It was a cold, rainy day in January the day I left my husband.
We both made mistakes that led to the crumble of our marriage. The emotional and verbal abuse I was enduring from him was getting worse. I assumed it was normal to be called names every day. I assumed it was normal to have my pets and my things threatened. After having physical objects thrown at my face twice, I realized this wasn’t OK. But, I made my own mistakes too. I was unfaithful and had a one night stand with a stranger. After that, our marriage truly fell apart.
I felt like a prisoner in my own home. My friendships were either strained or non-existent and my relationship with my family was thinning. I told myself I would give it until Christmas to see if things improved, and they didn’t. It was around that time when I started talking to another man. I knew it was wrong because I was still married, but I didn’t care. This person made me feel loved and safe. Our relationship quickly escalated and I made the decision to walk out on my husband and into the arms of another man.
My [ex] husband left on a guys trip for a few days, and that’s when I made my move. I was too afraid to tell him to his face that I was leaving. I was afraid of what might happen and how he might react. I felt like a coward handling it this way, but at that point in my life it didn’t matter. All that mattered was leaving. I got up early that January morning, threw up, and started packing. My family and a couple of friends helped me pack my things. I was in a fog the entire day, I knew what I was doing was wrong and that things were going to get worse before they got better. But I kept telling myself to take it one day, one thing at a time, and that everything happens for a reason.
It was time
This wasn’t a hasty, last minute decision made after an argument. This was something that had to be done, and I finally had the courage to do it. I was prepared to pack my things as quickly as possible. He didn’t know I had been planning this for weeks. I opened my own bank accounts, contacted a lawyer, and had people lined up to help care for our pets. I knew what items I would be taking with me and what I would be leaving behind. I knew the consequences of my decision would be catastrophic. But I was prepared for it; it needed to be done.
I wasn’t just leaving, I was running. Running away from a life of fighting, abuse and being unhappy. I was miserable, trapped and unhealthy. Although he wouldn’t admit it, I knew he was unhappy too. After 10 years together, it needed to end. Neither one of us wanted to admit it, but we failed. We failed as husband and wife. We failed as friends. It was especially hard because we had been together since high school, being with each other was all we knew.
The next 6 months were a whirlwind. I lived in a tornado of fear, worry, anger, sadness, and relief. I was truly starting my life over. I had to find a new place to live, buy new furniture, buy new dishes, and work through the divorce process. Luckily, our divorce was fairly simple. We had no children and we basically split everything down the middle. I took what was mine, he kept what was his. I walked away from the home we had purchased together. It wasn’t worth the time and stress to argue over getting my share of it, I just wanted out.
Eventually, the dust settled and the divorce was finalized. I stopped looking over my shoulder in fear. The phone calls and the texts stopped. The relationship him and I had and the memories we shared eventually faded. I do miss the good times. I miss our inside jokes and our friendship. We still run into each other from time to time because we share mutual friends. But now when I see him, he’s another face in the crowd. Now he’s just somebody that I used to know.
Verbal, emotional, and physical abuse is never OK. If you or someone you know is in need of help please contact the local Mankato Public Safety office at 507-387-8701 or https://www.mankatomn.gov/city-services-a-z/city-services-n-z/police. Or 911 in the case of an emergency.