Editor’s Note: Like all of the pieces in our Confessions Series, the author will remain anonymous. We appreciate her sharing her story, despite the possibility of criticism. It is her hope that reading this piece will help someone else going through a similar situation.
Ever heard the saying that divorce is a four letter word? Well it’s more like a sentence constructed of four letter words. It is by far the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to endure. But in the same breath, I am saving myself by doing it. My husband and I married young, after he joined the military, and we had our first child shortly after our first anniversary at our first duty station. Our second child came four years later. We are at our second duty station now and I have had to grow up pretty fast. I’ve realized that he and I just don’t see eye to eye anymore. Counseling sessions have uncovered his anger issues and verbally abusive nature…and my fear of communicating my feelings. I have a few friends that I’ve confided in and am grateful for the support they have offered. But, now that my husband and I are separating, things are starting to shift.
In most divorces, families split, friends choose sides, and more than just the couple divorcing is affected…especially when children are involved. In my divorce process, I am losing a whole community support system. The women who once claimed to be my best friends are now shunning me, despite knowing the valid reasons for this separation. No one else knows why my marriage is ending but they all have their assumptions. I must have had an affair. I must not be able to handle deployments. I’m out for his money. Why am I the only one with the problems? Why is it all my fault? Why isn’t this support system supporting ME? It takes two to make a marriage and two to end it. It is amazing to me that in this hurt, sadness, and time that I need my friends the most, they automatically took the side of my soon to be ex-spouse…the military member. I feel like I’ve been made the bad guy all of a sudden. I feel like I am being punished for leaving an unhealthy situation.
My husband has left our base housing, taking most of the money and leaving me with the kids and very little financial support. Sure, I have a job…but I dedicated our marriage to his career, so now I am working for minimum wage. He had the power to backdate paperwork with housing, so now I am only given two weeks to find a new home for me and my children instead of the 30 days I should receive. He kicked my five year old off of the computer so that he could pack it up in his things to take.