I was miserable in my marriage. I cringed when my husband touched me. I dreaded the hours we shared in our home. I spent a lot of time sleeping, preferring to shut my eyes to the reality of my life.
I knew it wasn’t supposed be that way. I tried to alter my emotional state by focusing on material comforts and reminding myself how happy they should make me. I think we both did that. But even as the money flowed in, joy failed to follow. Each of us was stuck in a life we didn’t want, and we each resented the other for our situation.
The Moment Of Truth came on May 24, 2006 when my husband suggested we separate. After the initial shock wore off, I was relieved to admit my true feelings. In our frustration and misery, we found common ground and began working together to untangle the mess we’d made.
"In our frustration and misery, we found common ground and began working together to untangle the mess we'd made."
The following weekend, we met a friend of the family for lunch and discussed our situation. While my husband was in the restroom, our friend suggested, “You’re really happy about this, aren’t you? You’re glowing.”
Less than two weeks later I moved out of our marital home. My dad helped me set up an old stereo, which was the focal point of my otherwise barren living room. After selecting Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here from my record collection, I dropped the needle and sat on the floor to listen.
"And for the first time in a long time, I felt like... myself."
As the music enveloped me, I released my body back, onto the hardwood floor, and laughed out loud as all of my lingering despair melted away. I was listening to my music in my own personal space. In that moment, I didn’t have to be a wife or a homemaker. I realized that I could eat when and what I wanted, sleep when and where I wanted and watch all the damn foreign films I wanted without negotiation. I was free! And for the first time in a long time, I felt like… myself. It was an amazing moment, and the recollection still gives me chills of excitement and delight.
Pink Floyd and foreign films were just the beginning of me embracing My Life. In the months that followed, I reconnected with old friends, made new friends, left my small town and bought a house in the city. I bought new furniture, took a yoga class, took a photography class and then I went back to college to finish my degree. A year after my divorce decree was sealed, I was a different person, unimaginable and unrecognizable to my former, married self.
"Divorce provided us the freedom to fully embrace the people we always wanted to be..."
It’s now been a decade since The Moment of Truth, and I regard my marriage as “a great mistake to make.” After all, there were some good times, and I learned a lot from the experience. These days, my ex and I get along much better than when we shared a bed. Divorce provided us the freedom to fully embrace the people we always wanted to be, and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity that comes with the priceless gift of release.