Saturday, June 23, 2007

Critcal Mass has been Reached

Something has been going on inside me over the last day or so. The anxiety that so dominated my consciousness a couple weeks ago has been dispersing.

I have come to this realization:
I no longer have the energy to keep this marriage alive.

That little sentence packs a wallop in meaning, and it's worth taking stock of how I got to this point.

Over the course of this blog, I could say in the abstract sense that I was so unhappy that one day I might want to leave.

I worked on myself, trying to improve the relationship, so I could perhaps avoid making the decision. But even my changes could not stir mutuality.

Eventually, I could say that I wanted to leave, but I could not envision a day. There was plenty of self doubt, ambivalence, and blind hope to keep me from making the decision.

My wife's separation ultimatum called my bluff. I had to confront myself and face down the fear that I might betray my integrity. I felt more internal stress than I could ever remember feeling.

I responded by collecting my thoughts and then presenting them to my wife. I described my situation as clearly as I could, with as much compassion as I could muster.

From her, I asked for clarity of purpose, not mandatory change. She responded by falling apart and attacking my words. This was no change from the way she has handled difficult matters in the past. She said she wanted the stress to be gone. She was not growing, and she didn't want to grow.

I did not get the closure I had hoped for, but her attacks on my reflected sense of self did not shake me. I was no longer dependent on her for validation. She was free to make a choice. I was going to make mine. From that followed peace. I have transcended my anxiety.

As painful as the process might be, I am prepared to disclose to my wife at our next joint session that I no longer wish to remain in this union.
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