Posted by: shelliejelly | February 18, 2009


My mom has asked me the same question more than once. More than twice, even. Whenever we talk about what is happening, my eyes fill, hers following shortly, and then she looks at me: “Are you sure you want to divorce?” No one saw what has happened to O. and I coming, least of all my mom. She’d always tell her friends that we were made for one another. “They have the same sense of humor,” she’d laugh. “They like the same things.”

We did. We do. Stranded in the muck, looking for something to hold onto, I tell her that No, I don’t want a divorce, but to turn back now would seem something akin to letting O. get away with something, helping him believe that somehow what happened, his part in what happened, is okay.

My counselor has let me know that there should be consequences. O. should be held accountable. Too much of what happened, even before the implosion of my marriage, was chalked up to the myriad things that had gone awry for O. I always wanted to be someone he could count on; I willed him to understand that I would never turn my back as so many others had. But not turning my back meant never taking shelter, and never saying enough is enough gave him reason to believe his behavior, though bad, wasn’t bad.

The cost to me was my belief that I was worth more.

The rub is that describing O. this way paints him into a corner he doesn’t entirely deserve. There were good times; there still is genuine affection. For all the wrongs, the misguided words, the emotional warfare, there were also long hugs, deep kisses and smiling sentiments that grounded me.

Reconciling these two opposing forces has proved difficult. Like a coin that spins between head and tails I’ve always wanted O. to land on the side that feeds his love of not only his life, but all he has in it.


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