Some interesting developments on the home front. When my wife and I argue, even about the dumbest shit, it doesn’t take long before shes telling me how much she hates me, wants a divorce, and will never have sex with me again (I wasn’t holding my breath anyways). It takes a while for the argument to deescalate and then we are fine again (as fine as fine can be, getting her to apologize for what she says in the moment is like pulling teeth and often not worth it). Last night, we had a talk. I had got to thinking, after a big blow up earlier and things started to cool down, ‘if she is always talking about divorce, maybe she really wants one?’ We’ve ruled divorce out as an option for so long. First, we are ‘Christians’, second, we agree that our son would be best served by two parents, and third, something we never talk about, but my wife has no ability at this time to support herself, no job skills, no prospects, she’s entirely set herself up to be a housewife as she’d always dreamed about (sure, she went to college, a far more prestigious and expensive one than me, but she has very little experience in her field).
But, if she’s always talking about it, how about we talk about it together for once? I mean, we’d talked about it before, but never more than to say, ‘no we can’t divorce cause God says so.’ Maybe she really wants a divorce deep down and we can start moving in that direction amicably. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look in her eyes when she finally realized what I was talking about when I brought it up: pure terror. From that moment I wanted to make it stop, I wanted to comfort her and tell her I’d never leave her or stop loving her, it was painful to bear seeing that fear and pain on her face. I said that I only brought it up because she talked about it so much when we argued. The apologies poured forth from her mouth, like a young child who’d gotten caught red-handed by a parent, she told me how sorry she was that she always said it, that she told me she hated me, that she doesn’t really hate me. She told me that she never thought I’d ever consider divorce as a possibility, that she trusted in my loyalty to her, that she couldn’t imagine me imagining myself with someone else. It made me realize how much she’d taken me for granted. When she told me how much she hated me and how much she wanted a divorce, it was like she was beating me like a loyal dog she never thought would bite back or run away. The tables seemed to have turned. In my darkest heart, I knew I could manipulate the situation, perhaps it would even been justified given her treatment of me, but no, that would be evil and heartless, I don’t think I could even do it if I wanted to, and it isn’t out of some belief that I’m noble, I know that I’m not.
She wouldn’t want to share custody of our son, she’d always want to be with him every day. Honestly, I want that too. But, she knew she could never stay in this area on her own, even if I was paying maximum child support and alimony, it is just too expensive without her having an income of her own, and jobs are scarce. She’d need to find a new partner, and that was fraught with fear on my side because another man would be step-father to my son, would he do well? Would he be abusive? She knew her prospects were far more limited than my own. Now, she talked about her fear that I’d found someone else, I assured her I hadn’t. I wasn’t lying, my affairs were not marriage material (dear lord, I fear for Sierra’s future husband).
We hadn’t had this honest of a conversation in years. Though I held back telling her about my affairs, we were painfully honest with one another. We both acknowledged our mistakes, getting married, having a kid, the terrible things we’d done to each other during our relationship. We acknowledged what we both wanted: a loving, passionate relationship. We came down to two choices, get a divorce or work together to fix this. We’d been working to fix it for so long, we both agreed it was an uphill battle, perhaps even impossible. But, she made it clear a divorce wasn’t an option for her, she didn’t want me to be with anyone else, she wanted me to be her husband and father to her child. I could see this wasn’t going to end how I wanted. We couldn’t have an amicable divorce. She was right, divorce would make it almost impossible to care for our son the way we wanted, at least in the short term. I could see so much pain and fear in her eyes, fearing that I’d move forward with divorce without her blessing, but I knew I couldn’t, not now, not without trying to fix this, I love her and our son too much to not try. So I tell her, we’ll try to mend it, we’ll try to rebuild, I would never abandon her even if we divorce one day, I’d never stop caring for her and our son.
The wall between us seems to have been broken down, for now. We actually embraced, kissed, it was like something out of the twilight zone to actually be kissing my wife, for her to come to me for affection. She even started talking about trying to have sex again, maybe starting with once a week (what a novel idea). We sat and talked the rest of the evening, it was an amazing change from the cold distance between us before. Hard to believe it began with a conversation about divorce. So, we’ll see what happens. This could be a new dawn. But, I still don’t know what to think, I know she could never abide an open relationship. Could I ever be satisfied in my marriage? I have to try. Or can I give up cheating now that I’ve tasted the forbidden fruit? I know I want to start again, a fresh slate a bachelor, but, it just isn’t that simple anymore having a wife and child to care for. I’ll have to keep taking it one day at a time.