How I Caused My Marriage to Fail
Ignoring my intuition resulted in an inevitable divorce
Any gen X or Y girl remembers that epic moment in Sex in the City when Big left Carrie at the alter alone. He needed to see Carrie’s face to know that it was “just you and me baby”, and when he didn’t get that security he was seeking, he couldn’t go through with it. Viewing this part of the movie as my old self, before this new version 2.0, I thought very poorly about his choice. My immediate reaction was “how could he not feel secure about who he chose to marry, despite all of these traditional wedding distractions?”. I judged his character as I had with every story of a man messing up — unforgivable.
I was only able to empathize with Carrie. My heart broke as she dropped her phone in slow motion when he said he couldn’t go through with the wedding. The rage that filled her as she smashed her bouquet of perfect peonies in his face. I felt extreme sadness as he threw out the last stem of white petals from his car, thinking — how could he not save that as a piece to torture himself over and over again at the thought of his horrible decision? He’s just an asshole, that’s why.
The old version of myself was very judgmental toward the person who messed it up. I was so consumed with empathy for the victim, that I missed their own part in their choices that helped cause them to be on the receiving line of pain.
I remember my very own moment of doubt on my wedding day. I sat in the Uber with my photographer, getting ready to do the “first look” shots at Rittenhouse Square. My heart fluttered like a butterfly exiting a cocoon, as I rolled down the window to see my tear filled sister’s eyes.
I spoke to her without saying a word — asking her “is this the right thing to do? Will I be safe in my choice?”.
While I chose not to drive away and abandon the choice to marry — I still made a drastic mistake. I mistrusted my intuition, and I ignored the reasons why I was doubting the choice to get married.
I was the same as Big, but in the opposite way.
My doubt came from a lack of connection with my soon-to-be spouse. I didn’t feel safe, I didn’t know where his head was at, and I felt that disconnection the entire day. Looking into his eyes, I felt like I didn’t know the person who was there. Hearing his vows, I desperately forced myself to believe them, despite not even hearing from him what I needed. In retrospect, I see so many reasons why my doubt was legitimate. In my quest to marry the person I loved, I overlooked an unending list of things that would have shown me the mistake I was making.
All of these things, and hundreds of others, left me with painful feelings of insecurity as I embarked on the biggest decision of my life. Starting our lives off on this foot set the stage for those insecurities, fears and anxiety to grow bigger and bigger while we were husband and wife.
The Antoinette 2.0 has changed her opinion of Big. Of the victimizer. See, I could live my life thinking that my husband’s mistakes were the reason we are getting divorced. I could choose not to forgive, not to understand, and continue resenting the person who made those mistakes. But thinking like that would mean that I haven’t learned what mistakes I made myself — and that becomes a recipe for repeating a cycle of the same later.
The truth is that if I had listened to my heart and gut, I would have realized that we were not right to get married. If I had dug a lot sooner, I would have learned a flood of things that were not right. If I hadn’t let the idea of being in love, the thoughts of being married and having kids — the dream I made in my mind, overcome the reality I was feeling, I wouldn’t be a heart broken divorcee. My decisions contributed just as much as his. And even though I wasn’t the one who went outside of our marriage, or hid how I felt, I still hurt us in the end just the same. I ignored myself and ended up making the wrong decisions because of it.
To quote Carrie Bradshaw — “Life gives you lots of chances to screw up which means you have just as many chances to get it right.”
I’m not sure of the intended outcome of this article in particular, but hey — that’s pretty much the sum of my story in a whole. I don’t know where it’s going, I don’t know why it happened, but I do know that writing about it helps me learn how to cope and come out on the other side a better version. And there is a whole lifetime of versions still left to go. Never stop sharing, and always embrace retrospect of self. This can help you avoid being a victim or a victimizer, but instead, maybe a hero.