Dear Husband, I Have To Leave
Did you know your body resets itself every seven years? I’m actually not even sure if that’s true, but I heard it somewhere once, and the idea has always comforted me.
It’s strange with you. Or with us, rather. Half the day I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished, so excited to raised our monsters together. And the other half, I dread you being anywhere near me.
I complain a lot that you’re on afternoons and that being alone with the kids in a new neighborhood is hard. And that’s maybe why it’s so hard. Or so glum. And even a bit terrible.
I try to convince myself it’s because I’m busy. Being alone with two toddlers is hard — that’s why we can’t stand one another. Every mom says that. Every book, every blog, every single “flexible work” arrangement companies are saddled by.
I say it. I believe it.
But then I get them to bed, and as I sit and take a minute for myself, I set a timer for 30 minutes before you get home. And then I realize that my least favorite part of the day is when you get here. Because you and I are not even remotely the same.
You crave a clean kitchen and folded laundry. I crave witty jokes and perpetual but harmless banter.
Every single day, we disappoint each other.
I don’t think women just belong in the house. They belong there and the Senate.
And I know you don’t get that reference. And I just spent too much time writing this, when I could have cleaned the kitchen.
That is where we fall. I have gone a few more years than I should have convincing myself that our differences were a strength. When really, I knew my knack for redirection was just a way of stalling.
Ruth Ginsberg would actually die if she saw how this self-proclaimed feminist made gigantic life decisions (and excuses) completely on the basis of not wanting to be alone.
You yelled at me today because I tried to explain my point about a show that you like and I don’t. It got more heated than it needed to, but we were already ripe for conflict since you poured two beers on my head 52 hours ago.
We were drunk, and probably both wrong. But your rage is something that should scare me.
Except, it doesn’t. Because I am used to it.
We are on beer six for the count that has been poured on my head. Three absolute constricting grabs, and maybe the 75th time you screamed so close to my face that your saliva hit my skin.
All I can hear now, even in the best of times is, “My God, girl. You have a daughter. Fucking fix this.”
That is what I repeat to myself the moment you start to get annoyed. And then it plays over and over and over again. Like a biological response to danger.
But I am still here. And I know I can’t be. At this point, I don’t think my brain will allow me to stay.
I am not writing this to paint myself as the victim. Most of the time when the beer pouring or body grabs happened, I swung at you first. But it was because I had finally had enough of you intentionally spitting in my face and excusing it as “intense conversation.”
I am done harboring the blame for my past issues, and by that I mean, your insecurities.
I’ve met your family and I can understand why you are the way that you are. But I don’t know if it’s because we finally decided to take a giant leap and buy a new home that I can see so clearly what was always right in front of me.
But I can now, and I hope I am as clear as I can be: This will not be my life.
Or my children’s lives.
And my God, you sweet man, I hope it isn’t yours.
I hope you find someone that makes you feel so good. I hope they inspire you in a way that makes you want to grow, not in a way that embarrasses you. I hope you recognize and buy into how absolutely incredible you are, and when you do, I hope you start to appreciate the people that you should. I hope you stop finding the fun in bashing everything in your life.
I wish you so much more, but right now, I am hoping, for me.
I hope I recognize my own bad habits, but I hope I finally hold you accountable for yours, even when you won’t. Because I have been blaming myself for too long, to buy time. Avoiding the thing I have always known I would do: leave.
I don’t know why, but today was it. I don’t have an explanation, and no apology would help, it’s just like I finally hit my seven years, and my world decided to shift a bit.
I am so sorry, but I have never been more ready.
I will love you until I am dead, but I don’t know when I’ll like you again. I’ll be at my mom’s. I’ll drop the kids off Friday.
I have finally exhausted my words,
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