It’s better to put my kids through a divorce than a suicide.
I didn’t think I’d have to be telling myself this today.
My husband wanted the kids to see a therapist. His work offers a certain number of free sessions per person, and he thought we should normalize it for the kids – treat it like the dental visits, eye exams and health exams they already get yearly. That way with the likelihood they’d need to visit again once the divorce was definite, they’d already have done some adjusting to the idea.
After all four of the kids had been seen, the therapist they’d spoken to wanted to speak to my husband and I for a few minutes. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me that my husband would have mentioned the likelihood of divorce. I was also surprised to find out the therapist also knew I was being treated for depression and anxiety. My husband swears he didn’t mention it.
The therapist, a portly white-haired white man of advanced years, asked us a few questions. We didn’t have much time, so I gave him the most succinct explanation I could – that I’d been raised with isolated religious brainwashing that convinced me it was my duty to pick a life I never wanted.
The therapist then asked me if the divorce was about me being able to finally get the life I wanted. No, it’s about me removing myself from an environment that’s been slowly killing me, I told him, bluntly.
Apparently our kids are healthy, well-adjusted and happy. They fight, as siblings do, but are supportive of each other even so. There’s no way to avoid a negative impact from a divorce. They can attempt to mitigate it and make sure our children understand it’s not their fault in any way.
I don’t know if it was my unspoken judgment of myself, the therapist’s, my husband’s, or all three, but hanging in the air was why would you put them through this?
Because I deserve to be able to save myself.
Because divorce is better than death.