Did I Contribute To The Death Of My Marriage

by Jul 20, 2018

One of the things that crosses your mind when you face divorce is ‘how did we get here?’  For me the answer was simple. My husband of 18 years was unfaithful, and I found out he’d been lying to me for as long as a year. It was pretty darned easy to blame the failure of my marriage on his bad behavior. It was even easier when all the outsiders took my side and joined the “What-an-asshole!” team that I had formed. It felt really good, at first, to farm out all the blame onto him. Then, I realized that if that were true, I was the ultimate victim. And let me tell you, I’m a lot of things but “victim” isn’t one of them.

It took about six months to work through the grief process and really get down to some self-examination. I had also read that I “should” try to identify my role in our divorce, so I started journaling and thinking and holy crap!  I had a major ah ha!!

See, when I got married, I was an insecure, 23 year old, adult child of abuse looking for someone to rescue me. And he did. He told me what to do. The unpredictable mood swings were actually very comfortable to me.  I was accustomed to that from my childhood. He was a huge emotional mystery to me that let me fully exercise every codependent bone in my body! It was very convenient!

Then I started to grow up. I had 3 children. I matured. I climbed the corporate ladder and built confidence. I also worked on myself and started to heal my old wounds. I changed. I changed a lot!  And guess what – he didn’t! Is that his fault? Of course not!

So after years of growth and healing, I became far more independent, self-sufficient and no longer needed his approval to validate my self-worth. I still thought I loved him, but not in the same way. The problem was his love language was being needed! When I no longer “needed” him, he felt abandoned and found someone else that did.

OMG! I did play a part in ending of my marriage! Don’t get me wrong, nothing makes his infidelity ok – finish one thing before you start another – but I understand now that I was the one that changed the balance of our relationship. I outgrew him. I was ready to rise to a new level – and he wasn’t.

So you know what? It’s ok. We needed to both move on. I remarried the perfect man to encourage my growth and be the perfect partner for me and he married the woman he cheated with. Maybe they’re happy, maybe they’re not. Doesn’t really matter to me. It’s his life to live now.

Acknowledging my role freed me from a lot of resentment and anger towards him. It allowed me to forgive him and even move into a place of empathy for how abandoned he must’ve felt.

When you start to look inside and become introspective, your outlook on your life starts to get pretty good and I now embrace the belief that everything truly does happen for a reason.  You just need to be open to possibilities. So, one more time, ask yourself – how did we get here?

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