Today is the one year anniversary of the dissolution of my marriage. I have no idea how I feel today. I do not mean depressed or manic as those are mood states that encompass many other emotions. I am definitely not depressed (well not really depressed; I am always depressed), and I am definitely not manic (at least in any noticeable way). I am something else today. I do not know if I feel sad although I know that would be an appropriate emotion to have, I do not know if I feel somewhat angry that my ex-husband’s behavior forced my hand and made a divorce the only logical thing to do, or maybe I feel both sad and angry. Perhaps, it is a much more tangled set of emotions: I feel sad that marriage counseling didn’t work, I feel angry at him for not taking the counseling and/or my feelings seriously, I feel a certain amount of failure that, in spite of two attempts at counseling, the marriage still came apart. Maybe, I feel a certain amount of relief? That just seems so wrong to feel, though.
I know I am still angry with him for the behavior he engaged in that was really the root cause of the failure. I am trying really hard not to blame him; the behavior he was and is still engaging in is classified as an addiction in the DSM~5. However, it is very difficult for me not to blame him to some extent because I think that everyone has a tendency to point the finger at the other when it comes to things of this nature. He blamed my reactions to his addiction on my having Bipolar disorder (which he never bothered to become even remotely educated about), he blamed it on my lack of ego (if I had no ego, his addiction would not have bothered me to the extent it did, hello), he blamed my reactions on low self-esteem (once again, if I did not have some regard for myself, it wouldn’t have bothered me because I would have been a door mat). He pointed the finger at me and blamed me for his addiction. That still just flat out pisses me off. However, having been an addict of a different kind, I can see the behavior of blaming whoever and whatever is handy, and understand that is part of the nature of addiction.
He doesn’t and will never see it that way until he knows with his heart and soul that he has a problem. It is one thing to know intellectually that one is an addict. It is another thing entirely to own it, make it yours and yours only, and then get help. So far, he has only recognized it intellectually, and with me gone, he sees no reason to stop even though it will impact the next relationship and the next and the next. In many ways, I feel sorry for him that he just cannot see it.
I think also that I feel a sense of loss of self. I am not the same person who went happily into this marriage thinking it would be my one and only for the rest of my life. I have allowed myself to become jaded, cynical and suspicious of the motives of men, in general. I didn’t really realize this until several guys had hit on me, and my reaction to them was to question their motives. They could have been nice guys who just wanted to get to know me. I have been deeply wounded, and I do not know how to heal because the person who hurt me claimed they loved me more than anything else. And, I believed that……for a while. If he had truly loved me, he would have educated himself on Bipolar disorder, he would not have tried to change me from the boots and jeans type of woman I am into a woman who ran around the house cleaning in high heels like some mad version of June Cleaver, he would not have tried to make me look like the women he saw in Texas (of all places; no offense meant). Had he truly loved me, he would have let me just be me. But, he didn’t.
I think more than anything I am confused. I loved him so I did the things I thought or that he had expressed would make him happy, and I received nothing but blame, emotional and verbal abuse, and shaming in return. And, he wonders why I divorced him. Had he really wanted to, he could have changed for me, or we could have compromised. I always thought compromise is part of a relationship. At least it was in the ones I have been in before him. I am also quite confused by his present behavior. It would seem that he wants to reconcile, and he is being the person he was (for the most part) before we were married. I have no reassurances, however, that he won’t go back to the person he became and, at heart, probably still is. Why can’t this man just be normal like everyone else I have been in long term relationships with? Why the confusing gestures and mixed signals? I dissolved the marriage for a reason, and in my experience, those reasons rarely change all that much.