It’s seven minutes past midnight on my eighth wedding anniversary. A day that means less to me now than ever. Dear Husband’s (DH) schizophrenic forgetfulness is often very frustrating for me but this past week I’ve been glad he hasn’t seemed to remember the anniversary. And I haven’t brought it up either. In fact, I’ve been pulling away in small ways and it almost seems like he notices a bit and is following my lead. I think that is probably just me reading into things but as I’ve gotten less and less lovey with him, he has acted accordingly. I’ve been pondering for days what to tell him if he mentions the anniversary or that I’m less lovey. Sometimes I want to brush it off and say I’ve just been tired or something, which is true. Sometimes I want to come right out and say that we both know this relationship couldn’t work out in the long run and we need to work out the details for moving on. Much of the time I’m in the middle somewhere, and I can’t even tell you what kind of conversation that would be. I guess I’m at the spot where I’m trying to figure out how to get my ducks in a row while working with tight monetary and logistical constraints.
It would be easy to say that I need to be out of this marriage because DH can be difficult to live with, but that’s not such an issue these days. I’m in much less a care giving role with him than I used to be. Partly because I’ve pushed him to do more in this home and in his life and partly because I am (we are!) much less controlling than I (we) used to be and can let things roll off my back more easily. And there’s the fact that some in the system–who took serious issue with the disparity between how much I do and how much DH does–have calmed down a lot over the past several years. Lots of growth and change in us, and it really makes a difference.
No, the biggest reason I need to be out of this marriage is because of who I am. Of knowing who I am. Over the past year or so there’s been a growing tide of really knowing who I am and feeling strong in that. It’s nothing I haven’t known all along but when multiplicity is involved things can be complicated, of course. The uber-Christian Gloria may have been in front and married Cory but she hasn’t been in front for years and as far as i know, will never be again. (DH does know this.) Yes, she pops out and shares life with me in some way almost daily, but I’m the host and I can’t imagine things will change in a way that someone else would be in front for more than brief periods of time again.
I know who I am. A huge part of my identity is that I am an atheist lesbian. Married to a Christian man. Obviously that really can’t work. And I don’t want it to. I made it work but I’m not willing to keep doing that. It’s not fair to me and the rest in the system. And even though some people (namely his family) might beg to differ, it’s not fair to DH. Being in a sham of a marriage isn’t fair to him, even if he gets the long end of the stick because I do so much to take care of this household. It’s not fair to either of us for me to keep living a lie.
And so I’m in the thinking and jotting down stage of getting my ducks in a row. Which isn’t easy when our money is tied together and I can’t get mine separated from his until we can prove a physical separation by one of us not being on our rental agreement anymore. And there’s not much money to begin with. And when I split from him, I no longer have bio or in-law family. (Yes, many of them would say they’d still love me and all that but when it came down to it, I doubt they would help me out if I needed it.) And I have only a couple local friends and don’t know people. Lots of little stumbling blocks. But notice I said little. They used to feel huge but as time goes on they have felt smaller.
It helps that a friend has offered to let me stay with her for a while and I’m really considering it. It would be a change for both of us but it would also be pretty neat. It would give me a chance to get my Social Security sorted out from DH’s. (Marriage and SSI/SSD don’t mix very well. I highly recommend just living together and keeping benefits separate.) I’d be directly in the Portland metro area, which would open up so many opportunities for me. I’d be closer to my sons, which would help make up for the fact that they wouldn’t be able to spend nights with me. It would be easier to go to school if I chose to, to meet new people, to get involved in things that matter to me. It would make me a better, more well rounded person.
I can say all of this with plenty of bravado at the moment but I know I’ll have times of panic as I go about considering how to put some sort of plan into action (whether it includes staying with my friend or not). But I feel like I’m at the point where bravado trumps panic. I feel strong enough to quit sniveling about how I can’t get out of here and figure out how to go ahead and do it. If only it were so easy to have The Conversation with DH. That will not be fun, whenever it happens.
I am Kali. I am fractured but the pieces are gluing themselves back together more and more. I am a proud lesbian. And an equally proud atheist/humanist (or as I like to say, you know, just…a person!). I know more and more what I want for myself. I feel more and more like I can make that happen. I am strong. I am strong!