couples

'I found out I was pregnant the day I was planning to tell my husband I wanted a divorce.'

Two days after meeting with a divorce attorney, three days after finding out that my husband was not only a drug addict, but an embezzling drug addict, my mother-in-law offered to watch our twins.

“You could have a break!” she said. “Maybe get lunch together.”

I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to spend any time with my husband really. I was worried that we would talk. I was also worried that we wouldn’t talk and how the not talking could be worse.

I talked with friends about whether I should try to have an intervention on him, let him know what he was doing and how it was affecting me and blah blah blah. Each of them just told me, “Don’t. He’s already dug himself deep enough”.

Watch: Mamamia confessions – relationship dealbreakers. Post continues below.

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So, instead, I prayed for him and I cried for him and I cried for me and I cried for our children. When his mother arrived, I made small talk before we went to lunch.

At a local Mexican restaurant, we both sat silently. I kept shoveling chips in my mouth and trying to watch the television on the back wall. I tried to look everywhere but at his face.

He asked me questions about things like he was now interested in areas of my life that he never cared for before, like how was my writing, what was I reading. None of it mattered because I was already gone.

When the food arrived, I noticed a tingling sensation in my breasts, the same thing I felt whenever I was about to nurse. I must be pregnant, I thought. Oh f*ck, I thought.

When my husband was watching TV in the living room later, I took a pregnancy test and hid in the bathroom with it. I set a timer for three minutes. I sat. I stared at the floor. I scrolled through my phone. I tried to breathe, but I’m not sure I did until the timer I went off.

When I looked at the little test window, I saw just one pink line. Two pink lines meant pregnant. I wasn’t pregnant.

I sighed in relief, but I kept looking at it, confused.

I texted a friend, “I think I might be pregnant again, but I just took a test and it’s negative.”

“What does that mean?” she said.

“It could be too early to tell,” I said.

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“When might you know?”

“A few days more probably.”

I left the test hidden in a cabinet.

I knew what was coming.

My mother agreed to come over to help with the kids after work. I expected not to see him until 8:45pm that night. My father was worried about how he would react to being served divorce papers. I was too.

By 2pm, I called my lawyer because I hadn’t heard anything.

“The judge has been in hearings all day and hasn’t had a break to sign it, so I’m just waiting here until it’ll happen. I’ll let you know.”

My husband was not served divorce papers on Wednesday. A paralegal called to tell me that they left the paperwork with the judge’s secretary and he should sign it on Thursday.

Thursday morning, my husband asked if we should go to couples therapy again, and I said, “I guess.” The rings were still off my hand. I wouldn’t put them back on. I didn’t know if he had noticed, but I noticed, constantly.

All of the million times in one day when I would run my thumb along the base of my rings, a nervous habit I didn’t even know I had until there wasn’t anything there anymore.

My heart felt closed, like I’d slammed the door on it as soon as I pulled my rings off. I know the heart is a resilient muscle, can stand a million breaks in a lifetime, but I didn’t know if my body or mind could handle as much as my heart could.

Then I opened up Facebook and a memory popped up from 2009 that said, “I am very much in love today.” I felt sad for the young woman I was. I had no idea what would come.

In 2009, we had been dating just two months. We had probably just exchanged “I love you’s” for the very first time, but I was not that girl anymore.

We grew up together, and I was a woman today and he was a man today and I didn’t think I could love the man he was anymore.

My mum came over again Thursday night to help me with the kids. I got the call at 1pm that the judge had signed the paperwork, but the process server had a lot of people to serve that day, so it’d probably be Friday.

On Friday, my proposal for a work conference in April was accepted. I’d be going to a city I love, just five hours away. I told my husband, and he said, “That’ll be nice. Would you want to go up early and enjoy the city more?”

I took it as an invitation that he wanted us to go together, and I couldn’t handle him not knowing anymore, so I told him: “I filed for divorce last week. You should be served today. Monday at the latest.”

“Really? Can we not try to work this out?” He texted back.

“No.”

“Can we talk about this?”

I agreed to talk on the phone.

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We had a conversation that tested my poor resilient heart. The loss of a marriage is like a death and ours was slipping away like a long painful illness.

Like maybe it dying would be the best, oh the peace, oh it’d be in a better place, we might say about our dead marriage, but no one wants their loved one to die, and our marriage was our loved one.

Mamamia’s award-winning podcast The Split discusses navigating separation. Post continues below.

“I know I fucked up,” the man I married told me. “Are you sure you can’t give me another chance?”

“Yes,” I told him.

“You know I just want you to be happy. If it’s not with me, then I’ll understand.”

I started crying then. Crying for my dying bleeding heart of a marriage.

I was certain there was nothing he could do, that this was it. That he’d pulled the plug from our marriage on life support when he’d embezzled from his job and lied to me yet f*cking again.

For the rest of the day, I felt meek and raw. My eyes kept brimming. I could barely get through the day without bawling at my job, in front of a classroom of children.

He did not get served, so Monday it was. We had a weekend ahead of us. He texted me to ask if he could pick up our children, and I said yes.

I left work and got into my car. When I pulled the seatbelt over my chest, I felt the tingling sensation in my breasts again, that same feeling that had made me think I was pregnant five days before. I need to buy a pregnancy test, I decided.

I went to a supermarket and picked up a pack.

I arrived home before he did, and I took one, leaving the stick on the back of the toilet. I set a timer on my phone for three minutes while I put away the dishes. I put all of the plates on the counter and then the bowls, dropped the cutlery into their various places in our drawer. Then I started putting together all of the bottles and nipples and tops.

The timer went off.

I walked to the bathroom, feeling like I was walking to something big, something monumental.

The test was on the back of the toilet. I picked it up, and there it was, a second pink line. Two pink lines means pregnant. I was pregnant. We were pregnant.

The day I told my husband I was going to divorce him, I found out we were pregnant.

Tara Blair Ball is a memoirist and freelance writer. Check out her website or find her on Twitter: @taraincognito. Sign up for her e-mail list hereRead what led up to this story in Tara’s memoir, The Beginning of the Endnow available for sale on Amazon.

This post originally appeared on Medium and has been republished with full permission.

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