My (hopefully) soon-to-be-ex-husband won’t let me go. It’s been almost a year since I left him, and he is stalling the process by refusing to respond to my settlement attempts. So here I sit, still technically married, but divorced in every other sense of the word.
He is refusing to let me go, because according to him, he not only still loves me, but also because “we will always be married in God’s eyes.” Sorry, dear, but holding onto something that’s not yours isn’t love, it’s control.
It’s funny, but the more he holds onto the corpse of our marriage, the more I’m convinced that I did the right thing in leaving him. Grieving has been an interesting process, as he has exponentially amplified his behavior -- saying one thing and then doing another.
Was he ever for real? Or was it a sham all along?
More from The Stir: 10 Signs Your Man Is 'Gaslighting' You to Make You Seem Crazy
Oh I know he believes that he loves me -- and the best way to do that in his mind is to ask people to pray for my sin of leaving him, and that God would soften my heart toward reconciliation. Because in his mind, God hates divorce, so therefore it must never be allowed.
I don’t remember promising on our wedding day to stay married to him no matter what, no matter how badly he treated me. “For better or worse” was never meant to apply to abusive situations.
We stopped being “married in God’s eyes” when he began treating me like property instead of his wife. A husband should never say to his wife, “It’s for your own good.”
It’s somewhere between mildly annoying and infuriating (depending on the day) that my ex will mope that I broke our covenant, and that he’s not going to enable me in my sin by cooperating with the divorce process until absolutely forced by law to do so.
So I have to push everything through and it’s exhausting. Lawyer fees are racking up, money that as a single mom, I don’t have. Phone calls and emails and research that I don’t have time for eat away at my schedule and patience.
It doesn’t matter anyway. There’s a no-fault system here -- it’s going to happen eventually. But he’s going to make me jump through rings of fire to get it, all the while claiming that he’s the one doing the right thing, because “we’ll always be married in the eyes of God,” and he loves me.
Intentionally causing pain to another person “for her own good” is not love. I don’t know what it is, but it isn’t love.
Have you ever had an ex refuse to let you go?
Image via Greg Kendall-Ball/Flickr