I am a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend. Most importantly I am a survivor. I hope the my stories inspire and encourage others.
The first two days after Wade had broken the news to Liza were crunch time for her. She threw herself into researching anything and everything that might give her a chance to save her marriage. “Save my marriage” “Ways to save my marriage” “Stop divorce” “Can I win my husband back” and the likes filled her Google search history. Every book, article, and blog written on the topic- she read. She took notes, cross checked them, and checked them again. She was not about to leave any rock unturned.
She devised her plan. All the things she knew were areas she needed to work on regarding herself and her marriage were carefully organized in order of priority. She was going to lose weight, she was going to go to counseling, she was going to take interest in his interests, she was going to hire a babysitter so they could have the date nights they always talked about. She put her plan into writing and then into action. When she had her heart and mind made up on a goal, she always achieved it. This was always her strength in their marriage, anytime they fell into money troubles, or moving struggles, or family drama, or Wade fucked up- she figured out how to fix it- and she did. She had her plan, now it was time to talk to Wade.
Liza was pleasantly surprised this time around when talking to Wade, a lot of the points he brought up she agreed with. They were going to “table divorce talk” for six months, they were going to get counseling- both together and individually, they were going to have date nights. She carefully took note of each point he hit on where they had to work on their marriage and was relieved in the fact that she already had a plan for all of this. Well except for that one comment he made that it was her fault he wasn’t invited to friends’ weddings. Like it was her fault he was awful at keeping in touch with people. For the first time in 48 she felt like she could breath- a weight had been lifted- she had hope.
It was that hope she clung to when he came home later and later still, when he would leave for the gym right after getting home from work, when he could barely look at her much less talk to her, when still he retired to the basement at night instead of their bed. She walked on eggshells and followed the advice of the marriage rescue program she was following. “Don’t push, smile, show him you love him”. She devoted herself into becoming the next Stepford wife. These were the experts so they must be right. It didn’t matter how much she lost of herself in the process, these authors knew more than her obviously or she wouldn't be in this mess.
Her eyes tired as the days went on. The weight fell off. Her hopes were slowly fading as her energy depleted. She was already exhausted in normal times, now throw in trying to perfect every second of her day. Exhaustion wasn't even close to describing her. She was nauseous constantly- she couldn’t stomach a thing to eat. She chalked it up to stress. She hated going to the counselor she set up for her individual therapy, Wade had yet to set up his counseling, of course. "Things take time" he would say. Her counselor mocked her each session when she would tell her what she was doing to save her marriage. “You are just hurting yourself. He is obviously having an affair. Why do you think you are in such denial?” “Here are antidepressants, take them and kick him out”.
“Do I really have to keep seeing this bitch?” was her thought after each session. As much as she hated this woman, she showed up every week,because she made a promise to Wade.
Thanksgiving was coming up and it was their year to spend with Wade’s family. The first family event of the many they would grit their teeth and try to make it through for the kids’ sake. Liza was not allowed to talk about their marriage troubles to family- Wade insisted this was just between them. She felt so alone planning this meal they would host for his family. Wade didn’t lift a finger to help her with any of this- typical.
She had just a few days to get everything prepared and she wasn’t sure she was going to make it. Her nausea was getting worse and worse and she was tired all the time. As she walked up and down the aisles of the grocery store she turned down the personal care aisle, she needed more shampoo and Wade needed more shaving cream. Then they caught her eye, she thought she definitely couldn’t be, they already had three mouths to feed, this would really make things worse, but maybe. . . She would grab one "just to ease her mind" she told herself. She threw the pregnancy test in her overflowing cart and headed toward the check out.