1. “He became emotionally unavailable.”
“I got married very young, I was engaged at 19. However, my marriage was pretty OK until about five years in. My husband experienced a family tragedy and started being weird. He hid to smoke and when I discovered it and asked why he didn’t tell me, he said, “Because you didn’t ask.” Not knowing highly specific things to ask, such as, “Are you hiding from me and smoking cigarettes out of our bathroom window?” made me feel weird enough, but then he also told me that I didn’t understand him. The only person who DID understand him … was his best friend from 7th grade who he communicated with maybe once every 3 years.
“That was the first episode when I had doubts, but fast forward to year 8, we hadn’t had sex in 3 1/2 years and when I told him I couldn’t take it anymore, he told me I had “unrealistic expectations” about sex because I watch romantic shows like ‘The Office’ and think that is what real life should be like. We’ve been divorced for three years.”
2. “He became insensitive — and unfaithful.”
“The moment(s) I realized getting married was a mistake: When my ex excused himself for the “online affair” he had been having with a woman in NYC because he had “known her longer than me.” A day after coming home from the hospital having given birth to our first son via emergency C-section, he asked me to go get the oil changed on the car while he was playing PlayStation. Or my all-time favorite: When our first born was less than 3 months old, he quit his job in Greenwich, CT and decided that he wanted to take our savings to become the “Lawn King of the Hamptons.” Only a week into his newfound career, he realized he’s not good at manual labor, having shattered his only client’s $3k Anderson glass sliding window by misusing a weed wacker. Oh, the men we marry when we are young and dumb.”
3. “He was being sneaky.”
“Two days after the wedding my darling husband was going through his former fiancé’s email account. And I walked in.”
4. “I didn’t love him.”
“There were a number of strikes against my marriage that made it pretty obvious to outsiders that it was not going to succeed. I was very young when we married, only 18 (he was 24). He went from cheating on me in secret to openly having other girlfriends and going back and forth between me and whoever the current one was as “he tried to figure things out.” None of this, however, made me believe marriage was a mistake.
“Even when I finally gave up on trying to make it work and filed for divorce, I didn’t think it had been a mistake. It wasn’t until a few years down the road, that I realized it. A group of us were talking and the subject of exes came up. I said how I had no hate, no dislike, no anger, no love — no feelings whatsoever — towards my ex. What I felt for him was the same as I would feel for any stranger on I met on the street — I wish him well in life. The only time I felt anything was on behalf of my kids and the fact that he has never been in their lives.
“Then I finally realized that I had married him for all the wrong reasons. If I had married him because I was madly in love and couldn’t imagine a future without him, then some residual feeling would always remain even after I had moved on. If and when I ever marry again, I hope that I will be clear-headed and mature enough to know that this time I am doing it for the right reasons and doing it for the last time.”
5. “He needed serious help — and refused to get it.”
“I came home from the honeymoon, and I couldn’t find him anywhere. I looked in my office, and he was underneath the desk, rocking in the fetal position.
“Why are you doing that?”
“I’m supposed to be on medication, you know.”
“How long has it been since you’ve taken it?”
“Five years or so…”
6. “Everything just felt wrong.”
“While stressful, planning a wedding should be an exciting time. It was during this process when I realized (or rather, realized again) that getting married was a bad idea. The invitations felt contrived and forced. After finally settling on a design, the writing we chose just felt … wrong. There was no truth behind the beautiful words. Figuring out our first dance song was much the same: While every song’s lyrics were touching and romantic, nothing really ‘felt right. Every song I did like made me feel like a giant fraud, as if I were going through the motions without the emotions to back them up. When one’s heart just isn’t in something, one’s brain should rethink the choice being made.”
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