The time has now come that I have been divorced for longer than I was married……..and I think I am almost ready to discard my anger towards my ex-spouse.
For a very long time, I entertained karmic revenge fantasies, praying for him to feel what I felt. All this did, was cause me not to focus on my own life and cause me to miss out on the good things that I had been blessed with. That revenge game is a dangerous one. Firstly, the revenge is not nearly as sweet as we imagine it to be and secondly, it’s not even mildly satiating and leaves us wanting for more revenge. Truthfully, there is no greater “revenge” for an errant ex spouse than your own happiness.
It definitely sounds simpler than it all is. It’s also easy to say from a place of happiness…..but it wasn’t always so…..
The proverbial bomb began to drop when I was 28 weeks pregnant with my third child. I had gone away with my husband on a supposedly romantic babymoon. We were staying at a beautiful hotel across from the sea, my other two kids were at home with granny…..the weekend was potentially perfect.
My husband had always been a fan of the metaphysical writer, Dr Brain Weiss and had been reading “Only love is real”. He then went to take a nap. Upon awakening, he came to join me for a cup of coffee and then matter-of-factly declared that he was not “marriage material” and that he needed to be a free spirit and that he needed to “seek his truth”. I, of course, had been caught totally off-guard and was completely devastated. I sobbed the entire weekend. When we returned home, I managed to convince to go and see a therapist. I was completely desperate for someone to “talk some sense into him”. He agreed to see a therapist and after two or three sessions, he was convinced that he had encountered an early mid-life crisis and that this had caused his urgency to want to leave the marriage immediately.
Not surprisingly, I went into early labour as a result of this shock and was prescribed bedrest for 6 weeks. In my mind, my marriage seemed better and I was actually in a blissful state during those 6 weeks. When I finally went into labour, I was at home and my husband was at work. My mother drove me to the hospital and I called my husband. He replied that he was in a meeting and that he would meet me at the hospital once his meeting was finished. I was totally oblivious to the fact that he had already checked out. I was unconscious to the fact that my husband was no longer invested in our marriage. My baby spent two weeks in NICU. When she eventually came home, my friend’s driver brought us home (note – my husband did not even offer). At the time, I could not understand why my friend thought this to be strange.
One morning, while my husband was in the shower, I found an sms on his ohone saying “Morning sexy, this chicken needs some loving”. When I confronted him, he brushed it off, saying some guys at work were playing silly games.
I still did not hear alarm bells when my husband informed (as opposed to discussed with) me that he would be going overseas without me for a friend’s wedding – for ten days. When I questioned him, he stated: “I am not asking you, I am telling you”. The night before he left for his friend’s wedding, he was preparing his best man speech and began watching our wedding video for some inspiration. He kept telling me that he could not look at himself on the video – alarmingly, I did not find this telling!!
He returned from this trip and was delighted to tell me that he would be sponsoring a kid-free weekend for myself and a friend, in order to thank me for looking after our three babies while he was away. Unbeknownst to me, he would use this wife-free time to connect with an old flame he had connected with on his overseas trip.
A few days later, he left for another overseas trip, this time for business. Again, I was not at all suspicious when he told me that he would only be able to speak to me every few days for a minute or two only, as phonecalls from this country were very expensive. Ironically, he later revealed phone records totalling a few thoasand rands – to his mistress.
He returned home from this trip at 9am on a Friday. I was busy working (I had a home office) and called out to him to please wait a minute for me to finish so I could give him a kiss hello. When I finished with my client, I ran to hug him and he brushed me off. If you can believe, this was the first time since our dismal babymoon that I realised something was amiss and that something earth-shattering was imminent. I immediately felt an unease, but I was not aware of the enormity of what was forthcoming.
He returned home from work that day and I immediately felt his isolation. We attended a family dinner that evening. I made a special effort to look pretty and everybody complimented me – except for him. To him, I was invisible. To him, I was already dead. When we returned home, he continued to ignore me. I was aware that there was something seriously wrong. He refused to engage but agreed to a discussion in the morning. I was aware of his distance, I had no idea as to what was to come.
I was standing in the sun, smoking a cigarette. He walked outside to join me and casually stated: “I love you but I’m not in love with you. I want a divorce. This is non-negotiable
He could not give me any clear reasons why he was leaving. He merely repeated that he had “fallen out of love” with me and that he would be able to treat me better if we were apart. At a later stage, he told me that he had very clear reasons for divorcing me, but that he would only tell me “when I was ready”. To this day, he has not told me his reasons, but I have thankfully reached a point where his justification, thought process or regurgitated psycho-babble bear little relevance in my life.