I love you but it’s time for me to go
I was recently considering divorcing my husband.
I dreamed of breaking out of the boundaries of marriage and being single again. I think it’s something that many married people go through from time to time, and while it is difficult to talk about, we shouldn’t be ashamed of it or have to hide.
I’ve been jumping from one monogamous relationship to the next since I was 16 – and being free and single has been looking beautiful and shiny lately.
Even if my relationship was going through a really difficult period, I still want to try to work through it. This also includes giving myself some time and space, away from my partner. I needed it especially after the debacle where I checked his phone and found text messaging on another woman outlining some pretty hurtful criticisms of me.
Strangely enough, this woman is in my living room with my husband right now. You and another woman are here to work with him on a film project. They are both adorable, smart, talented ladies, and it’s hard not to look pale in comparison when I’m hiding in my bedroom and typing on my keyboard to unleash my lone wolves as a writer.
I support my husband’s artistic goals and dreams. I want him to do film projects, and I’m glad he’s working with one of his best friends (although I’m still a little bit bitter about some of the conversations they have had about me).
He was very respectful when he asked me if we had any plans and would I mind if they did their job here?
I told him to do it. No problem.
The only thing that annoyed me is that he cleaned the whole house in preparation for them to come over today.
Our home is typically a disaster area. It’s a very small room, just under 800 square feet in total, and we’re growing out of it quickly. The mess that is approaching us creates real fear in me. Not everything has its place anymore, and as hard as I try, I just can’t keep up with everything or organize myself.
The story goes on
I would appreciate a little more help. And this weekend I got it. My husband scrubbed the toilet and shower tiles. He tidied up the kitchen and living room and cleaned them. He did everything. And I’m so grateful to him for his work, because many men are still used to the woman in the house doing most of the housework.
At the same time, I kind of feel about it. I want to get a little snappy and tell him he’s more than welcome to clean the house, even if his keen actor friends don’t show up. He can do it to help me and to take care of me.
I’m both totally relieved that my house is fine and totally upset that it wasn’t done for me.
Marriage is a complex jumble of juxtapositions of emotions. I love him. I want to leave him. I don’t want to throw this marriage away. I want a divorce.
What voice do you hear
The trauma of feeling trapped
Sometimes the trauma from my previous marriage that I worked so hard to heal still raises its ugly head in my current relationship.
I was so reluctant to remarry because of the terrible experience I had with my ex-husband. He was manipulative. He was verbally and psychologically and sexually offensive. He was controlling and had a terrible temper. Sometimes he scared me because I couldn’t predict what he would do next.
My first marriage turned out to be so bad that I ended up escaping my home with my toddler in tow. Fortunately, we found a safe place for a while in my sister’s house.
When most of the 22-year-olds I knew were graduating from college, I was working on my first divorce, moving from a stay-at-home mom to a working single mom. It was the right thing, but it was a tough road my friends couldn’t do anything with. I knew I had made the wrong decision to marry so young to a man who had manipulated me.
And I didn’t want to make that mistake again.
Even though I knew I wanted to have romantic relationships afterward, I was sure that I would not marry again. The damage was done. No matter how good the guy I met was, I always wanted to be out and not be legally bound.
Fast forward to over a decade later. I’m with a man who is worlds away from my ex. I am never afraid of him. He never controls or abuses me.
And last August, despite my fear of being bonded, I married him. I did it because he wanted to, and because I got some really important benefits from working with him. And besides – I thought he deserved to have everything he wanted.
But lately I’ve been feeling trapped in my marriage again. Like some kind of marital claustrophobia. I realize that sometimes I want to get out. The fact that I have to take care of everyone around me is going to be overwhelming – and I am sure that many married women and mothers can understand this feeling.
Lately, I’ve been feeling a lot more like my husband’s mom than his romantic partner. Or maybe a platonic roommate who usually does much more than his fair share of the job. To the men out there, I don’t think I need to tell you how much this kills the sexual mood in a relationship.
And it’s not just about housework, paperwork, bills, grocery shopping, childcare and making appointments – most of it falls to me. It is also about the loss of a sexual connection. The loss of romance.
It’s gone. Puff.
Apparently it sucks the wind out of the sexy sails to be pushed into a mother role rather than a partner role.
Although I love my husband, sometimes I feel that we are happier when we are apart. Sometimes I just want to leave him. Then he would do his own laundry and I could focus more on our intimate relationship instead of mothering him.
Give myself space when I need it
One thing that has really helped me lately is getting the hell out of my house. I booked a hotel room in the city center for one night – just for myself. No kids, no husband, no scary mess.
It was a whole night for me to just relax and have some time to myself. I enjoyed being creative, watching bad TV, ordering a delicious dinner, sipping a bottle of sparkling wine, and even having some sexy self-care time.
I wanted to pamper myself a little to help my mental health. And I felt just a little bit guilty for spoiling myself. But don’t worry – I got over that pretty quickly.
I understand this may not be for everyone. It is a privilege that I was able to financially afford a mini-stay for myself.
For the women who are unable or prefer not to spend the money on something like this – I think spending the night with a friend or family member who understands that you need a break would be another great way to indulging in little fun and self-care.
It can create tension for you and your spouse. I know my husband was a little suspicious at first, especially since we have so many difficulties. That speaks to our trust problems, and that is another thing that we need to work on.
But after we had talked openly and honestly about the reason I wanted to go away for a night, he understood and supported him overall.
And let me tell you – it worked. I can’t explain how relaxing it was to be in my own clean, quiet space doing what I wanted for hours. It was like getting soothing medication for my brain and body right away.
I came back to my husband the next morning feeling refreshed and ready to tell him all about my night.
He knows that he is welcome to take the same amount of time. That it goes both ways. Sometimes a little space and independence make the heart beat faster.
Some healthy takeaways
When you’re having a rocky moment in your relationship (or a rocky few months like me) it helps to be as confident and realistic as possible.
Don’t ignore or deny the problems or negative emotions you are experiencing. The more you suppress them, the more they will fester and grow, hurting both you and your partner.
For this reason, I am aware that my husband and I would really benefit from couples therapy and I am looking for a suitable specialist. Probably someone who specializes in polyamorous or non-traditional relationships.
However, remember to also monitor your ability to deal with emotional trauma. It is not healthy for you and your significant other to talk about all of your problems and ailments all the time. There is not enough energy in the world for that. Sometimes you need (and deserve) a break.
Take breaks for yourself – like time off or just other activities that you enjoy doing to get you away from the house and your spouse.
And also take breaks for two. Just because you’re working on difficult problems doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still be enjoying doing fun things together that aren’t just about “working on the relationship.” Have a date. Spend time talking about things you enjoy. Go out with friends.
Achieving relationship goals is important, but it’s also about finding a healthy, happy balance that works for both of you.
This piece first appeared on Medium.
See the original article on ScaryMommy.com