I didn’t know what to do, who to talk to, how to begin to even admit that this marriage was a bad idea. From the moment we crawled into our camper to snuggle in as a married couple and he asked, “So is our entire life going to be camp themed?” I knew that my husband was a different man than my boyfriend had been.
I called my college-friend, Robin Graine, to ask her advice. We’d lost touch since college, but she’d gone on to become a divorce lawyer in Fairfax, VA. I thought that she was distant enough from my life and my loved ones to be objective, but close enough to offer some advice free of retainer. We met for happy hour at a wine bar close to where she lived after I reached out via Facebook Messenger. Under the guise of “let’s catch up” she let me know right away that I wasn’t the first person to suddenly want to “catch up” while having pretty significant marriage issues.
She was amazingly helpful though. Her advice was to begin documenting, stay patient, and be mindful of my personal safety. “If he hurt you once, even on accident, and suffered no consequences” she asked, “what’s to stop him from hurting you again?” A question I never ever expected to ponder about him.
And so I started keeping a note in my phone documenting every time he insulted, ignored, or threatened me. And I was amazed to see, in writing, how often it was happening. Had I been ignoring it the entire time we were dating? Was I blinded by the prospect of this lovely man as a husband? Or did he change when we wed? Or do I change when we wed?
I had never felt so alone in my entire life as I did as a married woman.