Day 25: Your Biggest Regret
Author’s Note: Trigger Warning – There is some discussion about emotionally abusive behavior.
Author’s Second Note: Typically I have only referred to my ex-husband as such, but for the purposes of this article I have decided to rename him Richard.
What is my biggest regret? The answer was obvious and easy to me and I could see it with such clarity in my mind. I didn’t know if I truly wanted to write about it though because it is very personal. My family reads these blogs and I have not yet shared with them all the struggles I went through in my former marriage. There was another VERY tiny part of me that is afraid of the repercussions. If Richard were ever to find and read this entry… *shudders.* For the old me, the latter would have been enough to let me select another topic.
Round about the fall of 2012, approximately two and a half years into my marriage. Richard was acting off. He started spending less time at home, became very defensive if I asked when he would be home, or asked him to do a chore. He would always flip this around on me “Why did he have to report home to me so often, didn’t I trust him?” or my personal favorite “Well I would spend more time at home, but you make it so miserable to be there.” At the time he had a female partner at his job and I had some concerns that perhaps infidelity was at play.
Everything came to a head that fall when Richard told me that he wished he could have more than one wife. He liked me for somethings, but there were other things he thought could be better served by another woman. I remember being devastated. In that moment I felt that he was leaning towards divorce. In my family, divorce is not common and I didn’t want to be another of my generation who just gave up without trying to work it through.
Richard would swear throughout the length of our marriage that he was never unfaithful with his work partner. He would however later say that he though it saved our marriage when he was not assigned to work with her any more. I also have every reason to believe (based on texts I later received from this woman) that he went to work and confessed his feelings, and when she rejected him, he came back home and agreed to try and make a go of things with me.
So we tried marriage counselling. About six weeks in, it became obvious to me that the whole point of marriage counselling in Richard’s mind was to help change me into a better person. If I brought up issues, he would become very angry after the session yelling at my for the entire drive home about how I was purposely “trying to make him look bad” and how he “wasn’t the issue” I was.
So anyways, about six weeks in I tearfully composed a letter that stated that I didn’t think that this was going to work. I felt that the core issues that we had were not going to change. I didn’t see Richard having any desire to make things better between us, and I didn’t see this ending in any other alternative than divorce.
Let me just pause a moment right here. This was now around the very end of 2012 or the very beginning of 2013. I would ultimately separate from Richard in January of 2015. this would be after spending the entire year of 2014 going through individual therapy, when I finally would realize that this was not a healthy relationship. End pause.
So here I am, crying in our therapist’s office after reading this emotional note. Richard is glaring at me. What my therapist stated then will be forever emblazoned on my mind because it would lead me to make the one decision that I regret more than anything I have ever done in this lifetime.
“Okay now. So I think that we should take this letter and put a pin in it. I truly believe that we are much to early in the process to be making those kinds of decisions and having these kinds of discussions.”
This is my moment of biggest regret.
I KNEW a full two years prior to the ultimate demise of my marriage that it was not going to work. I KNEW that Richard was not going to change.
And in that very pivotal crossroads, I made a decision. I decided that I should trust a professional more than my own gut. I decided to put everything I had into being the perfect wife for Richard because of that reaction. I interpreted that action to mean, Richard is right. I am the problem and I need to give it my all to change.
We cannot go back. We can only move forward. The silver lining to this decision is that when I did FINALLY decide to leave. I KNEW for 100% sure that there was nothing I could have ever done to make this relationship work. I learned what I truly wanted in a man. I learned to love myself first, and to ALWAYS trust my intuition. I also met some people in that time period that will forever be some of my favorite people in the whole world! Life is better for the experiences I have. As for regrets, they are okay too as long as you don’t let them act as a weight, slowing you down or causing you to drown.
Post Note: Did you figure out why I chose the name Richard??? Common American nickname for this name… Dick. 😛