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Before the End

Part of moving on after a failed relationship is doing a thorough evaluation of the facts; a relationship autopsy if you will. I had done this already to a certain extent. I have decided to go over my previous postmortem which was likely done while still angry and in denial.

I think I am ready too move on, I feel better equipped at this point to ask myself the hard questions.

One of the first questions I asked myself is whether or not I would have married the ex if I could go back and start over.

Even if I didn’t know how this would end, I wouldn’t. It was claret to me early on that there were issues that may be insurmountable.

I even wondered aloud to the pastor we saw for premarital counseling if we were only getting married because we were too afraid of being alone. I felt like he blew those fears off.

We were first supposed to get married in Sept 1999. The invitations had been ordered and were sitting in a box in my living room.

In May, my daughter and I were visiting him for her birthday. It was then that he told me he didn’t want anymore children.

We had long before had this discussion because I knew that was a deal breaker for me. I wanted more children and if he didn’t then he was not my soul mate. For him to spring this on me four months before our wedding date was difficult. We called off the wedding and ended the relationship.

As he and my daughter had a close bond, and he was the only dad she knew, I allowed him to stay in contact with her. They talked a couple times a week through the summer and she even went to stay with him for a couple weeks, she was four.

That August, I received notice from a college I had applied to that I was being offered a seat in a class I had originally been told had a two year waiting list. The catch? I had to be moved, 500 miles and find housing, daycare, etc within 13 days.

On our first night in the new apartment, he drove up to see us. Looking back now, I know the only reason I allowed him in the door that night was because I was alone, in a big city, and nervous as heck. That Christmas we announced to my family that we were, once again planning on getting married.

He vowed that yes, he did want more children, and if that was the only thing keeping us from happily ever after it was a non-issue. we decided to wait a couple years and get our feet under us as a married couple and a blended family.

Fast forward to just after our second anniversary and I was ready to start trying to have our first baby. It was at this time he decided to tell me that he had changed his mind and that no, he would NOT be having anymore children. Not with me, or anybody. He scheduled an appointment for a vasectomy consult and invited me to attend it with him. The doctor asked me if I wanted to hear the risk/benefits over female sterilization and I calmly, with tears in my eyes, told him no, I didn’t care for either option. The doc looked at him and asked if he was prepared for a divorce. He said, “Well, that’s where I see this going anyway.” The doctor told him to come back when it was final, and walked out of the room.

It was at this time that I knew divorce was inevitable. I wish I had gone through with it then, but I had a few more lessons to learn, apparently. I planned to have all our bills paid off so we could both walk away with a clean slate and knew it would take about a year.

I no longer was in love with my husband. I was no longer married in my eyes. I couldn’t stand to hardly look at him when he was home and thankfully he worked away from home most of that winter. I rarely answered his phone calls and went to work getting things paid off. When he would come home, I was cold, uncaring, and made it clear that this was HIS decision.

I had made it more than clear that I wanted more children, I was not giving that up for anybody. I had already moved 600 miles from my family, friends, and lifestyle to marry him, at least he could give me this one gift.

Then I became pregnant with Sam. Although he tried to be diligent about birth control methods, there were times he was not.

His first question to me when I told him I was pregnant was, “Is it even mine?” Now, I have two sisters and four brothers, played all kinds of sports growing up, drank and got rowdy in my ‘younger’ years…I don’t think I have ever slapped anybody as hard as I slapped him, right there in the parking lot of our workplace. Looking back, it’s the one time I wish I would have punched him…and probably would have knocked him out, and it would have been well worth it. I can’t deny I had a pretty violent streak in my younger days. I didn’t get in a lot of fights, and never anything that led to serious harm…but I did have a great swing…

I should have taken him at his word the first time he told me he didn’t want kids. I think he changed his mind only because he didn’t want to be single. I think he figured that once we were together, I would never just ‘fall in line. Apparently he didn’t understand the word deal breaker…

Well, now here I was pregnant and we now had no option but to make this thing work. We raced in to marriage counseling, had a plan in place, and were ready to tackle our issues head on. We got rid of the kids for the weekend and spent the entire time working through and discussing our issues. We came out of that weekend with a renewed commitment, a new start, a fresh love.

On Tuesday morning Sam died.

We saw this as a sign that we really were in love and that the pregnancy and subsequent loss was just a note from God telling us to get our shit together. I wonder now if losing Sam was God’s way of telling me it was not too late to get out; that he was not the right man for me…

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