Why I’m Leaving My Husband

I’m writing this blog post because I know that it is easier than having the conversation 100 times with 100 people. I’ve already told a few people personally and it’s exhausting; I simply cannot endure going through it with every person I know so my solution was to issue a sort of statement that would explain it all.

To begin with, Ben is a very good man. I married him because I recognized the qualities he had weren’t found in many people. Unfortunately, that’s the wrong reason to marry someone, at least it was wrong for me. When I was depressed in Israel, I hoped and prayed that it was because I was isolated and alone, but the truth is that my heart knew I had made a mistake even if my brain hadn’t caught up. I knew there were a lot of things we had to work on, but I did not see this coming. After being back in Israel for about 10 days and feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders, I just started talking and the end of that conversation led to an agreement to end things. He didn’t cry, or ask me to reconsider. He accepted how I felt and it was that simple. He drove me to the airport, wished me well and I got on the plane.

My heart felt like it had been smashed. I feel supremely embarrassed because I know there are so many people in both of our worlds who said, “Are you sure? Are you sure? Are you sure?” And I had to reassure all of them, “Yes, Yes, of course!” But, I was wrong. Now I have to stand before everyone I know, who just stood at my wedding 9 months ago, and tell them, “I was wrong.” So, this is me saying it: I was wrong. It’s quite the failure. After having the wedding of my dreams, it turned out not to be such a fairytale and I’m afraid I knew it, but refused to see what was so obviously staring at me in the face.

I feel so guilty even though I didn’t set out to do this and I’m not sure that I really even hurt Ben, but this guilt is going to just about kill me. It’s different from a break up. When I’ve broken up with boyfriends, I’ve felt embarrassment, maybe, but never guilt. The few friends I’ve spoken with have given me good advice. So did the man at the airport that I was talking to (Mike from Indiana) who said that it’s better to stop and admit that I made a mistake now than in 10 years when I’ve got kids and a whole set of problems that aren’t so easy to fix. I know they’re right, but that doesn’t really make me feel better.

I’m afraid that people are going to judge me, and I know they will because I’ve been on this other side of this and judged someone. I’m afraid of people disliking me because of what I’ve done, even though I know if a friend suddenly wasn’t my friend because of this that I didn’t really need them anyway. Maybe these fears are irrational, but I can’t stand the idea of cynical people whispering behind my back about how they saw this coming or aren’t surprised. I have to stop thinking about it, because it’s gnawing away at my flattened heart. I’m afraid of the disapproval of my friends and family. I feel like I’ve disappointed my parents who put so much into my wedding, helping me through my depression and paying for so much and it’s all come to nothing. There is nothing that provides solace. I just have to live with it.

Before I left for Israel, I was really defining who I was as a Jew. When I was with Ben, I had a particular idea because so much of what we were going to be dictated how I was going to live. I kept kosher, we would go to an Orthodox synagogue, have a kosher home, send our kids to Jewish school, have the boys brits in Israel, raise our children with the idea of fighting in the Israeli army, mastering the Hebrew language. Now, I have to go through the process of redefining myself again. What kind of Jewish life do I want to live? How am I going to do that? Will I continue to keep kosher? Will I continue to study Hebrew? What synagogue will I go to? It almost feels like too big of a task to take on, but there’s a hungry part of me urging myself to eat a cheeseburger. I’m just not sure if I was keeping kosher just for Ben anymore, or if it’s because I thought it was the right thing to do.

It’s a challenge to go about my business and not be reminded of the new path I’ve chosen. Certain songs are off limits right now. I was eating porridge at the airport in London and it came with honey. Dvash means honey. My eyes welled up with tears. I certainly cannot stop eating honey. Our wedding albums were never printed, but they are paid for, what should I do about them? I know that each day something new and unexpected will crop up to remind me of what I’ve done, but I can’t just avoid them. So everyday I’m going to be presented with my epic failure. Awesome. I know it’s a consequence of the choice I’ve made and I have to confront all of the consequences with a heart that accepts what I’ve done and move forward.

Now that I’m home, I’m faced with a new to-do list. Everything I had planned for my lifetime has changed. I can erase the sticky note on my desktop of kid’s names that we liked, since I don’t think it matters anymore. Everything we’d been working towards for a life in LA was centered around a lot of variables that don’t exist anymore. I can move anywhere. I can do anything. There is so much freedom that I just don’t even know where to start. This part is actually exciting beyond anything I’ve experienced before. It’s really a new start and this is what I’m trying to focus on right now, in part that I don’t want to think about everything else that I have to do to stop being Mrs. Dvash.

The last thing I want to write is a request. Please don’t talk to me about this. Unless you want a nuclear meltdown from me, please just pretend it didn’t happen. The reason I’m writing this post in the first place is to address everyone who cares to let them know the full story: I just wasn’t in love with my husband and I couldn’t live another day of life pretending that something good was going to come out of it. If you worry about me, please put me in your prayers. But, the sympathy is too much for me to bear. I am talking to people, but I just can’t talk to everyone like I usually do about the minutiae of my life. If you see me, please don’t ask me how I’m doing or use a concerned tone. I’m excited about this silly plan I’ve created for the next chapter in my life and I’ll talk about that, but for right now, until my bacon cheeseburger and calamari party, please don’t press me to discuss it.

I appreciate all of you who took the time to read this and who care. If there is something you feel needs to be said, please leave a comment. I will read them and respond. For now, this is the only communication I feel like participating in. I hope you can understand and respect how I feel, what I need and what I’m going through. I want to go away for a long time, come back like a new person and start over. That’s just completely unrealistic, so this is what I’m doing instead.

Thank you, again and in advance, for your understanding. I’ll be fine. I’m going to make it. I do need my friends and family, but the first couple of weeks are going to be almost too much to bear. I hope none of you reading this will ever have to empathize with me.


45 thoughts on “Why I’m Leaving My Husband

  1. Susanna my heart breaks for you. I have felt all your feelings you feel and pulled away from alot of people because of embarrassment I have/do feel. Why wasn’t I enough? How could this happen? Why didn’t he fight? But be thankful you don’t have babies so you don’t have to see them twice a week to feel that pain & hurt over & over again. Its surely a time of faith & trust. Call me anytime if you ever need someone who understands.

  2. Susanna, You never have to apologize for having loved – and lost! We are on this earth to do just that – to love and be loved. Your life with Ben wasn’t a forever love but it had substance when you needed it. Joe and I love you and want you to know that this too shall pass but make you even more aware and more determined to find your life as you want it to be. Don’t reqret anything or anyone that comes into and leaves your life. They are ALL lessons. Love, Aunt Laurie

  3. FWIW, I know what you did took an enormous amount of courage. I think you are incredibly brave. Know that the more time and space there is between today and your future, the less this experience will feel like failure. The regret fades, the sadness vanishes, and you see more clearly why life brought you this challenge. As for people who sit in judgment on you, my philosophy is this: you judge others using a measure of how you see or what you wish for yourself. I learned – albeit much later – that the women and men who most harshly criticized my divorce (or the fact that I was fortunate to find the true love of my life “too soon” after that divorce) were people who were miserably unhappy in their own relationships or life choices and lacked the courage to change or improve. I wish you the best. I think you are handling this in a smart, thoughtful way. Take good care of yourself.

  4. ”ย No,ย this is not the beginning of a new chapter in my life; this is the beginning of a new book! That first book is already closed, ended, and tossed into the seas; this new book is newly opened, has just begun! Look, it is the first page! And it is a beautiful one!” C JoyBell C
    Always follow your heart, trust your choices, move forward and don’t look back. The good thing about making mistakes is realizing that we made them, learning from them, and correcting them, and this is exactly what you’ve done. Good luck in this new part of your life, you’ve got this, it will all be for the best.

  5. Susanna, know that your true friends and family are here to support you every step of the way with love! Can’t wait for those cheeseburgers.
    -Lisa Blumberg

  6. It is indeed very brave of you to admit your mistakes, because not many of us have the courage to stand up to who we really are, and what we really want.
    I know it is going to be hard for you, but, you know, everything will eventually fall into place. Mike is right–it is always better to correct the mistakes sooner than later. Ask me–it has been 20 years since my parents’ marriage, and even though they knew since the beginning it wasn’t going to work, they took the risk, and look where it got them. They cannot handle themselves, and that’s the reason why I had to take on their role and be both parents to my six-year-old sister. Trust me, you did the right thing. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Do not worry. There are many more people who suffer the same fate, and I’m sure each of one of them finds a way, and so will you ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck!

    P.S.– Sorry for the length, but I guess I put across my point, didn’t I? ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. I wish you all the happinesa in the world. One day all that has happened will make more sense.
    And thank you for writing this, reminding me im not alone in this world.
    All my beat wishes to you. Take care.

  8. After all of these years, you are still the intelligent woman who has always inspired me. You are always in my prayers and I am so anxious to see what is next for you in life. Xoxo

  9. We love you for you – call when you are ready to catch up or just go for coffee and talk about anything and everything else!

    Miss you tons and take time for YOU!

  10. Thanks this helped me a lot I always think about falling in love with the wrong person, and how it will be, and how I will know, but when it doesn’t feel right in the heart then its better to set your heart free. Your still so young and there is someone out there for you, just make sure you let love find you and not go searching for it!!!!! I’m sure Ben was hurting but you know men they hide it so very very well!!!

  11. This might sound too simple, but no one in this world knows your complete story—everything you’ve been through internally and externally– but you and God. For that reason, no one else can judge you or say that they would’ve done something differently…”Those that matter won’t mind and those that mind don’t matter.” I’ll be praying for you during this challenging time, my friend.

  12. i hope this helps people leave you alone. I know when I divorced, I hated the “how are you?” lingering looks and questions where people who weren’t that friendly with you kept offering their hand to talk. What happened to them talking to me a year ago when they could’ve cared less? Ugh.

    Know how you feel and will respect your space. *hugs*

  13. Shosh, I could not get you off of my mind on Friday. Had I known you were in the states I would have driven straight up to see you. (I drove past Bakersfield and was truly feeling compelled to drive the rest of the way to Fresno to see you). I know I don’t express it, and let’s face it, I’m not nearly as eloquent as you are blessed to be, but I treasure you. You are a woman of wonder, and a credit to humanity. Trust in yourself, as I am certain Hashem certainly does!

  14. Susanna, it is always best to follow your own truth, and that is what you did. I support you, and am sending lots of love your way. Maria Vargas

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  16. I guess, if that marriage wasn’t bringing you happiness, then both of you are meant for something better. And you WILL find that something that will make your heart sing!

  17. You are a very brave woman. Please remain so. It will not be easy, but do not give in. There remain wonderful, exciting, and fulfilling places to go in life. Make sure you go there.

    Be encouraged!

  18. Wow. So raw and so brave. So matter of fact but yet full of passion, emotion and heartfelt truth. A divorce, especially one which many tried to help us avoid is no picnic. I think this was so frank, so real and so courageous. More people should share in this manner. My favorite part was how you began the post complimenting your spouse. Very mature. You are going to be ok and it is wonderful that you know this and understand how you will cope with it best and letting others know how to help you do this. Divorce is like a death. There’s never a clear, clean cut way to move on. I admire your heart and your honesty. Thanks for visiting my blog and I hope you will find some support there. Thanks! And happy healing-you’re doing all the right things! You WILL have an exciting new life!

  19. It takes a strong person to realize what you did, and do something about it. I admire your courage and honesty. The road ahead may be tough, but at least you’ll have made the forward steps in your life that will lead to bigger and better things.

    Also, the road is paved with burgers.

  20. You are a better and stronger woman for realizing this and taking action now. It’s a rough road, but it’s strewn with even more obstacles when you are going through a divorce after 11 years and 3 kids…trust me on this one. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. Your a strong girl Suze and I respect the hell out of you! Enjoy this next chapter in your life and remember to add extra cheese on the bacon at the party! ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Mike from Indiana was right – I’m the person who stayed for 9 years, had four children, tried desperately to make it work, only to be left with 9 extra years of baggage (but now, still, freedom!).

    You have been very brave. I admire you for it.

    Many thanks for your comment on my blog http://burnscakes.wordpress.com/. Things are starting to move forward for me.

    Best Regards

  23. Celebrate all your yesterdays and toast to all your tomorrows! It is never too late to listen to your heart, when it shows you another road for you. In spite of what you had figured out. Compliments for being honest with and to yourself and felicitations on taking this tough decision. Be thankful what has been and look forward to what is coming.

  24. This web site and the accompanying comments are just another example of the rationalization and excuse making that’s become commonplace for ridiculous women who fail to take responsibility for or ownership of the bad decisions that they repeatedly and recklessly leap in to. I’m so tired of women making bad choices for flighty, flaky, unsound reasons and then crying into one another’s arms for reassurance when those bad decisions don’t pan out. You made a bad choice and married the wrong guy. Take ownership of your mistake and move on. Don’t cry into the internet and expect a pity party. After all, this decision to leave may be every bit as wrong as your decision to get married in the first place.

    • I actually laughed out loud when I read this reply. And now I just want to give you a hug Reality Check. It has clear that you are hurt and your choice to chime in on someone’s personal post in this way is unusual and in my opinion quite saddening.

      The completely authentic and heart-filled honesty which spilled out in Susanna’s words were simply beautiful. I choose not see choices as ‘mistakes’ or a ‘failures’ – they are just choices. It is only US that adds the value consideration, so why not go ahead and allow ourselves to choose the + side of the absolute value choice. I hear your internal voice of criticism and harshness, and yet it is YOU who can choose a raise a louder voice in your head – the voice of acceptance (which I already hear in your writing) and to give her (that voice) strength and love and let her be the guiding voice. Your tools are in place – gratitude and thankfulness. Soon, I am sure you will be thankful for your choices, why, because THIS is reality, and not the negative reality which the last post chooses to subscribe to.

      And Mr(s) Reality Check, for the amount/level of compassion with which you have shown here, I BEG of you, if you don’t have kids yet (and something tells me that you don’t), PLEASE, for the rest of our kids’ future – I ask you to consider to not have children until you can learn that it’s not very helpful to walk around pointing your finger at someone else’s “mistakes”, without even considering your own.

      • I’d argue that you have taken responsibility and ownership. That comes across clearly in the post. The right thing to do is never easy but you know that already. Good luck on your journey.

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  26. ืืœื•ื”ื™ื ืœื”ื™ื•ืช ืื™ืชืš. ืืชื” ื‘ืชืคื™ืœื•ืช ืฉืœื™ ื•ืžื—ืฉื‘ื•ืช.

  27. I came across this piece as the result of yet another google search in which I typed in the words I have used to attempt to explain what I am going through right now with my impending divorce. Our marriage lasted a year and a half, my husband is still very much in love with me, and has now launched an all out attack on my character in his attempt to guilt trip me into staying. Your words truly speak to so many of the feelings I am processing right now: guilt, more guilt, even more guilt, anxiety over the prospect of new found freedom, excitement over that same prospect, and the desire and belief that that one true love is waiting somewhere out there. Thank you so much for sharing these words; they have helped me to feel less alone in this painful situation and they have articulated the emotional and mental processes that accompanies such a divorce so well. Thank you!

    • It takes a long time to get over, and I genuinely worry that even though I *feel* over it, that the guilt will come back and manifest in a way I hadn’t prepared for or expected. BUT, it does get better and you will discover a strength you didn’t know you had. I don’t post much on here anymore because I felt like I didn’t need this type of therapy. I did, however, find it VERY productive to lay it all out on the table, to spill my guts to the world in this manner, the self-flagellate in a manner that exposed every thing. In that way, I felt like I at least saved myself from being a phony, which was part of how I was feeling. I had been false to myself (by not trusting that my intuition about getting married to the man I had chosen), I had been false (unintentionally) to those who came to my wedding and worst of all, false to a very good and kind man (also unintentionally…though I imagine he felt the same as I did about getting divorced). I suggest doing the same. I’m not sure what legal repercussions could stem from it, so be careful of that, but even if it’s a private blog that only those you trust can read…it’s very therapeutic and cathartic.

      If you ever want to chat, you can find me on FB or Twitter: Susanna Leonard
      Good luck.

  28. at least you ad the courage to walk away. I have been with my husband for 26 years and I am empty and miserable but I cannot walk away I have too any ties ;(

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