Looking at it now, last December. We were built to fall apart, then fall back together. Your necklace handing from my neck, the night we couldn’t quite forget, when we decided, to move the furniture so we could dance, baby like we stood a chance, two paper airplanes flying. And I remember thinking, are we out of the woods yet?
Taylor Swift, Out of the Woods
I’ve always thought there is a certain stigma attached to divorce. You failed at the most important relationship of your life. The very person who swore he would love you in sickness and in health has decided you are not worth loving. There must be something wrong with you. That feeling is made even worse when you are so quickly replaced, tossed away like a piece of garbage.
Last December everything started falling apart.
I had uncovered yet another infidelity. I’d lost count by this stage just how many there were. I don’t know what was different about this one, why this one changed everything.
I confronted him about it on Christmas Eve. I tried so hard to not say anything so that Christmas would not be ruined but I couldn’t help myself. I knew by this stage that he had bought the “other woman” expensive and thoughtful Christmas gifts. The kind he used to buy for me, the kind I still bought for him. We had exchanged gifts earlier that night and I received a dinner set, a dinner set he only purchased earlier that day with very little thought. I was fuming.
Christmas Day we tried to discuss our problems. As usual he turned his infidelities back on me. I was busy with the kids, I didn’t pay him enough attention, I pushed him towards the other woman. This time though something in me had changed, I had decided that this wasn’t about me. It was him. If I did spend too much time with the kids, if I didn’t pay him enough attention, that doesn’t give him permission to cheat. There were big problems here but those problems were him and I was tired of being made to feel like I wasn’t good enough. Things had to change.
I had reached breaking point and asked him point blank did he love me. He sat in silence with a blank look on his face. No emotion, nothing. I knew then it was ending, my marriage was ending, I’d lost him. I calmly packed up the kids, their Christmas presents, a few clothes and left.
After “sleeping on it” (meaning: getting drunk with my best friend!) I decided that I owed it to my children to try and hold this family together and returned home the next day. When we returned I was confronted with the reality that rather than thinking about us and how our marriage could be fixed, he’d had another woman in our home.
I had been gone for less than 24 hours and in that time he’d already removed his wedding ring and had another woman in our bed. I’m not sure why I am so surprised by this considering throughout our entire relationship he’d always had other women on the side. I think I’m more surprised by how quickly he relished his freedom.
His wedding ring never went back on.
The next few months were terrible, I desperately tried to hold my marriage together, I was alone. I felt like I was drowning and the one person I needed to save me had become a stranger. Family and friends tried but I was so focused on keeping the marriage together I didn’t listen.
All I kept thinking, and still keep thinking to this day, is if I had known that was the last Christmas we’d ever spend as a family I would’ve made more effort, I never would’ve started the argument, I would’ve made it the most special Christmas for my boys. From now on Christmas will forever be tarnished as the beginning of the end.
We had built a life together, we were a family and in a fleeting moment he decided to throw all that away for a woman who is no longer on the scene.
He broke me, sometimes I feel like beyond repair and he changed our childrens lives forever.
He’s made me question the authenticity of every single person I come across. I have daily battles in my head about whether or not I should trust people in my life, are these people genuine, why would these people want to be friends or help me.
I over analyse everything.
My circle is small, everyone else is pushed away, if you’re in my circle it is not easy, I know that and all I can say to those people is I’m sorry. I was never like this before. One person and his selfish actions did this to me. How he can live with himself and still blame me for everything, I will never understand. I despise him, but I have forgiven him for what he has done. I had to. I have to co-parent with this man, he will forever be in my life.
I find comfort in music. At the time we were falling apart there was a Taylor Swift song Out of the Woods that felt like it was written about us. 12 months later, it still resinates. I thought that we’d come “Out of the Woods” together. I was willing to forgive the infidelities and therefore everything was going to be OK right? I never expected that he would stop loving me and we would end in divorce. It’s taken me a long time to accept my marriage is over and as we start finalising our divorce I see that we are actually “Out of the Woods”, just not in the way I imagined.