It was a long time coming.
You should have known, but you didn’t think I had the guts to do it.
How many times did you you say you wanted out?
Maybe the time I didn’t want to go to town at 11 pm, which I quietly expressed, being wrapped up in an art project. My saying so was a challenge to you; I think it represented other aspects of our lives that you were unhappy with. You wouldn’t lay a hand on me, but you gave me your best intimidation: Your black, unblinking eyes steady as you charged into my personal space- just close enough to mean business. Then, you threatened to rip my painting- All because I asserted an opinion.
I made sure to do it gently too, so there could be no accusation of “rebellion.”
You yelled, you clinched your fists, packed a bag or two, and I watched from a window as you tossed them onto the back seat of the car. I think you circled around the block a few times while I called my sister at 1 o’clock in the morning, terrified.
I tried to hold my calm- which you always hated. You said more than once I should express my feelings differently because I appeared lackadaisical and uncaring. But we both know that wasn’t always the case.
I asked myself once again: Why do I continually encounter this episode with men?
Before going to my sister’s house for the night, I have to say I was truly afraid, unsure of what you might do. I had experienced occasional hurt when you were overcome with a meanness that wouldn’t rest until I had tasted the bitterness of it, and tears…that seemed to be the objective. Once fulfilled, you withdrew in shameful repentance after a revelation from God that I hadn’t done anything to deserve such treatment, that you ought to have behaved better.
As years passed, and after many more words and irrational confrontations, I became numb.
When you said “I don’t think I want to be married to you anymore,” and how I had been a lousy wife, something changed in me that instant. I never quite got over that.
Later, When I said I wanted a separation, you came up with things like:
“Your credit isn’t good enough..” (It was excellent, in fact).
“You cant make it on your own..” (I have).
The only sad moment was your shock, when you slowly fumbled your way toward me with genuine tears and said:
“Don’t leave me…”
Pictures of you as a toddler came to mind, because you looked vulnerable like that little boy. I saw you as human, not
I stayed for a long time…17 years- because I believed in marriage. I left for the same reason. I knew your religious belief would never allow you to leave. After our divorce, you informed me the international headquarters of your church had a file of my behaviors and my leading the divorce, which cleared you of any fault, and free to pursue ministry. I knew that would be the case. Make the most of it. Divorce was the best decision I ever made.
BUT no, it wasn’t easy.