At 25, I thought I had everything I ever wanted – a new promotion, a wonderful family, a husband I adored, and a beautiful home. It was only a few short months later that I was forced to face the harsh reality that all of those things were a just mirage.
The truth is — I didn’t really have anything at all. I didn’t have the one thing that mattered most – love.
The husband I adored was never around, and for the first time in my life I felt lost, alone, and trapped. I finally understood the words my mother always said, “There’s nothing worse than being married and feeling alone.” I beg to differ Mom! Getting divorced at 25 after 7 months of marriage is by far, much, much worse.
It’s hard to explain to others how I can be so devastated to lose something I never had in the first place.
Those who haven’t been through divorce don’t understand the sense of embarrassment, failure, and rejection that comes along with a relatively meaningless piece of paper. Yes, it was seven months of
hell, living with a man that barely acknowledged my existence. A man that after nearly 10 years decided
I was no longer what he wanted and he merely “loves me as a friend.” Most days I would agree with
my mom. After all, how can you lose, let alone miss, something you never really had? I’ve finally come
to realize, it’s not really him that I miss, it’s the life and dreams I built around the idea of him for which
I shed countless tears. Divorce isn’t just about losing a partner; it’s about losing all of the hopes and
dreams of the future you imagined with that person. For me, divorce is struggling to understand how
one man can so easily walk away from all the promises and vows he made. Divorce is learning from my
past mistakes, and hoping I’m wiser for them.
When I look back now, I see the blaring red flags I ignored. My only hope now is that someone else
might learn from my mistakes. If my experience could help just one person, then everything I’ve gone
through will count for something. In that spirit, and hopefully a little humorous perspective, here are
some tell-tale signs something’s not right:
- He frequently vacations alone.
– If that isn’t telling enough, my soon-to-be ex-husband took a lovely tropical vacation just weeks before our wedding, and conveniently forgot to take time off for his honeymoon!
- He is always too busy to be there for you, and always has somewhere else to be that keeps him from spending time with you.
– Whatever the excuse, and I promise you, they are just excuses, don’t buy it. If you were a priority and he wanted to be with you, he would make the time. My husband constantly made time for all of the things he wanted to do, and I was never one of them.
- He puts work, friends, and his mother before you.
– Don’t let him or anyone tell you that you shouldn’t be at the top of that list! Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly fine for him to have a great relationship with his mom, but if he’s spending more time with her than he is with you, you might have a problem. My husband would always make time to have lunch with his mom a couple times a week, but I can quite literally count the number of times he came home to have dinner with me. At first, I would eat dinner alone, but eventually I stopped buying groceries altogether.
- He never takes your side and lets others, his family included, disrespect you.
– My husband never acknowledged that his family didn’t care for me. It didn’t bother him that his family would never call our house, just to avoid speaking to me. They would only call him on his cell phone during work hours when they knew I wasn’t around. They disrespected me as his wife because he allowed him to, and that’s never ok.
- He walks away or isn’t capable of confronting problems.
– Major red flag (waving frantically)!!
- You constantly find yourself alone, and if you complain, he tells you you’re insecure.
– Don’t let him belittle your feelings. In my experience, if you feel something’s wrong, it mostly likely is.
- He keeps looking for new activities or reasons to be away from home.
- He never says “I’m sorry.”
– If he says “I’m sorry you’re upset” instead of “I’m sorry for doing x, which made you upset. I know it was wrong,” it’s a cop-out and he’s not sorry for what he did.
- It’s always your job to forgive him because you love him.
– I will never forget the day before my wedding, as it foreshadowed the end of my marriage. It was the day I bailed my husband out of jail, and I’ll never forget his words as I sobbed vigorously, “If you love me, you’ll forgive me because that’s what love is.” I know what you’re thinking… Seriously, he got arrested the day before your wedding; did you really expect a different ending?
- You find yourself sending him Outlook invitations, just to spend some time together.
– STOP! Do not pass GO, Do not collect $200!!
You might say, “Why did you marry him if you saw all the signs?” And the simple reason is that I loved
him. Plain and simple, I loved him, no matter what. One of the most difficult lessons I’ve learned
through divorce is forgiveness – for yourself and others. Yes, I made a lot of mistakes, yes, I ignored a
lot of signs, but the best thing you can do is forgive yourself. Don’t ever regret the things you do for
love; learn from them instead. You can’t change the past, but you don’t have to punish yourself for it
About the author:
Sabrina Minaya is newly: wed, divorced, and single! It’s not half as exciting as it sounds. She got married last September to the man of her dreams, only it turned out to be a complete nightmare. Sabrina started a blog to chronicle her misadventure down the aisle, and the signs she wish she had noticed sooner. Her hope is that she is able to help someone else avoid the same mistakes, through her painful, but humorous, journey through marriage and divorce. Her blog is called: My trip (and fall) down the aisle. Sabrina would love the opportunity to spread her message to a wider audience, and help other young women from making the same mistakes.