It’s all fine and dandy to come to the realization that you need to separate from your adulterous husband. Truly. But, that’s only half the battle. The second part, the actual “making plans to leave”, can often be the more exhausting step of this equation. Yes, I had finally decided to vacate my situation. Congrats to me. But what was I going to do? Where was I going to go? How could I go away and still believe reconciliation was a possibility? This is the part where you may disagree with me. Or maybe you’ll just sigh at my naïveté. I wouldn’t judge you. I get it. I often look back and think “How did I ever convince myself we could still make this marriage work?” However, I swear to you that I believed in my heart of hearts, in the deepest depths of my soul, that I could leave him and somehow we would still find a way back to each other. I did. I mean, through God all things are possible, so why not this?
I knew I had to get away. I was miserable. I don’t have the words to properly describe my pain. My darkness. I felt like if I didn’t leave New York, I would throw myself in front of a subway car. It sounds dramatic, I know. But it’s the truth. If something didn’t change soon, I wouldn’t make it. The day would come when I fell down and wouldn’t be able to pull myself up again. I was losing my fight, my will. Feeling invisible in my despair. I had to go.
Step one was to tell my boss. He had been such an angel for the past 4 months. I wanted to give my company ample notice. It felt like the least I could do after all they had done for me. NYC was hosting the Super Bowl that year, and I decided I would stay long enough to handle the events for that weekend. It wouldn’t be fair to throw a new employee into that madness. 5 weeks. 5 weeks until my departure. I felt better after setting the date. Every difficult curve ball life throws at you is easier to handle when you have a cut off time in mind. I have found that to be the case often. Once you can see the finish line, your soul will carry you the rest of the way.
Another small blessing. I was so nervous to quit my job. This company had been so good to me. Truly, they had become a safe haven of understanding. I worried I was letting them down. Through quiet tears I explained that I had to leave. I apologized profusely. He just shook his head and said, “I know.” Maybe everyone knew it would eventually come to this. Maybe I was the only only hold out. Maybe my ex-husband even knew. But I never believed I’d have to leave, until leaving was the only option. I was relieved to have made the decision. It felt right. I felt justified. Once again, I was a woman with a plan. I like having a plan. It gives the illusion that I am somewhat in control of my life. I researched and hired a moving company from my desk at work. I was already knocking items off of my “to do” list. I was being proactive. This was happening.
I changed my mailing address, I booked a flight to Tennessee, I discontinued my gym membership. I had decided I would “move home” and figure things out from there. I was being responsible. Everything was clipping along nicely. Except that I hadn’t exactly told my ex-husband. I mean, technically he knew I was leaving him. I was moving out. But, at this time, he wasn’t aware that I was leaving the state. I don’t know what he thought I was doing. Maybe moving in with friends? Who knows. I had been clear that January was the last month I would be paying rent. So he knew that much. He didn’t seem too torn up about the current state of affairs, and I hate confrontation, so I chose to avoid the topic for as long as possible. Please keep in mind, that during this process, I truly and utterly believed we would STILL be able to heal our marriage. I had convinced myself that we would find a way back to each other. God loves marriage. We made a covenant with God. Ergo, God would wave his magic wand and (if I was patient and good and perfect) grant us a beautiful marriage with a fantastic testimony and a deeper commitment to each other than we had ever had before. End of story.
It’s been over three years since that woman made all these life changing decisions for herself. I can still feel the pain. I understand what it’s like to feel a deep grief in your heart that you can’t escape. The agony was difficult to endure at times. It was suffocating. Exhausting. And at the end of the story I don’t have a “beautiful marriage with a fantastic testimony.” That was supposed to be the prize for my despair. My winnings. Instead I have a Honda, an amazing bow collection that any rational human would be envious of, a tender heart, a courageous spirit, and a deeper commitment to my Heavenly Father than I have ever had before. Plus the realization that my story is just beginning.
2 Corinthians 3:3 “You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”