It was May 24, 2006. I had spent the evening having dinner with old friends. My husband had worked until dark and then had dinner at a coworker’s house (or so he said). He was pretty late getting home and I called to see where he was. He told me he couldn’t talk, that he was on his way and he was on the other line with his mother. No problem… I hung up and got in bed. When he got home, he came into the bedroom and said those words, “I think we should separate.” At first, I was angry. And confused. He told me that he’d been discussing our situation with his parents and that’s what he and his mom were talking about earlier… that she thought it was a good idea. And then I was livid.
“You discussed our separation with your mother before you talked to me about it?!?!” I asked, jumping out of bed. I took off my rings immediately and put them in my jewelry box (my subconscious was right-on). I did some more yelling and he remained perfectly calm. I stormed out of the room and down the hall to our office. He followed.
“Isn’t this what you want?” He asked from the doorway. “Don’t you hate me anyway?”
And that was it: The Moment. In that moment that followed his inquiry, the lightbulb went off in my head and I knew.
Yes, that is what I want. I am going to file for divorce.
I was slow to answer yet I finally found the words to tell him he was correct. I did want to separate. I wasn’t happy. And in the moments that followed, my new life began to unfold.
The Moment is a curious thing to me. I didn’t think much of mine until about a year- maybe two- later when I was speaking to some friends and they began sharing their Moments- when they knew they were done.
“It was when she questioned my order at dinner”
“It was when he slept through Easter Morning”
“I was in the woods and I realized that my home environment was toxic to my children”
I wonder how many others have had such an experience…
In an amusing twist to my story, I discovered later that my husband had been discussing our separation with his mistress, not his mother, prior to his discussion with me. And I also learned that he did not actually want to separate. His theatrical performance was intended to be some kind of exercise in reverse-psychology: I was supposed to realize, the heat of that moment, that I didn’t want to lose him. I was supposed to cry out in desperation, beg him not to leave me and promise to be a better Wife.
I’m grateful that I was tuned in to a different frequency that night: my own.