Only where there is disillusionment and depression and sorrow does happiness arise; without the despair of loss, there is no hope.
We sat at the same table where two weeks earlier we’d sat while both of us cried our eyes out as I laid bare my ugly soul. This time there were no tears. It was business. We’d had our ugly moments over the last few days. Moments of major contention. But, a few days ago in another counseling session with the pastor my wife had finally admitted that reconciliation couldn’t happen at this point. She made it clear that unless I made some major changes right then and there with my attitude, we couldn’t even begin to try to reconcile. She wanted me to want her, to fall on my knees, beg forgiveness from her and before God and unconditionally surrender, commit to doing all she asks to reconcile, display my love and desire for her. I wasn’t going to do that, not when I couldn’t be honest about it. I was willing to get counseling and address these things, but I wasn’t there. I wasn’t sure reconciliation was the best thing for us so how could I commit to it unconditionally? How could I come back to God when I wasn’t certain what to make of Him anymore? How could I say I wanted her and desired her when it isn’t true? Perhaps those things would change in time, no one can say for sure, but I’m not there right now, and I told her that. We had decided for divorce.
So, here we were, we’d had our heated words about dividing things up already, but finally, my wife was ready to set aside her personal feelings and hot emotions and come to a tentative agreement so we could have a smooth and amicable separation. We sat at the table, pen and paper in hand and went over the finances, assets, alimony, child support, custody, legal fees, and process. It reminded me of times she and I had sat together to go over some family business. We did work well together when dealing with a crisis, and this certainly was one.
“I can’t imagine you with someone else, we can’t be friends, I can’t know about who you’re with,” my wife said calmly, but I could hear the strain in her voice, “I was in it till death do us part.”
I nodded sadly, “I know, I’m sorry. I want to be your friend but I understand if you can’t accept my friendship, I’ll always be there for you.”
“This pain is awful, you’ve turned our lives upside down, you don’t feel a thing do you? Not the least bit sad about us?” She asked.
Whenever I thought about us my head felt hot, my eyes stung, but tears would never start.
“I will miss us. The sadness is almost more than I can bear. Despite everything, much good came out of our relationship, we had many good times together,” I said leaning over the chair.
It was true. Now, more than ever as we are headed down this road do I feel conflicted. I love my wife, I love my son. Part of me wants our family back, to erase the damage I’ve caused and to go back to the way it was. But, that is a trap, I know it. Just being happy was a daily struggle. I’m not ready to go back there, not now. And my wife isn’t willing to delay, she wants this over with. So, here we are. I should be moving out hopefully by the end of the month, and we should have a divorce contract within a week or two. I’ll be visiting my son a couple of times a week. There is a lot of uncertainty going forward. The road is wide open. I have to carry the regret of having a failed marriage and a child to care for until he is 18, but I won’t shirk my responsibility, and I will never stop loving my wife or child. I feel like I’ve wasted almost half my life away, and my wife’s while I was at it. I’ve ruined enough lives at this point, perhaps it is better to stop holding on, and accept it, mourn the relationship, and appreciate what was good about it, even though I’m continually tempted to go and hold my wife and tell her I want her back. But, I know I only want to do that because I don’t want her to be in pain anymore, I want it to be all a bad dream and to be able to make her happy again. That’s why I stayed as long as I did, that’s why I didn’t break up with her when we were dating, that’s why I married her, that’s why I had a child with her, all because I didn’t want her to hurt and I wanted her to be happy. I had made myself responsible for her happiness, and it had destroyed me. But, looking back I have to accept that I couldn’t succeed when my heart wasn’t truly in it. A good part of the time, I made her miserable, and she made me miserable. And then I did all this and now I’ve devastated her, inflicted wounds that will never heal. I want to be the one to bring her happiness, but I don’t think I am that person. So, as much as I just want to go and comfort her, and be the one to make her happy again, even for just one more minute, it seems I shouldn’t, won’t it only bring more misery down the road?