Going From I Do to Do I?
They say you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you meet Prince Charming. It’s obvious to me now that when I accepted Dick’s marriage proposal, I hopped out of the pond way too soon. Now all I want to do is croak.
I’ve been contemplating getting a divorce for quite some time…26 years to be exact. Actually the thought of terminating this arrangement came to me as I walked down the aisle to say I do. This was definitely not a match made in Heaven, nor was it one I ever wanted. However, I was in the minority and my vote didn’t count or matter. What could I possibly know about what was best for me??? My parents thought that Dick was the right one, his parents agreed and Dick was anxious to marry me because my dad owned a real estate office. He thought he was marrying into money and his new address would be smack- dab on Easy Street.
Boy was my new hubby in for a shocker. As unbelievable as this may sound, my in-laws misread my dad’s business card. It clearly stated that his office was a member of several multiple listing services and there were over 3,000 salespeople in the MLS. My new relatives excitedly thought all of these individuals were employees of my father’s and we were loaded. It’s amazing what comes out after the nuptials. In my case, when the honeymoon was over, it was definitely over.
By the same token, my parents saw Dick as someone who fit the criteria for what many Jewish parents stereotypically envisioned for their daughters as the ideal mate for life…he was a handsome, Jewish doctor. In their eyes, it didn’t get much better than this.
In my eyes…it didn’t get much worse. Aside from the fact that I didn’t love him, he was a very controlling, manipulative, abusive individual. That was how I wound up getting engaged and married to someone who I knew wasn’t the right one for me.
You might wonder why I stayed in a marriage that I was so miserable in for so long. The reasons were several. Fear was a big one. My two children were another. Giving up my career as a health professional to raise them was another. Having no source of income as a result was another. Being in a horrible car accident when my daughter was six- months old and enduring permanent neuromuscular damage was another. Not having anyone who would help and support me to end it was another. But the major reason I stayed was because my husband alienated me from others, belittled and berated me, kept me dependent on him financially, wore me down emotionally and mentally and threatened me constantly that if I thought being married to him was bad I should just wait and see what would happen if I tried to divorce him. He would make sure that I would wind up with nothing.
I can tell you without a doubt that he was doing everything in his power to make that a reality.