When Staying is Worse Than Leaving

When Staying is Worse Than Leaving

The day I came home from my honeymoon, I knew I had made a mistake. That mistake wasn’t not buying more Irish Whiskey at the Duty Free. It was marrying a man that wasn’t the love of my life.

And I felt awful. I had been married and divorced already. I was 37. I wanted desperately to have a baby and a family. And I was amazingly fond of the man to whom I was married. But I wasn’t in love. I had actually tried to break up with him about 6 weeks before we got engaged. But after a lot of tear filled conversations, we decided to make a go of it. Many of the issues I had with our relationship resolved themselves for a short period of time. And then we got sucked into the whirlwind of wedding planning. I had a gorgeous ring on my finger and a man who so very clearly adored me and was totally up to the task of creating the life I wanted.

And I felt empty.

We’d had a beautiful wedding – even if it was 100+ degrees, people almost passed out and I felt like I was trapped in some vortex completely out of my control. Literally moments before my dad walked me down the aisle, I almost said “get me out of here.” And the sad thing is? He would have. He likely would have found someone to deal with the momentary drama and he would have gotten me out of there, bought me a large glass of Paddy’s with a lot of ice and helped me figure out the debacle I had created. But I didn’t say that. I had made a promise and God damn it, I was going to follow through. And for a number of months, I pretended to be an “OH SO HAPPY” newlywed. But I was heart sick. I went to bed every night with a man who wouldn’t touch me. I went to fertility doctors in an effort to get pregnant without giving away our secret trump card – my husband didn’t want me. And for a girl who has suffered from low self-esteem? This was utterly devastating.

But for the love of God, I was NOT going to be the girl who was 40 and twice divorced. I was just not going to be her – no matter what. Even if it meant my own, slow death. Nope, not me. I’m the good girl who does what she is told and lives to make the people around her happy. And the difficult part? My husband was happy.

I had what I can only describe as a total breakdown on New Year’s Eve, 2012. I saw “Silver Linings Playbook” and as I left the theater I couldn’t stop crying. I drove myself to a local college parking lot and I called my best friend and just sobbed. I had created a true disaster and I didn’t know what to do. In the months leading up to that day, I left work and wandered Target for a few hours in an effort to not have to go home and face reality. I drank a bottle+ of wine a night – again, in an effort to not face reality. And I pondered driving myself off bridges from time to time as that felt, at moments, the easier solution to this problem. But 12/31/12 – I knew I didn’t have a choice anymore. I had to use my voice or I risked losing all of myself. So on January 1, 2013, I used my words. I told my husband that I was unhappy and he was…..shocked. And God, that made it so much worse. If he had just been unhappy we could have tried to fix it or agreed to go our separate ways. I didn’t expect him to be ok with the sham that was our life. But he was.

To make what could be a very, very long story not nearly as long – after almost 6 months of counseling, I told him that I couldn’t do this anymore. It wasn’t getting better and it wasn’t going to get better – no matter how hard we tried. And if we loved each other, we deserved to each be with people who we loved and who loved us. And while the summer of 2013 was the longest of my life, it ended and again, I was alone. And I was both terrified and relieved. I felt so much guilt and shame for hurting him. I am not entirely sure I will ever be able to forgive myself for doing that. He is a good man, he didn’t deserve that. I hope that one day he finds the love that he deserves.

I am sure that as time moves forward, I will tell more of this story because there is so much that I learned from the process – much I wish I could do differently and much that I know unfolded just as it should but if nothing else I learned that being honest and true is the most important thing. Living a lie is infinitely worse than living in truth – even when truth is incredibly difficult.

Amanda Lipnack

If you truly want to curl my toes, give me a chance to make a difference - for you, for the community, for the world.Few things make me happier than supporting the folks around me to be the best and happiest people they can be.This, of course, winds up taking on a multitude of flavors but generally comes through by being a good friend, a good coach and an excellent paint color picker.

I'm a single lady living in the suburbs of Philadelphia with 2 cats named Leo and Toby (after characters on "The West Wing" - one day I will have the ability to recite the entire series by heart.That's a noble goal, yes?).

I've had a varied career doing a bunch of technical stuff that isn't that interesting to folks who aren't doing it but my real passion is writing.I also get the fabulous pleasure of coaching people from time to time and that brings me amazing joy and energy.

If you want to hang with me there are things you should know:I curse.A lot.I like hoppy beer.A lot.I like big and deep red wines. A lot. I adore my friends.A lot, a lot.I am passionate about politics (or a big geek about them - you choose).I'm an accidental but rather passionate Unitarian and few things make me happier than my dining room table surrounded by people I love.And picking paint colors, let's not forget that. Find me online here.

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