Today’s guest post is from Gina.
After 6.99 years of marriage, my husband and I finally came to the conclusion that something wasn’t working. It was an interesting conversation—held during a 10-hour drive returning from what was a very nice vacation: no fighting, no blow-ups, just relaxation and good friends. Perhaps the lesson is not to spend time alone with your spouse in confined spaces.
Either way, we’re heading home and in about the first 15 minutes of the 10-hour drive, we begin to discuss what I’d been calling my “existential crisis.” You know, the one we all have at some moment when we realize we’re on this continual rise of ambition that really only brings more stress, earlier heart attacks and all the ipods you can stand. And a conversation from existential crisis quickly went from, “why are we working for something neither of us really care about” to “we’re on a different path.” And that was that.
Looking back, there were certainly more indicators that led up to that conversation. A conversation, I might add, that was a little bit teary but also funny, amicable and resigned. Not altogether bad, given the circumstances. And since we had that conversation, a mere 3 weeks ago, I’ve been trying to figure out if 6.99 years was too long—if there were signs I should have heeded long ago. And here is the list I’ve recalled so far.
How to know when it’s time to consider divorce (not an exhaustive list):
- Your incredibly faithful husband (no doubt about it) has dinner with a work colleague you’ve never met and never heard of. Named Susan. And you fly off the handle for no real reason at all. Well, there is the reason that she’s quite obviously a hootchie bitch. But whatever.
- When your husband stops constantly traveling for work, you manage to get your alone time by never actually being in the same room as him when you’re home together.
- (and this one should have been easy) When your husband, for whatever reason, no longer wants to have sex with you—ever. By the way, this one can make you homicidal when you tell your most intimate friend and she says “I know, Bob and I realized it had been almost 3 weeks since we had sex!” My droughts lasted about 4-8 months, depending on when I finally made something happen.
- When you begin attending couples counseling or reading books recommended by either Oprah or Dr. Phil. Neither of whom seem to be in good relationships, I might add.
- When you find it so hard to imagine leaving your husband, but you want it so much, that you actually play out in your mind what it would be like if he died in a horrific accident. (I know, I know. I’m headed straight to hell. And not just for that.)
- You begin to fantasize about the guy one of the fancy online dating sites might match you with and if you might make it to one of their national advertising campaigns. After all—they do judge on 32 levels of compatibility.
- You begin to wonder if an open marriage really might work out. And reading articles about it online. And browsing the streets for guys who look like they might be ok with a purely sexual relationship for no money.
- You have an existential crisis, and the worst person to talk to about it happens to be the person who is supposed to know you best and care about you the most.
And now that I’m here, and dealing with the logistics of separating lives that are seemingly irrevocably intertwined, I wonder if I could have found a list that would have told me whether or not I should have gotten married in the first place. It’s possible it should be illegal for anyone under the age of 30. I’ll let you know if I figure that one out. Until then, I’ll post my journey through separation and divorce. Oh, and now I’m single with three dogs. Thank fucking god they’re not cats. That would just be sad.
Gina wrote this post shortly after separating from her husband in 2009. Since then, she has embarked on the single life in a new city. Her divorce was final in 2010.
How about you? Have you experienced anything on Gina’s list?