Most moms would probably tell you that the first few weeks postpartum are crazy hard. The first few months, too.
There were issues in our relationship before marriage, but I just thought they’d go away once we got married. Young…dumb, I guess? We did not take time to get to know each other. We did not learn how to communicate.
The “marriage counseling” required before we got married didn’t really prepare us at all. Frankly, it was awkward and didn’t give me any real deepening in my relationship with my future husband. Not to mention, I was still feeling like I wasn’t worthy of being in the presence of Christians.
The only thing I remember from marriage counseling was a spreadsheet of how we should do our finances. How is that the most pronounced piece of marriage counseling?
Fast forward to post baby, I was usually home, and “idle hands are the devil’s workshop,” as they say. Well, the devil texted me. Almost 4 years after I thought the devil was gone. In the middle of navigating new motherhood and trying to put some glue on my crumbling marriage.
I was making tomato sauce in the kitchen, a 9 month old tugging at my leg. My phone dinged. There it was. “Who is this?” He knew darn well who it was. Snake in the grass.
My heart sank but fluttered. If you’ve ever been in a marriage that was failing, you know this feeling. You know you shouldn’t be talking to your ex man that you had sex with, but you’re so desperate for something new – something exciting – something different.
So he was back. The man that stole my virginity and my childhood.
I didn’t know what to do. Who to tell. I certainly couldn’t tell my new church friends. I would be crucified. Did I tell family? High school friends that knew about him? I could not keep this bottled up.
One text turned into many texts. Then phone calls. Hiding it all. I was being ripped in two pieces. Torn between trying to make my marriage work and going back to the madness of the married man – who by the way was divorced, remarried and now had another kid to neither of the wives.
I called my mom and told her what was going on after a few weeks. What a mess. Was I supposed to stay and forget the pain in my marriage – suck it up? Was I supposed to go back to the insanity of being sexually vilified? Maybe I was just supposed to be alone because clearly I failed at two relationships in a row.
Tensions grew fast. My husband and I were both spiraling. He kept distancing from me. I kept distancing from him.
Within 2 months, I decided to take a break and go to my parents. My husband and I sat at the dining room table, and the “d” word came up. Shortly after that, I packed and told him I needed space.
You know that song, “I Was Already Gone” by Sugarland? I was there. I put some things in my SUV, and as I pulled out of the driveway, he stood there on the porch and watched Bud and me go.
“And we cried with each other
We split the blame for the parts that we couldn’t change
Pictures, dishes and socks
It’s our whole life down to one box
There he was waving goodbye on the front porch alone”