I was extremely unhappy in my marriage with John. I threw myself into my work and my kids to try and find happiness there… and I did…. but something was still missing. John’s aggressive arguments only got more frequent and more intense. I made it a point to barely say anything to him when the kids were not around because I knew somehow, some innocent thing that I said, would end with him blowing up.
I begged him to go to counseling with me on multiple occasions. He refused every time. He belligerently stated that “everyone who goes to counseling gets divorced”. There was no negotiating with him. I decided if I couldn’t be happy in my relationship with my marriage, then I would find my happiness with my children.
Prior to getting married I had a conversation with John about how important having children was to me and that I wanted a minimum of three. I had told him that it was something I wanted for my life, so if it was not something he wanted then marriage was not a good idea for us. At the time, he agreed.
So, after Quinn was no longer nursing and was starting to sleep through the night, I brought the subject of having another child up to John. His first reaction was just to say no. I tried to talk to him about it a little more. I explained how important it was to me. That, as a woman, I had an ingrained need to fulfill this part of my life, and while it was hard to explain, I tried to explain it. He still refused. Then I told him that I was feeling as if he was going back on an agreement that we had made, without even explaining to me why or listening to how important it was to me. Would he at least take some time to consider it? Or explain to me why he is so against having more children?
And that is when John blew. He started screaming. He said many unkind things but then he yelled, “If you want another kid so bad then go f*** someone else!”. It felt as if I had been slapped in the face. I wasn’t yelling. I was very calm, as I always am when I interact with John. I couldn’t believe his reaction to me saying I wanted another baby was to tell me to sleep with someone else. I calmly looked at him and said, “Do you want to think about what you said and maybe take it back?” Nope. He saw nothing wrong with it. He just kept yelling. My heart was broken. I realized in that moment that this man…. the man who claimed he loved me… who took vows in a church in front of God and his family and friends…actually had no love in his heart for me. It was that moment that I knew, I couldn’t love a man like that anymore…. and I was stuck with him.
I really wanted to have another baby. (I am going to admit something that isn’t pretty and it’s something that I am not proud of.) I wanted that baby so badly and I knew John had no concern for my feelings, that I decided to write a letter…. filled with lies and things that I didn’t believe… to try to get him to agree. It was a two page, hand written letter. I wrote about what a great father he was and how much I loved him. I wrote about how I didn’t think our family was done and how he had so much more love to give. How I loved to watch him interact with our children and how he made me very happy…that one more child would compliment that. In my heart I knew he was a sub par spouse and father. I knew he was too rough with the kids….. too rough with me. It was a desperate attempt. (Later on, during our divorce, John pulled this letter out and tried to use it during the proceedings to show that he was a good father and husband. All I could think of when I saw that letter was that not one… single… word was true. And he was so self absorbed that he didn’t realize it.)
I asked John if we could sit down when he was calm and had read the letter to try and have a conversation where he could try to explain to me why he didn’t want another baby. He agreed. In that conversation he looked at me and said, “Having a baby was like going through the worst hell of my life… and somehow I made it through. And then, for some god forsaken reason, I decided to do it again. And I made it through. Why would I ever choose to do that again?”
Having our children was the worst hell of his life. Our beautiful, amazing, precious, miraculous children were his hell. And just like that…. any lingering love that I had for this man dissipated from my heart. It lifted like a heavy fog that had sucked the oxygen out of the room for years. The realization that I was trapped in a marriage with a man, who not only showed very little care and concern for me, but who also thought of his children as a version of hell, hit me like a ton of bricks. A place where evil resides….. that’s what his children made him think of. I couldn’t breathe. My stomach turned. I’m trapped. I need to share my home … by body…. my children… with this terrible human being.