Hindsight is 20/20, right? In the months leading up to my divorce, I was spending a lot of time trying to figure out if I could survive a life outside of marriage, or would it be better to just concede and continue being the good wife I always had been? It had already become very clear that the husband was happy with the status quo and unwilling to make any changes.
One day I finally admitted out loud to my therapist, whom I paid to not judge me for expressing such things aloud, "I think I feel like I already have one foot out the door." He gently suggested that given the feelings I had shared with him, it sounded like I had more than "one foot out of the door."
I'd never thought about it like that, but it was true. Legally and physically, I was still tied to the stranger I shared a home and children with, but emotionally and spiritually ... well, that ship had sailed long before I even began contemplating the D-word.
Over the course of the past year, I've spent a lot of time reflecting on "where it all went wrong," and the only conclusion I've come to is that while there may be no wrong or right time or reason to get a divorce, there are quite possibly some pretty big signs that your marriage is already DOA.
- You literally cannot remember the last time you had a real conversation with your spouse. The last time you captivatingly listened to each other, or shared opinions or observations, amicably debated, or even just really laughed together.
- You occasionally wish you were dead*. Or for the the Second Coming to be here already. You just wish there was a way to end the misery in your life without having to do anything, because dang it, you're wiped out.
- It's always the same fight. Always. Over and over. Like a crazy carousel. Or like banging your head on a brick wall. It never ends and you never get anywhere.
- You're always waiting to get your husband back. Sure, people have ups and downs, mood swings, bad days, good days, but if you find yourself walking on eggshells around Mr. Hyde and fantasizing about Dr. Jekyll, accept the reality that they are the same person and decide to live with both or neither.
- You imagine yourself being friends with his new wife. There has to be someone out there that's just perfect for him. Someone that can make him happy. Because you've tried, and it's not you. You'd like to take this lady to lunch and give her a hug.
- Date night makes you cringe. You have to spend time alone with him? Is it going to be awkward silence or awkward conversation this time?
- You don't want him to touch you. Not for sex, not for cuddles, not for holding hands. Maybe for foot rubs, but you stopped begging for those a long time ago.
- You start using three forms of birth control because you're terrified of procreating again with him. Double if you actually want more kids, just not with him.
- You think about having kids without him. There doesn't have to be someone else in the picture (if there's someone else in the picture, do everyone a favor and end the relationship now -- you pick, the affair or the marriage), but if you can picture yourself having kids with some nameless, faceless future second husband ... your marriage to your first husband might be over.
Do you know of any telltale signs that a marriage is basically over?
Image via fractured-fairytales/Flickr
*I'm not talking suicidal thoughts here. If you're having those, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 -- call now.