real life

"I want to get a divorce. And I don't know why."

“I’ve never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question finally getting tireof their own bullshit.” – Elizabeth Gilbert.  No truer words have ever been spoken.

In the past six weeks, I have learnt more about myself than I have in the countless hours I have spent sitting on my therapist’s couch. Jason* (my husband) and I have decided to separate. This decision has not come lightly, for either one of us. I can’t speak for Jason (nor would I want too) but I can say that the last six weeks have been the hardest time of my life.

I want to tell you that something went horribly wrong, that we woke up one day and realised we hated each other, that we couldn’t bear to be in this marriage anymore, that even looking at each other was painful let alone being in an intimate relationship, but that would all be bullshit, because I love Jason, I do, I just don’t know in what way.

In every relationship I have had, I do the same thing. Meet someone, have sex, have more sex, move in together, make some huge commitment, (in this case get married, last time it was buying a house) freak out because I realise I don’t actually want what I have committed to, push them away, do hurtful things, push them away more, end the relationship.

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It’s the same thing over and over again, it’s even at the same time of year. I have realised that this goes in a two to three-year cycle. This was fine to do when I was younger, when life wasn’t so serious, when the people that were involved still had one foot firmly planted in their own life, but this isn’t fine to do now. People are getting hurt by the choices I am making, to some degree lives are being destroyed because I am confused about who I am and what I want for my life.

I’ve always been an all or nothing person. All in or all out, an extra strong coffee or no coffee at all, eat until I want vomit or don’t eat at all, get completely wasted or not at all. I have known this for a long time now but knowing my vulnerabilities and accepting them are two very different things.

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I have come to the realisation that I have always put my self-worth onto someone or something. My career, my relationship, how many times I floss a day (don’t judge that’s true, I literately hate myself if I don’t floss twice a day) I have quickly realised that this is no longer what I want to do.

I don’t want to define myself by something or someone, I don’t want to be the girl with the perfect house, perfect husband, perfect children. I want to be the girl, that is strong, travelled on her own, and chose to learn from her mistakes.

I want to be the girl that looked any situation in the eye and said "bring it". I don’t want to wake up at 50 and think, “I have created a life for myself that I don’t even like.” We have all seen this happen many, many times before.

People settle, for an okay job, an okay relationship in an okay town. Then they wake up and have a “holy f**k moment,” and decide to stay in their situation because “it’s the right thing to do,” or they decided to leave because there is more out there then they have realised.

As outsiders it’s easy to judge, “she has done this before, rush into a relationship, self-destructed, she talks herself out of it, she is destroying people. She is all kinds of f**ked up.” These things might be true to some people, but I am now realising my truth, owning my mistakes, accepting the consequences for what they are, good, bad or ugly.

Listen: How Chloe Shorten told her kids she was getting a divorce. Post continues below. 

There is so much I admire about Jason, his kind soul, his ability to put his mind to something and achieve it, how hard he works, the fact he is never scared to try anything once. People keep saying to me, “you will never meet someone like Jason, you will never find someone that loves you as much as he does,” and yes, these things are quite possibly very true, but this is the risk I have to take. 

As hard as this whole situation is, I know this is the right thing for both of us. He deserves someone that knows what they want, that knows who they are just as much as he does. He deserves someone that is going to give him their everything and right now I don’t even know how to do that for myself.

I have to listen to my gut, I have to accept these horrible, shameful, embarrassing feelings, I have to own it and I have to keep going. As Elizabeth Gilbert says, “someday you’re gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You’ll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing.”

This time I know, it’s changing for the better.

*Name has been changed.

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You can visit Catherine Pegoraro's blog, This Glorious Madness.

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