My ex-husband and I lived in a bubble — eight years of marital bliss. When I say we were a happy couple, I’m not brushing a bunch of drama under a rug or exaggerating. Anyone who knew us, would call us the perfect couple. And, it wasn’t because we were good at faking it when people were around, it was because we actually were truly in love and happy.
A little back story for ya: we met at work. I know, cliche and also maybe even taboo, IDK. Our job had a no-dating policy and we had to notify the higher ups if anyone were to be in a relationship. But, that attraction was immediate, like a fairytale. I tried to fight it, tried to be professional. But, after two months I was willing to quit my job just for one date with him. He made me laugh, I felt at ease, and he was so freaking smart, yet it was like he didn’t even know it.
Needless to say, we started dating and within six months, we were pretty serious. Luckily, he was offered another job and we never needed to notify anyone and it didn’t affect our careers. Within a year, we were engaged. I thought we were moving too fast, yet not one person warned us that we should slow down. My friends, family, everyone said we seemed made for each other. Two years after we began dating, we were married. We weren’t sure if we wanted kids, so for eight years we enjoyed just being together.
Let me get to the point. As we got older, we knew we had to make the decision once and for all. We could afford children. We had support. I had amazing benefits and could take time off postpartum. And, above all, we loved each other. We had friends with children, they seemed happy. Tired, sometimes frustrated, but happy. And so we decided to give it a go. Truthfully, I didn’t expect to get pregnant so quickly.
Just mere months after making the choice to become parents, I was pregnant. My pregnancy was rough. Morning sickness would’ve been welcomed if I could trade throwing up every single day, sometimes all day. I was always uncomfortable. But through all the changes and hard times, we were solid. We had no issues choosing a name, totally agreed on the nursery, and things were moving along fine.
Let me fast forward. Just eight months after our child was born, we were nothing like the happy couple we had been for so long. I felt like I hated him. I was pretty sure he hated me, too. Spontaneous, before having a kid, was having sex in the kitchen right in the middle of making dinner. And fear, was worrying if the pasta would boil over before we were finished. Now, spontaneous meant trying out a new diaper brand and then dealing with a random poop blow out (a term I didn’t even know just a few short months before) at 2am. And fear was worrying if I was ruining my child’s life, if I’d make enough breast milk, and wondering if my baby was breathing or not.
There was so much laundry to do, so much to clean, so many runs to the store. And, not nearly as much support as we thought we would have. We were completely blindsided. But how? We took our time. We made checklists. We considered all the advice we were given. Yet, here we were fighting constantly, and completely unhappy. One day I called my friend and vented to her. She told me it was completely normal. Normal? To hate my husband? She had to be joking.
But she wasn’t. She opened up about how much her relationship had changed, none of which she ever shared until I myself became a mother. And over the next few months, everyone I knew with kids echoed the same thing. At that time, I thought if I had only known, I wouldn’t have even had a baby. But it’s not really that simple, is it? Because even if one of us decided they didn’t want a baby, the curiosity and the longing would’ve probably made the other resentful. And, I love my child so much!
Anyway, I’m rambling. Two years after our baby was born, we were all set for a divorce. The first few months after the divorce were so hard. I cried every day. But then something weird happened, all of a sudden, I didn’t feel overwhelmed as a mother. We split custody and he had our child half of the week and I had the baby the other half. That meant, I actually had time for myself. On the days that my ex had our child, I’d sleep in, go to the salon, walk aimlessly around the mall, and even watch something other than CocoMelon.
And the days I had our little one, I was refreshed. I didn’t get frustrated or angry as easily. My ex even seemed more well-rested and even looked like he was working out again. Luckily, the divorce was even easier because we were cordial with each other. I felt like a cloud had been lifted.
By the time we had been divorced for two full years, we became friends. We did activities with our child together, like trips to the zoo. We’d even send each other memes that only we’d understand. We would talk for a while during drop-offs and pickups. And, I started to question if we’d given up too fast. But I kept it to myself. I mean, if we got back together, I would yell at him for leaving me alone with the baby all day so he could go out with his friends, right?
And, he’d go back to pretending he didn’t hear our child cry in the middle of the night, right? And we’d fall right back into the routine of trying to stay above the endless laundry, dishes, chores and errands… right? We would lose or individuality again, right? I didn’t want to find out.
Recently, we’ve been flirting with one another and I feel butterflies. He has expressed that he regrets the divorce but I’m not even sure what to feel or think. One thing I have learned, even the strongest relationships have cracks. And, ours didn’t come to the surface until we had a baby.
IDK if we’ll get back together or not, but we’re really close. He’s one of my best friends. I don’t want to ruin what we have.
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