Posted on April 01 2019
The following post is the first in a series we are doing at F = to highlight women’s voices. Alongside the weekly interviews we conduct with women kicking ass in their field, we are going to hand the metaphorical pen over to women who choose to answer one question — What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid to Fail?
This author has chosen to remain anonymous.
What would I do if I weren’t afraid to fail?
I suppose I could have come up with: drastically change my career, build my own house, learn something new.
But I didn’t, I came up with DIVORCE.
It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while, over a year. Probably daily.
I can’t think too far ahead in the future because I wonder if we will still be together.
My therapist asked me when I last felt happy. And I genuinely couldn’t think of a time. So what am I waiting for? Why am I not taking this step?
Because he’s a good person, we’ve been together since we were teens. We have a child.
I don’t want to end up like my mum, divorced in her early thirties and miserable and alone ever since.
What if it’s a mistake? What if, like all the romantic comedies and books, we split up, date other people, and realise we should’ve been together afterall?
There is just too much to think about.
I mean... custody of our child for one. I know it’d be amicable, I know that’d work out fine. But my husband plays a sport 3x a week, I wouldn’t want him to have to stop, but how would he do that if we had equal custody?
I realise that that wouldn’t be my issue, he would have to sort that and prioritise, but I’d be changing his life enough, I wouldn’t want him to have to stop playing the sport he loves due to childcare issues.
What about Christmas, and birthdays? Who would get to spend that day with our only child? How would we split that?
Where would we live? We’d both have to live close to the school, would we bump into each other?
How would I feel if he met someone else, this lovely husband of mine will meet someone else. He deserves to. And I hope she would realise just how lucky she is. But how would I feel about her, this non existent woman, bringing up my child too? Putting them into bed? Being the one of comfort them when I’m not there.
It doesn’t bear thinking about. But I have to. These are the thoughts I need to confront before I make this decision.
Who gets custody of our friends?
Our joint friends who we’ve been best man and bridesmaid for. Who gets them? We can’t share them every other weekend. Who would they choose?
Part of me thinks that if they were truly either of our friends, they’d always be there. But that’s not how life works is it? Work gets in the wAy, common hobbies are no longer that common when you’re not a couple.
The wedding we’re all going to this year, will I be there? Or will just him and our child be there? I’d be stepping back, saying that they were his friends, but actually they’re ours.
Single parents do this all the time, they bring up children alone and they do a bloody good job of it. But would I? What support do they have? And again, would I have that same support if I am going to lose my friends anyway? What if they need to go somewhere? What if there’s an emergency? How do they work full time, as I do, and do it all?
But he’d be there, he’d still be there if I needed him, if our child needed him. I know that. He really isn’t a terrible person.
And then we argue and I see a snippet of what life might be like on the other side. Arguing over Christmas Day or birthdays. Not quite seeing eye to eye over a decision one of us made. And that fills me with dread.
But actually... so does spending the next 5, 10, 30 years feeling this same way.
I read quotes all the time, these quotes that say marriage isn’t all sex and happiness, it gets boring, it gets hard, all of that.
The ones that say you can’t have it all. But is happiness ‘it all’?
Is the grass greener? The grass is greener where you water it. But what if I don’t want to water it anymore?
I read a quote recently that was apparently from Oprah. Someone had asked the key to a relationship and she said, “Not falling out of love at the same time.” And that’s stuck with me.
He hasn’t fallen out of love with me, just me with him. Maybe we can get through this, and I’ll fall back in love with him. Maybe it’ll work like that.
But maybe it won’t.
Maybe it’s been long enough of me feeling like this.
Maybe the fact I can’t remember when I was last happy should be a warning light to me.
Maybe we’re not meant to be together after all.
And maybe that’s okay?
Maybe I’ll be okay.
Maybe we’ll both be okay?
But how do you even make that decision to start with?