Relationships are hard. I know, I’ve had a few. I got married young, 21, to my high school sweetheart because …well… it was the right thing to do. Everyone thought we were so great together and we got along, so we kind of figured it was what we were supposed to do. We were never in love. We were friends, and we got married, and we stayed friends. There was never a deep connection between us emotionally. All we ever talked about was what to make for supper, and then later, our kids and what was going on with whom.
We never fought, we never argued, we never did anything really, our entire relationship was flat and dull and boring. I used to joke and call him Mr. Mellow because NOTHING got under his skin. The flip side to that is that when there are never any downs, there are never any ups. Basically our entire marriage was a long flat line. It was dead from the beginning. It wasn’t miserable, it was just….flat.
I was incredibly lonely as a wife. I needed intimacy and connection and I definitely wasn’t getting that. I spent a lot of time blaming myself for having high expectations and talking myself out of my own needs. I worked really hard to meet all of my husband’s needs thinking that maybe if I could make sure he was happy, he’d return the favor. For a long time, I never asked for what I needed because.. well, I felt like I was being a pest. When I finally did ask, he tried, but it just wasn’t in him.
My ex-husband is a fantastic man and an excellent father, don’t get me wrong. This is not a Man Bashing blog by any stretch of the imagination. My ex is an extremely introverted and private person and asking him to have deep conversations about emotions and books and art and poetry and anything really, was torture for him. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to meet my needs; it was that he was unable to do so. So I found ways to do it myself until I just couldn’t anymore.
We Redefined Our Family, and For Us, It Worked
Deciding to redefine our family by getting divorced was one of the hardest choices we ever made. People didn’t understand, we got along so well, what was the problem? The problem was that no matter how hard we tried, we spoke different love languages and it was taking its toll on both of us. It was hard at first and he was admittedly a little angrier about it, I felt a lot of guilt. It put a strain on us, but we pushed through.
Today, we co parent like you wouldn’t believe. We have monthly Parent-Parent conferences where we discuss chores and school and being consistent between our two houses. We are friends again, and we do a great job raising our kids together. It hasn’t always been easy. But redefining our family has worked out better for all of us. He is still my family and we are working together to raise amazing human beings, we simply aren’t married anymore.