So I tried. I really did.
For the first seven years, I tried therapy, begging, pleading, logic. You name it. I tried it. I even tried public speaking about it - thinking I was celebrating and supporting progress in my marriage! And then to my horror, I realized I was living a lie!!! How many exclamation marks can I use here!!!!!!
So then I tried setting boundaries. For a whole 14 months, I set a healthy boundary, supported by mental health professionals, my sponsor, church leaders, and family - still nothing. I'm still holding that boundary.
I failed. Miserably.
And here's what I've learned:
1. Perhaps what seems like failure was God's way of safely removing me from a harmful situation.
2. I'm so grateful for my three amazing, beautiful children.
3. There's no way I could be any use to anyone without the empathy and understanding that comes from ongoing trials, intense pain and loss. The pain has changed me, and for that I'm grateful.
4. I'm among friends. Very similar things have happened to some of the dearest, sweetest women I know. I'm in good company.
Don't get me wrong, some days I wallow in my situation, stunned at this turn of events. But it didn't take a turn, not really. It was always hard, I just rolled up my sleeves and tried to work through it. Throughout my marriage, I remember feelings of intense dread - I knew something terrible would happen. Little snippets seemed glorious and truly emotionally safe. But then the dread would return. God kept warning me. I struggled to find some way around it.
There was no way around it.
And now, I'm divorced. I am divorced. I did everything God asked of me: I repented, I forgave, I kept my covenants, I took a shower a week whether I needed it or not, and I'm still divorced. I nursed my babies, I attended church, I read my scriptures, I learned how to make Cafe Rio pork without Coke! And I'm still divorced! And I prayed. I prayed and I prayed and I prayed, AND I'M STILL DIVORCED.
Although I must admit, I have bad hair. I need a hair cut. And my OCD about clutter is truly annoying. I'm sorry I bugged my ex so much about his stuff. I'm sorry for all the nit picky things I did and said. I've found that boundaries are a much better way to go.
I'm flawed and I struggle, and someday I'll die. Hopefully, I'll die a better person than I am today. God has given me this custom curriculum, and it's a class I never wanted to take, a class I earnestly tried to avoid. But I'm in it now, and I might as well do my best - also accounting for Netflix and gardening and puzzles. I really hope my best includes lots of puzzles.
I've decided to be gentle with myself as I work through this set of new and never ending trials mortal life blessed me with . . .
But first, I have to pee.