Words I continually heard were “You never told me that,” or something similar. It even reached the point where I was told that I must have imagined the conversation in my head. This was strange, but I am fairly introverted, so not completely implausible. I started to think I had entire conversations in my head, because she had no memory of them. This was the story of our marriage. She would respond to me angrily if I argued that we had talked about something that she didn’t remember. To some degree, I started to believe that I was a bit crazy. That I could imagine an entire conversation, and it never have happened. I would give up plans, because she wasn’t prepared for them, because we never talked about them.
After the divorce talk, I was much more aware of the conversations we had. I was more sensitive to slights I might offer or receive. I was trying to be a better husband, and was becoming increasingly aggravated with the lack of effort on her part to be a good wife. Not just then, I didn’t expect much then, but in the past as I reviewed our life together on mine own. I noticed that I would be talking, and she would start the conversation with me, but after a while she would disappear into her own world. I used to think she would change the subject abruptly on me, because there was some connection in her mind to what we were talking about. I have a tendency to do that myself. I found though that she would get lost in her own thoughts, and would stop hearing me. She would then jump in conversation to whatever it was that she was thinking about. As time went on after the divorce talk, she had less and less that she wanted to talk to me about, so she would just disappear and not come back. That is when I noticed what was really going on, and figured out that I was not nuts, but being ignored all these years.
I tested this a few times. I would say completely ridiculous things, and see if there was a reaction. There was none, and when I say none I mean not even a nod of the head like she was pretending to listen. I would stop mid-sentence and just leave the room, and she wouldn’t even notice. This was both eye opening and heart breaking for me. I realized that it had been a very long time since she cared what I said. The hard reality of this is I had started to believe that what I said was not important, that people didn’t care what I thought or said. I had stopped sharing anything with so many of my friends. I have found that they all wondered what they did to make me not want to trust them anymore. They too were victims of my marriage, and some of them will recover with me, and some of them have already left my life not understanding what happened.
It is amazing how the person you are closest too can affect everything in your life in ways that you never imagined. I can only imagine what that could have looked like if we were both in the marriage for the right reasons. It could have been amazing. Someone who can have such a strong effect on me and how I interact with others could have propelled me to such great heights with my friends and family, just as she pushed me down. I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me here. I could have maintained those relationships on my own. I could have been more aware of what was going on, and limited the damage that was caused. I could have believed that I was worth more than she thought I was, and never have tumbled down the path I have been on. It hasn’t been good for either one of us.