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Hatred…

Where do I start on this one? I couldn’t begin to tell you the whole story on how Joe and I ended nearly 3 years ago… Or everything that lead up to it… About the control and abuse… about resentment that builds and is so difficult, but not impossible to overcome.

Resentment was the catalyst in my decision to ask for a divorce. The closest description to what my marriage was is… Death by paper cuts. Joe was 12 years older then myself and at first it didn’t make a difference. Or so I thought… But years later sitting back I know everything started in the beginning. He started obsessing, drove me to and from work everyday… all sorts of things… yet I never realized it. I liked that he was different and even when it did bother me I didn’t say anything.

Resentment grew… I sought individual counseling and went to Joe trying to deploy the tactics I was taught… I failed. I learned I was pregnant with Jody… One of the hardest things I will ever admit is that in the beginning of my pregnancy I didn’t want any of it. I cried because I felt like I was stuck. Then the fatal announcement… Joe and I grew closer in many ways and further apart in other ways. After that the focus on Julianna took over the issues in our marriage.

It never changed though. It was always masked by smiles and false appearances of happiness. Don’t get me wrong there were happy times. I loved being with family and with friends.

THEN IT HAPPENED…

There came the realization that I had so much resentment built up that no matter what I would never allow Joe to fix it. Something would always be wrong. It took years…. Years of smothering… suffocation… isolation…

I asked for a divorce. Not the first time… and not the last time but I did finally say I was done. I just couldn’t take it. I need space to breath. I needed to be able to sit with friends and just be myself… without the pressure of “what did I say wrong this time.”

My description is so minimal…

THE REAL STORY…

As much resentment as I had, I wholeheartedly believe that Joe had more. He hated the fact that I couldn’t love him the way I loved my kids, the way he needed to be loved. In other words… neither Joe nor I had grown enough individually or together to be the person that the other one needed.

WOW! I guess it happens… I think sometimes there are attachments and issues in marriages we cannot overcome. At the same time the task of separating from the other person is astronomical. You’ve been married for 10+ years with kids, a house, cars, financial obligations, campers, boats, friends, family, neighbors… what would happen and WTF would everyone think?

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UNHAPPY?!?!

There is unhappy and there is unhappily attached to the wrong person. I honestly think that when we were married Joe’s focus was on me. What’s happened over the course of our separation and divorce? I did the worst thing I could do. I unattached myself from Joe, the one thing he held so tightly to.

So what did I get? An angry, bitter, mess of a person who will stop at nothing to make things difficult for the kids and me. A person who will take… take and take… more and more each and every time. A man who has no pride to walk away with the knowledge in the divorce he got everything of value, he left with substantially less debt, he left with a business that was untouched… he left with me paying him. Paying child support… my pride and most of all I pay every day for the decision to divorce him.

ANGER?!?!

The hardest thing for me was to let go of my anger towards him… I can’t tell you how many times I have said, “he’s actually not a bad person.” “hes just very angry”, “honestly he was always so different”, “I do still love Joe”, “I think if I am patient he will be the person I always believed he was.”

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I realize none of those things are true. I try so hard to hate him for what he does to my family. But hate can never over power pity…

PITY BECAUSE…

I’ve learned over time that Joe is afraid to let go. There’s a fantasy in his head and he’s hanging onto it. He’s trying to justify his rage and suffering… he will do it long enough for me to realize how I hurt him, how badly I made him feel. And maybe, just maybe I might feel even worse then he does. I realize he is so afraid to let go of his anger because in some twisted, sick way it keeps him connected to me.

He is angry… he is trying to make me pay for his suffering. However, he is suffering because after all this time he can’t emotionally divorce me. While I have detached myself from him he has yet to detach himself from me.

He is arrogant to a point, but does not have the courage to look me in the face. He can’t speak to me without cowering in a corner because the reality is that in the big picture he lost.

He lost his pride… In two suicide attempts, one of which he really should have died… In me paying him child support… in believing I am here today to pay him because he made me the way I am. Ugh… Well there is more. But for today… I have to say this…9e9c3ddf06c6d8896bedf9729e4d515d

COURAGE…

It took enormous courage to walk away from Joe, to detach myself from him physically and emotionally. When I let go of the anger I allowed new things in my life. I allowed myself what I deserved… Love, comfort, friendship and the knowledge that I can do this myself, without him and the ability to show my kids what healthy life is.

REMEMBER…

I have a post it note in my bedside table… a passage from a book and forgive me because I have no idea what the name was… but I’ve memorized it over the last several years…

We rely on this emotion to preserve the very dignity and integrity of ourselves. Anger is not a bad or negative emotion. It can take great courage to admit and express anger. But it requires just as much courage to free yourself from the corrosive effects of living too long with anger and bitterness…. A challenge that may include forgiveness but it does not require it.

I forgave him… and I forgave myself…

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