I remember our first real fight. I am so so embarrassed to even be sharing this, honestly. It’s so mortifying. We had just moved in to our first apartment and we were emptying boxes and deciding where things should go. To him— everything had a place. To me— I was trying my best to fit into my new wife mold and make things seem organized and pretty, except it was more like chucking stuff into a cabinet and calling it a day. We made a dinner of PB & J, boxed macaroni and cheese, with some chips as a side. Then we enjoyed our “poor man’s dinner” on a cardboard box together— in front of a 20” TV, also on a cardboard box. When it was time to clean up, he took the bag of chips, rolled it up, chip-clipped-it and put it on top of the refrigerator.
What. In. The. World. (Yeah I know you’re thinking it too).....Chips don’t go on top of the fridge. Not now. Not ever.
It went (loosely) something like this:
Me: Um what are you doing? 😳
Him: Putting the chips up?
Me: Chips don’t go on the fridge.🤔
Him: Why not?
Me: They just don’t.😒
Him: Well um...yes they can- that’s where my family keeps the chips.😏
Me: Well in my family we put chips in a cabinet, they look tacky on top of the fridge soooo you need to move them.😠
Him: I’m not moving the chips.
Me: Yes you are!
Him: They can stay there...😡
Me: ohmygoshifthechipsstayonthefridgeimgonnafreakout😫😭-breath-likehowcanyouevenlovemeifyouleavethechipsthere?!?! 😭😑☹️😭-Breath- thisiswhywecanthavenicethings!😡😩😨😱😭
Him: I’m not having this conversation!😡
*cue dramatic exit of husband leaving the apartment and slamming the door*🚪
*cue me locking the door behind him*🔑
*cue 30 seconds of wait time and 15 seconds of me feeling bad for locking the door*⏰
*cue overly dramatic obnoxiously loud clap of thunder*⛈
*cue me unlocking the door and opening it to find a very terrified and almost lightning struck husband*☠️
The chips stayed on the fridge. The End.
I have alluded to the fact that my Dad wasn’t a great one. It’s still really hard to say that, because deep down I’m hopeful that one day he could be. I truly believe that no person is too far removed from Christ’s love to be radically transformed— and someday I hope to find out that he has been. In my heart of hearts I feel that I have forgiven him for the wrongs he has done to me and the mistakes he’s made towards my mom and my sisters. After all, forgiveness is a decision- not a feeling- and I made a decision several years ago to release myself from the anger and the hurt and haven't looked back. It seems as though the deep wounds he’s caused have slowly turned to scars that are barely visible anymore. Barely- but they are still there, as deep scars tend to never really go away. It’s been at least 5 years; probably longer since we've last spoken and I can’t even recall the time or the place we had our final conversation. It’s not upsetting to not have spoken to my dad in 5 years, because there was no real relationship to mourn between us. I can think back to a handful of funny memories I have with him- most of the things I have to ponder on are abusive, manipulative, deceitful, and mean— and why would I want to spend my time remembering that? So I don’t. I've forgiven, and I (mostly) tried to forget. Until I got married.
I had thoughts that first year of marriage that I’d made a horrible mistake. Not because of chips on the fridge, and not really because of anything my new husband did- although I often found myself putting blame there. It's funny (not really) how you can think you are free from the baggage of your past, only to realize that you've unintentionally brought the baggage with you and then some. I knew, being newly married, that the feelings of making a "horrible mistake" and the "unhappiness" I was feeling were a heart and attitude problem I had to take up with God. It was not for my husband to fix, even though I wanted him to be my saving grace. As far as the “daddy issues” were concerned, I projectile vomited (figuratively) that crap everywhere that first (and some of the second) year of marriage. I was the poster child of Daddy/Daughter damaged goods whom everyone was out to get. I spent many a nights trying to explain to my new husband what my childhood was like- he “got it”- but I knew he would never truly “get it”. No one really can unless they were there and that wasn't his fault. I took my husband’s jokes towards me personally, I clammed up when I was asked to do things around the apartment, and I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself. It’s never been easy for me to be positive or optimistic; I’m the most legal and realistic as they come. Nothing gets by my keen eye or escapes my thought process. I’ve always been prepared for the worst case scenario, but only because I had to be. However, slowly enough my thoughts, misconceptions, and convictions started to change and I began to more clearly view our relationship. I hold the marriage covenant so highly and I was willing to do whatever it took to make it one that would last.
Guys. Marriage is fun. Like, I love being married. I am sitting here crying now because I really really love being married. I love being a wife. I love making a house a home, decorating for all the holidays; entertaining guests. I love being proud of my husband’s career, I love the feeling of being a team, of deep conversations, and late weekend mornings in bed. I make a decent cook, and an even better friend. Even more than a mom, I feel like I was always meant to be someone’s wife.
So on this particular day, referring back to my other blog post expressing that my husband is no longer in love with me or attracted to me- I kissed his cheek and left for school. It was a Friday. That was the morning of the day that changed my life.
I didn’t know that would be the last time I smelled his cologne in the bathroom, the last time I saw his stuff by his side of the sink, the last time I passed by our guest bedroom and pondered it being a baby nursery. I had no idea that the lipstick kiss I left behind on his cheek while he slept in our king size bed that morning, next to our Golden pup, would be the last kiss I gave my husband.
I’m so very regretful of the week leading up to what I refer to as the “moments of lasts”. Maybe if I would have listened better? Asked more questions? Laughed more? Kissed more? Should I have cleaned the house more? More. More. More. That’s all that reels through my mind. I should have done more. The truth is, things were fine. They weren’t amazing- rainbows weren’t shooting out of our eyeballs for each other- but things weren’t bad either. We had been kind of “off”, not communicating very well, not being very affectionate, not doing as many fun things together- but I took that as we were just sort of comfortable with each other, and at the same time life had taken a stressful toll like sometimes life does. Things were easy, and fine regardless. Maybe too easy? Maybe too fine? Too comfortable? I always told my friends and family that being married to him was a breeze. I bragged to my friends that we got along so well, we didn’t bicker or argue hardly at all. When we did, things could get heated, but it wasn’t anything major. Besides the chips on the fridge story- I could name maybe a total of 3 big arguments in almost 4 years of marriage, up to the moments of lasts, because nothing-in my mind-was ever so bad that I couldn’t forgive, forget, and keep chugging along.
“I want to be separated....”
“Yes, divorce is what I want...”
“I don’t want to fix this...”
“No, nothing you try can change my mind....”
“My reason is because I just want to be alone and I don’t want to be married anymore....”
The fact that I didn’t see any of that coming....well, it blows my mind. No. It beyond blows my mind. How did I miss the signs? What’s wrong with me? How did this happen? Is this really happening to me? I have so many questions and close to zero answers. I want answers— I’ve demanded answers, as I’m sure many of you reading this want answers too. I have accepted that I probably will not get them. As hard as things were our first year of marriage, things had gotten so much better since then. We understood each other better, we had gotten through the lies I had been believing about love because of my Dad. Things were so so much better. So how could it suddenly be so much worse? I want to hate—but hate is the opposite of love and there is still love in my heart for him. Please don’t hate. Choose love. Love covers a multitude of sins. Please continue to pray. I’m still hopeful he might change his mind about all of this, even though he has assured me he does not plan on it.
So here I am. In my actual worst case scenario since saying "I Do". Since this situation has been brought to my attention a mere 4 weeks ago now, I’ve been mentally preparing for the worst at my counselor’s advice. "Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst." Which is something I know a thing or two about. So everyday I hope. I hope for a glimmer of a smile, a note left on the counter, a sweet text, a miraculous heart change. Every single day I wake up and put the biggest “hope pants” on that I own and every day when I arrive back home, still hopeful, I realize hope was not enough, and I head to bed and prepare for the worst. Nights are the hardest. That’s when I write— like right now. It's 1:00 in the morning and I have to be a shining, smiling, teacher in 6 hours. I should be asleep, yet I’m here writing to somehow help make it all make sense. My mind spins 100 mph constantly, it gets no rest. Sleep is my only escape-but then there are the dreams. At least, I would consider them dreams in comparison to this real life nightmare. I’ve found myself dealing with things I never thought I would say I’ve experienced. Panic attacks. Sleep walking. Not eating at all until I realize I haven’t for a day and a half. Constant headaches. Crying, no- sobbing. I don’t try to experience these things, but these are some of the physical pains that I didn't realize would accompany the heart pains I'm also struggling with. This is, from my perspective-a painted picture for you of what divorce against one's will is like. It’s sad. It’s so very very sad. Heartbreaking. Desperate. Painful. And yes, it’s really happening to me.
What if— just throwing it out there- I've innocently ignored God’s will for my life from the beginning? I do believe once vows are spoken in God’s name then those vows should be kept (except in abusive situations). I never once thought divorce would be an option once I got married. In fact- I want to stay married, in light of it all. I still think God can work a miracle and bless us as a couple. The pain I am experiencing right in this moment is only a very tiny glimpse of the heartbreak Jesus feels for me. He hates to see his children suffer. But, maybe this— divorce—is somehow all part of His grand plan for my life. I know that trying to figure it all out will not bring the peace I am desperate for. Trying to have all the answers will only keep me in the darkness of the storm. I am searching for the light. God did not cause this happen to me because God does not cause pain and suffering. If anything, I’m thankful to Him for the process I’m about to go through because He’s about to use human freewill and the sin of this world to mold, challenge, and change me for His glory. How? How does He use hard things like death, divorce, or daddy issues to glorify Himself? A wise person suggested that God can use hard situations to inspire, encourage, and teach others going through similar experiences. Although, don't get it twisted-I’m not trying to be a good example for how to handle this, I’m just trying to be an honest one. I'm continuing to take each day as it comes, hold my head high, act as gracefully as I can, and seek God through the mess- called life- that I’m sifting through.