real life

'I divorced two very good men for exactly the same reason.'

The end of a relationship is like a cigarette, you know it’s bad for you, yet you must see it through.

In the end-sphere, breaking up and getting a divorce are like two twin sisters, where one is inexplicably prettier than the other. I feel you require an illustration, so here it goes:

Breaking up is when you pick up his dirty socks for the last time, and throw them at his face while he’s running for the door, that’s pretty. Divorcing is when you both sit down, look at each other directly in the eye, like one does at the sea, and actually feel the void ahead.

I’ve felt this twice in my life…right before uttering the words: “I can’t do this anymore.” Here’s what everybody knows for a fact: long-lasting relationships require hard work. Sure, and here’s what I didn’t know for a fact and nobody told me either: relationships come in all sizes, long and short. Could it be that I just said “yes” to the short ones? Just kidding, that’s a cop out.

Both of my marriages were to two good men. I was loved, cared for, heard, desired, and protected. I don’t know anything about physical or emotional abuse. I don’t know what being cheated on is like. I consider myself extremely normal, but I know some would consider me extremely lucky.

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So why did I leave?

Remember when I told you I was loved? I felt it so, at times. That I was cared for? Sometimes, sure. That I was heard? As long as I was quick. That I was desired? Towards the end, once every three weeks. I’m lying, once a month…And that I was protected? From burglars, not apathy.

I felt incomplete, and as the end drew closer that’s all I felt. It happened quietly when we stopped eating together, showering together, or going to sleep at the same time. The end of a marriage is never sudden, it drags and drags like a long gown down a spiralling staircase. Until someone steps on it and falls. I spent most of my twenties dragging men.

Here’s another thing everybody will swear up and down it’s a fact: people don’t change. That’s not true, I saw both my ex-husbands become remnants of themselves right before my eyes. They relaxed too much and wanted too little, as if getting married meant “stop” instead of “go.” They stopped dreaming and growing, and eventually, how do I put this delicately? They got in my way. Yet I stayed a few more years, to see if things would improve.

Which brings me to my final point: what happens when you overstay your welcome and finally realise your hosts are yawning and they haven’t offered you a refill of whatever the hell you were drinking? You grab your coat (it’s always cold in goodbye metaphors), feel ashamed for a minute for being so out of touch, and you leave. Well, now you know, that’s why I left.

This post originally appeared on Free Bird News and has been republished here with full permission. You can read more from Diana’s blog here.