why or when it would happen. I sent him to the doctor. I didn't want to walk in the house one day to see the man I loved had committed suicide because he didn't get the help he needed.

Instead of seeing a psychiatrist, he was put on Effexor, an anti- depressant that had some bad side effects. But, at least he wasn't depressed anymore. He continued his love for going out and in true Greek fashion, he liked to drink. Oh, he wasn't a drunk by any means, but the Effexor and the alcohol made him difficult to deal with. Our very good friends didn't like being around him anymore and it was isolating us. I talked to him about it, many times. He said he was fine. He couldn't see what we saw.

After I had our baby, we would go to visit his parents. Where I would see him have one drink and feel safe going home with him, his spasmatic driving would indicate otherwise. We would argue and I was afraid for my daughter and myself. He wasn't physical with me at all, but I was afraid he would cause us to crash as he would vehemently deny drinking. This pattern continued until I couldn't take it any longer. He would always apologize the next day, realizing he was out of control, but he couldn't see it when it was happening.

All of our friends and family would be surprised to know there was something wrong as he was a loving, caring father, and overall a good husband. We didn't want his family to know about the driving incidents or the craziness he was putting us through. There was a wedge between us by now and something had to be done for our marriage.We decided to see a therapist together.

Initially we hated going and he hated it even more than I did. He didn't like that the therapist was telling him the same things I had been saying. You can't drink on anti depressants and you can't put your family at risk. We both had to try harder to be there for each other. I wanted him to hear me when I spoke and kiss me goodbye in the mornings. They were little things, but they were big things to me. He wanted more intimacy. For me, intimacy came with love and attention, which I wasn't getting.We both would have to work at a relationship that had started to sour after he started on the medication. He would have to ween off the medication and see how he was feeling. If he couldn't handle it, he would have to stop social drinking completely.

Everything went as smoothly as possible, with little side effects. We were a little better at communicating, and little better at showing affection, and a little better with intimacy. Things were looking up, well as far as I knew, anyway. And then we settled into our new chance at life with the baby as a large focus. We both had new , much more demanding jobs by now and had recently moved into a bigger, better house.

Although I felt safe as a passenger in the car with him now, I noticed some of the affection was drifting again, but I attributed it to our crazy work schedules and my daughter’s after school activities. We were busy all the time. I was tired after work, and the little bit of sex life we had been working to improve was waning again. I thought, well, at least we get along most of the time and when we do get out, we enjoy each other’s company. Well, I thought we did anyway.

About 2 years ago, he started to change. He seemed grumpy a lot more often. When I would approach him to see what was the matter, he would mutter something about his job, or his back hurt, or something that was far from the truth. I believed him, I trusted him to trust in me and be honest. He assured me he wasn' t depressed. And so it went on, with us falling back into the same routine we had been in before,. And he was drinking more, not a lot per day, but a little almost every day. He would still occasionally kiss me goodbye in the morning, but he never held my hand, never uttered “ I love you” and had become that guy who sat on the couch at night without a thought for our future. I sat on the opposite side of our large sectional and played on my IPad. I knew we had to do something, I knew our communication was lacking. I didn't want us to be “ those people” who use electronics instead of personal contact. Yet , nothing changed.

Over the years I had asked him to come up with fun ideas for days out, family vacations, things to do…...anything. I desperately wanted an equal relationship where we were both engaged. He rarely put in an effort. I planned, suggested and pretty much took care of everything. Last winter I said to him, “ we don't go out anymore, we need more us time. Let's plan on at least one date night every month.” He agreed, said it was about time we started doing just that.

And then every month went by, and I would ask about date night, and it never came. There was a night I planned where we went just down the street to see a Tom Waites cover band, and another where we had been given tickets at Christmas time for the theatre ( in June), but that was the extent of it. I was frustrated, but figured, well this is who he is. He is not a handyman, he is not imaginative and he is no longer romantic, but he is a good father and a good guy. I can live with that.

The night before my birthday, he said he had to go out to the grocery store. My mother, who lived out of town had my daughter with her for the past week and was coming to bring her back and stay with us for a few days. He wanted to get something he had forgotten earlier at the store. When he came home, he handed me a chocolate bar and some small, yellow roses. I was surprised, because he knows I don't like yellow roses, white being my favorite. I thought it was simply a matter of him being at the store and while there, thought to pick up something extra for me. At that time, I thought it was nice that he was thinking of me enough to pick me up something just a little extra for my birthday. He also purchased a mini cake at that time.

The next day, I spent cooking and cleaning for my mom to arrive. Not the best way to spend a birthday, but she had taken my daughter for a week and I wanted to repay her with a clean house and a home cooked meal. When he brought them home from the train station, immediately my daughter gave me a beautiful card she made herself and a little gift my mother had obviously purchased, but was kind enough to let my daughter think it was from her. My mom bought me one of those candles , that when it melts down, has a ring in it.

He was in the kitchen at this point and as I walked past him, I said “ and where is my gift from you?” He always managed to get me something nice, even if I did have to pick it out myself many times. He looked at me and explained that he gave me my gift last night. The chocolate bar? The flowers that had lasted just 12 hours and were already dead? Something he picked up at a grocery store at 10 pm the night before? This is what he thought of me? I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I put so much time and effort when planning gifts for him, and he ran to a grocery store at 10 pm the night before my birthday to bring me a chocolate bar and some almost dead yellow flowers? How could I not be hurt?

But my mom and daughter were there, so I didn't say anything. Later that night after everyone went to sleep, I approached him. I told him my heart was broken. I told him I spend so much of my time thinking of him and my daughter and what would make them happy. I plan events, purchase items for no reason other than to make them happy. It doesn't have to be a birthday or anything, but if I see something that I know they would like, it makes me happy to make them happy. And yet, there was no thought, no effort put into my special day……..again.

And that is when he ripped my world apart. I thought he would say sorry, like he always does. I thought there would be some grand excuse like there often was. But not this time. This time he told me he doesn't think of me, that he doesn't feel the way he thought a husband should love his wife. I was taken aback. Before I could think, I asked him if we was thinking about a divorce, knowing of course there was no way he would ever want that. And he said yes.

He said yes.

He said yes…. then the floor fell out and I was falling from my safe haven, spiraling, sinking, dying inside.

I went downstairs and tried to sleep on the couch. I had to work the next day after all. I was awake the entire night, I don't think I slept for more than 15 minutes. My world exploded and I couldn't believe at 51 years old and with an 8 year old child, and so many years invested, that he could leave me without even considering trying fix things. I had no idea. I had asked him for the last two years why he was grumpy. I had tried to communicate, I had suggested date nights. He had been lying to me, to my daughter and to himself, maybe, for the last several years. He didn't trust me enough or care enough about his family to invest the time trying to fix things. I hated him for this.

The next day at work, I was a zombie. I couldn't tell anyone yet, I wasn't ready, but everyone knew something was wrong. I am the joker at work, usually the one to get the staff laughing. I wasn't laughing that day. I was so worried how my daughter would handle this. She is so all about family. She is borderline ADHD, has some difficulties in school already, but is so loving and affectionate towards both of us.

I started silently researching lawyers and looking for somewhere to move. Then I thought, no, he wants this, he can finally do something. For once in his life, I was going to make him do the work. I told him to look for a mediator, that I was staying in the house till our daughter finished this school year and he could move out or at the very least , stay in the basement. I told him we would tell her together but that I would not take any blame for his decision to break up our family. I had no control over what he was doing to us, but I had the right to stand up for myself and more importantly, for my girl.

We were going on a planned family vacation that very week. We were to go camping for a few days and then head up to his family’s cottage for the remainder of the week. Everything had to be put on hold, including telling our daughter. We had to pretend to be a family while my heart was breaking into tiny pieces. But as my heart was breaking, my resolve was growing stronger. I had time to sort through my feelings and deal with the eventual outcome.

I found myself daydreaming about decorating a small townhouse or semi, I certainly didn't what anything, nor could I afford to buy anything bigger. But I could see my daughter and I being happy there. I could imagine meeting someone one day down the road who would appreciate me that way I wanted to appreciate them. I don't see getting married again, I never wanted to get married in the first place. But I could imagine that I could be happy.

I am a strong person, maybe that is part of the problem. When I first met him, I wasn't interested at all. I lived in a small town, he lived in a big city. He called me every single night, even when I told him he didn't have to. He must have sent me a hundred love letters, poems, words of adoration and love. He would leave his exciting city to come visit me any time he could. My friends loved him, my family loved him, well before I did. One day I looked into his eyes and thought,” crap, this is the one” I had fallen in love. He was the one who made me feel safe, loved , adored, and I returned every affection.

A year later he moved to my home town, with the intention of moving back to the city with me in tow at some point if we stayed together. We did. I didn't like the city, but about two years after he moved in with me, he got a job offer back where he was from so I sold my business, gave up my friends and family and moved to a city I never wanted to be in.

But it was ok, because we were going to get married, buy a house and everything was going just the way it was supposed to. I never wanted to get married, never wanted kids and was happy with the life I had in my home town. I was willing to change my way of thinking for him.

A few years after we were married and happy in our house together, we decided to have a baby. I still hated living in the city and I hated the job I had, but I still looked at him with adoring eyes, knowing he was the man who swept me off my feet, away from the life I thought I would have to this better life. A life with a family, with a nice house and a new baby, and by now I had just started a new job that I loved.

He says I can't move back to my home town now because of our daughter. And I kinda hate him for that too. But, at the same time, it forces me to be stronger, more independent and capable, more like the person I used to be before he came along. I like the person I was, and I will like her again when this has settled down.

There will be no going backwards for me. I have never been the type of person to view life in the rear view mirror. I have my priorities in check, and I will always move forward, no matter how hard it is.My child is the most important thing to me. He is a good dad. Sure he could never remember to book her a dentist appt or remember an important date for her or even buy her underwear, but he loves her, spends time with her, and she loves him right back. I wouldn't want her to lose out on that.

He is still in this house, it is still new and we still have to tell our daughter that her happy world is about to drastically change. We have to figure out some way to handle helping her to understand what this means while still making her feel safe and , above all, loved by both of us.

Once the separation agreement is signed we will begin separating the life we had together. I don't know if he is going through a depression and just doesn't know it. I feel it is a mid life crisis, to be honest. I have read up a lot and discussed with a few very close friends the possibility. The general belief is that it is a mid life crisis rather than a bout of depression. Of course only he will know for sure. Unfortunately, those suffering from mid life crisis often don't know it until they come out the other side. By then it is often too late and that damage has been done, Some people make it through a mid life crisis intact and some don't.

When he broke my heart on my birthday, all the love I had for him started to ooze out of the newly formed cracks. As my heart empties, I feel safe in the knowledge that it will mend one day. I know that for now, my focus will be on moving on with my daughter, and making a great life for us, even if we do have to stay in this city for now.

I don't know how he will be. I don't know what he is thinking. I do know that it doesn't include me.I also know that I am ok with that. I got so used to feeling unappreciated in these last few years, I feel that even if I am the only one for awhile to appreciate myself, that is better that the alternative.

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