I left Cody.

I left because marriage is a lot harder than it should be and I have spent the last several months mentally checking out from our partnership so as to avoid getting any more hurt by his behavior and actions that seemed so similar to what we experienced back in 2009. I was convinced it was over and had very brave plans in place to move forward with my life in a way I never did because I was married three months after my 19th birthday.

(See also, it’s very hard to secretly research divorce when you’re married to a lawyer who handles divorce because you will want to ask him all sorts of questions but it’s a little strange to ask hypothetical questions that involve the very person you are asking.)

There were a lot of tears and a lot of arguments and some smothering and some controlling and a lot of guilt and some things said in anger and some things said that should have been said a long time ago and some things we both wish we would have never said and as I faced down a future without the man who had been mine for the last 13 years I was terrified but knew if I didn’t cut and run then I would never get the guts and I would always wonder “What if?” and if I’ve learned anything it’s that ‘what ifs’ will eat you alive.

Now chances are you’re probably wondering “BUT WHAT ABOUT THE GIRLS!? OMG YOU HAVE KIDS!?” and I know, because they leave their LEGOs all over the floor and are constantly and loudly reenacting scenes from Frozen. I can assure you that they were at the forefront of our minds and while it’s really none of your business about what we decided to do, just know that we had their best interests at heart and were going to do everything we could to make things easy on them.

That’s the funny thing about this blogging thing, nothing is really any of your business, or anyone’s business but we continue to share anyway because we are all desperate to not feel so alone in our crazy “maybe I’m the only one” feelings. It’s been hard not to talk about this with anyone — mostly because before I imagined any solidarity, I heard all of the judgements. But those who judge aren’t me and they aren’t living my life and they don’t know the whole story and even if I was the most perfect thing in the world — someone is going to hate me.

So I left. I walked away from Cody and boarded a plane and flew away to get space and time and take on a new opportunity and try new things.

I made it a week.

I made it a week before things got real weird and I realized that when things get weird my constant is Cody. He has always been my constant — the only firm, warm thing holding me to the ground when the entire world is swirling around me in a desperate attempt to bring me to my knees. Is our marriage suddenly perfect because I left like I meant it and came back way before I was ready? Nope. Things are still going to be hard and terrible and this probably isn’t the last time things will be rough for us .

I love him, I always have and more importantly I always will.

But I fell out of love with him.

Depending on your level of experience with love you’re either nodding your head or convinced I’m crazy. “How can you love someone but not be in love with them?” Just trust me, you can.

More truth has come out of us over the last several weeks than it has in the past 13 years. It was terrible, I hated every minute of it and dreaded any time spent alone with him because it meant we had to talk about our feeeeelings and there would be crying and I would wake up with emotional hangovers and neither of us would eat and he lost over 20 pounds and nobody really slept so we were really just highly functioning zombies who cried all the time.

But it’s really the best thing we could have done, rip it all down to the ground — every last ugly bit — and begin building it back up together (again.)

Therapy is in our future, together and separate — we really should have gone through with therapy 5 years ago but I think we were both so glad to still be alive after law school that the idea of going through everything again with a therapist was more exhausting and damaging than helpful.

Tulip Time 2014

So, that’s why I haven’t been around. It’s hard to talk flowers and spring and frivolities when you’re stuck in your head and planning an entirely new life without the person you swore your life to over a decade ago. Sorry about that, I hope you understand.

Comments

  1. I know I’ll just be one of many…still, I want you to know I’m sending hugs and prayers. May whatever is best for you, Cody and the girls be your future. Wishing you moments of laughter and peace in the midst of all the hard.

  2. Much love to both of you. I’ve been down a similar path before and I understand the exhaustion and the pain and the struggle. In 2008 my marriage nearly ended, and it took far more effort to put it back together than it would have to just walk away. The key was that we both wanted to work on it. It sounds like you both want to make it work, too, which is the necessary first step.

    I really recommend therapy as a couple. And if it doesn’t click with the first therapist, keep trying new ones until you find the right one. The therapist shouldn’t make it easy – it should feel raw, but the therapist should be able to tell you if it’s fixable and how. We went to therapy not even knowing if we were doing it to repair the damage or find a way to peacefully separate, and our therapist showed us how to pick up the pieces and create something better.

    If you ever need an ear, just let me know. I’m certain you’ll find the best path for all of you.

  3. You know how I feel.

    Cordoza.

  4. You are NOT the only one.
    You are NOT alone.
    You will NOT be judged by me.
    You CAN trust yourself.
    You ARE loved, even by strangers on the internet.

  5. you. are so. brave! you are so strong! you are so courageous! you are showing those girls how to take care of yourself and to never settle for less than you deserve. you can do this! you are not the only one. the hardest part is admitting to yourself that something is wrong and it needs to change. starting over is hard, but once you get going, it’s like being reborn, clean slate. congratulations on your next chapter. don’t let anyone feel sorry for you. congratulations! :-) xox

  6. I clicked through to show some solidarity and drown out any judgment that you might receive. I dunno if you remember, but I’m the ex-mormon who briefly wrote at debbsflowersinthewindows.blogspot.com and talked about moving to NY with my husband so that he could begin his law career. We live in Toronto. You and I emailed back and forth a couple times before I blew up my blog.

    Anyways, marriage difficulties are familiar terrain for me, we had our most difficult times 3 years in when we decided to leave the church and then 7 years in when he was too busy as a new lawyer. We almost separated at that time but our therapist (an emotion-focused couples’ therapist) insisted that we stay together for the duration of therapy. She saved us! Emotion Focused Therapy is incredibly effective (there is research showing it’s significantly more effective than other kinds of couples’ therapy. It is based on attachment theory). I highly recommend it. But… usually it takes 20 sessions, except that I am so messed up and we spent so much time healing me from my unfortunate childhood that we had… 80 sessions. It’s the reason we don’t currently own a home and never go on vacations! But it’s also the reason we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary a couple months after we welcomed our first child in 2013.

    Good luck in therapy, I hope it does for you what it did for us: it healed the most broken things, it completely changed the way that we interacted. It turned a marriage that had me wondering for 7 years if I would ever feel truly happy, secure, and loved by my husband into one that I could barely recognize (in a good way). I want that for you and for all the people.

  7. Thanks for sharing. You are not alone.

  8. So glad I checked in on you today! I’ve been reading your blog for years, and though you haven’t posted much lately, I still look in now and again to make sure. Sending prayers and love and support your way! I’ve been married for less than four years and we’ve had it relatively easy so far, but I can totally sympathize with the emotional hangover you’re talking about. One bad fight makes such an impact, so I admire you for going through the pain of dealing with this day after day and starting the healing and rebuilding process. I hope that you and your marriage come out stronger on the other side!

  9. ((((HUG)))) Marriage is about commitment. Commitment every day because staying “in love” just doesn’t last without commitment, care and feeding. I am so proud of you for leaving… and for coming back!

    My practice, which includes 8 of us, loves working with couples like you and Cody. People who are seeking individual support and couples therapy. We have some unique approaches that can work minor miracles. Email me if you want to know more as you’re therapist-hunting. It’s hard and critically important to find the right one(s)!

  10. This just hit my inbox and before I could even get halfway through I was already thinking about how many hugs I wish I could give you. I don’t think you’re crazy – not one bit. I know more about what you’re saying than you realize, so much more. You are so much braver than me, and you are so strong. And please now that there are a million in real life people who love you and are there for you and there are even more of us who have been reading you for years. Who are there for you even if we only know what you tell us. Even if I only know a fraction of reality I am here for you and always have been.

    xo

  11. Sarah W says:

    You are strong for sharing this. Thank you for sharing your life & thoughts- good and bad.
    You’ve got hugs & prayers from me. The words you wrote from your last marital discussion changed my views on marriage. Marriage is hard. Staying is hard. Divorcing is hard. Life is hard.
    No one has to accept/understand your decision except you and him.
    You’ve got my Love, Sweetheart.

  12. No judgment here. I only want for you happiness and peace. I hope you find it. Hugs and prayers sweet girl.

  13. Michelle says:

    It is very possible to love someone but not be in love with them. I understand you there.

    Praying for you both. For continued strength and courage and honesty and tearing down of the lies and building up of the truth and rebuilding of your relationship and love.

    A site which I subscribe to and find great help with my marriage is refineus.org. Justin and Trish Davis married young, separated after Justin had an affair with a co-worker and friend of Trish’s (he was a pastor at the time), and God restored their relationship. Different circumstances to you, but they are committed to helping others stay married and teach and mentor couples on communication and so forth. I’ve been married 25 years this year, and I’m still learning how to improve our relationship.

    God bless you and Cody as you continue your journey together.

  14. Praying for you. You’re not alone. If anyone gets all judge-y and stuff…you let us know. Ain’t nobody got time for that! xoxo

  15. Sending love and prayers to you and your family. I am sorry you have been hurting and so proud of you for sharing! Love you!

  16. Love to you. And mad respect. MAD RESPECT.

  17. joeshoe says:

    I suck at words, so I’ll share some of my favorites instead.

    Falling

    The way of love is not
    a subtle argument.
    The door there
    is devastation.

    Birds make great sky-circles
    of their freedom.
    How do they learn it?
    They fall, and falling,
    they are given wings.

    – Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks)

  18. Charlane says:

    Oh I’m so sorry that you are going through this. I totally understand the feeling of loving without being in love. I love my husband as the father of my children but as my life partner, yeah that one I’m not really sure about it. I get it, I hope you are able to find some peace. Saying a prayer for you tonight.

  19. Oh, dear one! I’m sorry you felt you would be judged…people are so ready to be judge-y. But as you said, until those people have been you and in the situations that you have been in, they have no room to pass judgement.
    You will do what is right and best for you and your family. And if you need help or support, there are lots of us who will be happy to be there and help you back up.
    Always remember that you are very, very loved.
    Xoxo.
    Mary

  20. Sending lots of hugs and virtual support. Marriage is so complicated and nobody can begin to understand someone else’s marriage.

    I’m divorced and it is tough. I do hope you’re able to make it work. But either way, you’ll create a happy life for you and your kids.

  21. Oh honey. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I know how you feel, my husband and I are going through similar trials, but at least you guys have made it 13 years. My hubs and and I have only made it 8 months, and already the phrase “we shouldn’t have gotten married” has come out of our mouths more times than I could like to admit. We’re LDS too, and (what I thought was anxiously) waiting until September to be sealed, and one day I think each of us separately thought “can I spend an eternity with him/her?”

    I understand the controlling and the smothering. I’m not blaming it on the church per say, but I will attribute the fact that SO MUCH emphasis is put on the family family family family family, that it’s really easy to lose ourselves in the process of “family”ing. It’s almost overwhelming, and any time you seek couceling on it (at least in our case), you’re told that the family is center of everything, and that you’re wrong for thinking any other way. But I honestly think that Heavenly Father wants us to have a balance. Why would He have given each of us so much talent and such a different outlook and different personalities and strengths and weaknesses if we were just supposed to be lumped together into one sticky mess of a familyball? He loves each and every one of us so much that He gave us different outlets and passions, so that we don’t lose ourselves in the process of life. I honestly believe that, and I think if the church put some focus on that too, the men wouldn’t grasp and cling so much to the controlling and smothering “head of the household” stance, and could take a step back and focus not only on themselves and giving themselves a break from the responsibilities they carry, but it would also make it easier for the wives to do the same. That’s important. My husband sounds a lot like Cody: strong and willful and controlling and stubborn, but with the right intentions. Just like we get overwhelmed, they do too. (And I’m speaking to both of us here, because I’m trying to learn that too.)

    I doubt that you would remember me, but I emailed you about two years ago when I was thinking about joining the church. Your response was honestly a big part of why I decided to take the plunge. I don’t remember the words you said, but I remember the feeling it gave me: a comforting and reassuring feeling that I was making the right decision. Are there things I still question? Are there things I don’t understand? Are there things I get wrong? Are there times I question everything completely? Of course, and there probably always will be. But I know I made the right decision, so thank you for that.

    I’m praying for you and for Cody. I pray that you two can find comfort, both with each other and with yourselves. I pray that your girls will always know how much they are loved and cherished, no matter what ends up happening. I pray that, if you choose to, both you and Cody will be shown ways to fall back in love with each other, knowing the little things to do and say that will reach eachother’s hearts.

    I love you. I know that sounds weird and probably creepy coming from a complete stranger, but I do, as a child of God, as a Sister, and as a woman who is having similar experiences and weights on our hearts. And no matter what happens, I will always admire the strength you have shown. Good luck.

  22. Thank you so much for your honesty. I think, in the church,especially, it’s easy to believe that everyone else’s marriage is perfect…and mine is the only one with problems. So, in a weird way, I find your post very encouraging and hopeful. I wish you all the best.

  23. Marriage is hard. Super, super hard. My husband and I will have been married 13 years in June, and we’ve endured many, many, many, many bumps along the way. I mean, a LOT — take a whole bunch that you can think of, and then add a whole bunch more. And I know that other people would have left each other long before now, and there have been times when I absolutely should have probably walked out the door, but I stayed. Partly because of counsel from a former bishop. Partly from answered prayers. Partly because the times when we did spend nights apart, we had our five kids to consider, too.

    Thirteen years is hard, yo. There’s the “itch” they say that happens and couples take each other for granted, and people get bored or complacent or whatever. Yes to all of the above.

    We’re working hard to work it out right now, too. What I will say is this work is very, very isolating in the church. We don’t talk about these things in RS or Sunday School. We just don’t. I know with everything we’ve gone through, I feel very much alone with my LDS friends, and yet my non-LDS friends I find don’t always understand (“why are you still with him then?”).

    All I know in my heart of hearts and in the answer to many, many prayers is that I need to keep fighting, and this isn’t over. I hope it’s the same for you and Cody. I’m glad you both know you’re not alone. There is no shame in the work to make it work. Good luck to you!

    Maria Reply:

    “I feel very much alone with my LDS friends, and yet my non-LDS friends I find don’t always understand (“why are you still with him then?”).”

    YES! Thank you! It’s nice to have a reminder that even though it doesn’t look like it on the outside, we’re not the only ones dealing with these issues.

    @Jessalee,

  24. Definitely know the feeling, I’m sorry you’re experiencing it but it sounds like you are going to get through this. Good luck, hugs and smiles.

  25. Allison says:

    Thank you for sharing, I connect in a way that my husband is still pursuing a college degree. He works full time as well. I have graduated and have a career in my degree field. So I have the feelings of I am ready to have the family life, but he is still a chapter behind me. We have two children. I know he is doing all this for us, but at the same time it’s lonely and depressing. Ah well. Thanks again for your story.

  26. Hi,
    I would ask for an advice. I want to leave my husband too. We moved recently to a new place and I spent the whole day with my toddler alone. I don’t know anyone here. When he is at home we fight. I ask for kisses and hugs. I don’t have them back. Maybe is the stress of the new job, the new place. He doesn’t look to me anymore. Maybe because I’m such a mess. If you could tell me please anything any peace of advice I would aprreciate it.

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