The hard part in writing about my marriage and divorce is not sharing what my ex-husband did or how he treated me. The hard part is exposing my response. The fact that I continued to allow it. That I did not pack my bags and leave immediately. Or after a month or two. Or year. Or ever, really. I never did leave. I stayed.
I can't even begin to answer the question that is most often asked. When I finally began to share the truth with my friends and family, none could understand why I had stayed. Why I didn't demand more respect from him. Why I didn't stand up for myself.
I don't know the answer.
I have a few contributing factors to blame. This was my second marriage, and I didn't want to be twice divorced. I sure as all hell did not want to be twice divorced at 32, which is something I repeated over and over (I made it to 34). That had a bigger effect on me than some might guess-- I was really fearful of being that woman. Another, I suppose, was laziness. Damned if I wanted to go out there and have to find someone new. Loneliness, too. Especially after we moved out here to Colorado. At the time, I did have friends, but not really good ones. I was terrified that I would be completely alone. ALONE. Alone, alone, alone. I was like Jerry Maguire. Interestingly, this did not become a problem because when he left I found myself taken in by a new circle of friends that are my family now.
I have a pattern of staying with men that give me less than I desserve, mostly because I'd rather that than being alone. I think I've finally learned my lesson on that one. But we'll see.