Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Two Sides to Every Story

It has been a while since I’ve posted on this site. Life has thrown more challenges this year than I’ve ever experienced, but I am here to tell you that I am confident that everything has happened for a reason and in my best interest. This post is to set a few things straight about what has been going on in my life, my marriage, and is my side of the story. Please keep in mind there are always (at least) two sides to every story.

First things first, Todd and I have separated after 7 ½ years of marriage (nearly 9 years of being together). I have written posts every year on our anniversary about how we made it yet another year. Most years it was surprising even to me that we made it, but I was not about to give up and would try whatever I could to make things work between us. There were many issues within our marriage, some easier to move past, others not so much.

There was a post I wanted to publish on the blog for years but never got the nerve to click “publish.” The post was about my struggle living with an alcoholic to let women who also deal with this issue that they are not alone and that I am here if they want to talk about it. I have learned over the years that alcoholism in a marriage is never really discussed: it is an up and down roller-coaster that many women deal with internally (as I had) until it gets to be too much to handle on their own. I learned of many women that I knew (for years!) that struggle(d) with the same issues but never ever mentioned anything about it until I opened up about my struggles with the disease. There is nothing I could have done to help Todd’s alcoholism. Until the addict realizes they have a problem (or hit rock bottom), things would never change.

Todd has complained about pain through our entire relationship. He took dozens of pills each and every day for all of his ailments: caffeine pills to wake up, pain pills for his hands, stomach pills for his acid reflux, magnesium pills to help who knows what, pills for his depression, more pills for the pain, allergy pills, sleeping pills and alcohol because after all the pills, that was the only thing that “truly helped with the pain.” I never agreed with all of the pills and I became extremely unsympathetic when it came to all of his (supposed) ailments. To me, I felt like he was the boy who cried wolf.

I felt in our marriage that Todd always played the victim role and was never able to get past any grudges he had against others. Nothing was ever because of his choices but because of who did what to him. Though he was very close to his mother and father, he had no real relationships with any of the rest of his family (including 4 half-sisters and many nieces and nephews.) To this day, Todd is taking no responsibility to the demise of our marriage.

In no way am I stating that I was the perfect wife in this marriage and that I had nothing to do with the destruction of our marriage. There was a statement I made during counseling many years back that I wish I could take back and I know Todd never forgave me for because it was still being thrown back in my face with each disagreement we had up until the very end. In conflict, I tend to shut down and am unable to talk things through until I calm down. I have a hard time admitting fault in a disagreement but I have no problem apologizing and making amends in the end. But if nothing else, I tried to make this marriage work for many many years.

In the end, it was Todd’s decision to separate. There were many things that were texted to me while at work on a Friday: some of which would have been very difficult to forgive. I took the dogs and went to my parent’s houses that weekend until Todd calmed down. I decided to start looking for places to stay. Three days later, something really stupid set Todd off and there was rage, flying objects being thrown across the room, more verbal abuse, screaming at the top of his lungs, destruction around the house, blame that I made him do all of these things and at the very end, him stating in a round about way that he wished I were no longer alive. That was my sign from God that there was no turning this marriage around. Luckily, that morning, I had looked at a place very close to work and had a deposit down until I decided what I wanted to do. I called the very next day asking how quickly I could sign on the place and move in. Two days later, my brother and my mom came with a 10 ft. U-Haul trailer to pack my things and help me move. And when I say “help me move,” I really mean they did the moving because I was useless. I was mentally, emotionally and physically drained.

Today, nearly a month after all of this took place, I can look back and see how extremely toxic our marriage was to one another from the very beginning. The first week in my new place was extremely difficult not only emotionally, but it seemed like something happened every single day.  By the second week, things started to turn around for the better.

Frankly, I am glad that Todd made the decision to end our marriage. If it wasn’t for his decision, I probably would have tried to work things out yet again for the umpteenth time. In the past, when I wanted to leave, I always wondered if there was anything else I could have done to make things better for us. Now, I know there was nothing more I could have done to save our marriage. It takes two people working together to make a marriage through the good, bad and ugly. That being said, there are more (big) changes ahead for me whether I am ready for them or not.

And I repeat, please keep in mind that this is just my side of the story. I am sure Todd would paint a very different picture of our issues.

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