… or does it?
Princess Diana famously said, ‘There were three of us in our marriage, so it was a bit crowded.’
And then there’s that old chestnut, “It takes two to destroy a marriage.”
After my ex left me, I wrestled with both those sayings.
If it hadn’t been for my ex’s girlfriend (now wife) giving him an ultimatum, would he have ever left?
And if it takes two for a marriage to break down, then I must share 50% of the blame for the failure of mine.
I asked my husband, ‘What did I do wrong?’
‘Nothing’, he replied. ‘I just wanted more. I fell out of love with you and in love with her.’
But I continued to berate myself. I must have done something wrong, or there must have been something so wrong with me, that he would give up on our almost 40 year-old marriage without ever telling me he was unhappy. If he was prepared to go to pre-marriage counselling with his girlfriend to prevent them making the ‘mistakes’ we had, couldn’t he have suggested counselling for him and I before he decided to leave me? Maybe that way we could at least have tried to sort out what issues it appears we had?
What was the ‘more’ that I was so lacking? The mental agony and guilt of wrestling with my ‘failure’ as a wife is, I’m sure, what led to me having a nervous breakdown in 2016.
And then a few months ago, I read this article https://pro.psychcentral.com/recovery-expert/2017/10/the-myth-of-it-takes-two-to-ruin-a-relationship/ and it was as if a weight lifted from my shoulders. The article suggests that it’s not true that it take two for a marriage to fail. It will fail if only one person is truly in that marriage.
If I’m 100% honest, there are probably some things I could have done that might have saved our marriage, but in the long run, I’m not sure they would have made a difference. Given my ex later admitted he’d wanted out of our marriage for over 15 years, it means, for 15 years, there was only one of us in our marriage.
And it wasn’t him.
The reality is, we’re now divorced. He’s remarried. I’m rebuilding my life.
But the weight of that burden of guilt I carried has been somewhat eased.