Did I do enough to save my marriage?

A couple of days ago, I was scrolling through posts on social media and I came across a post by another woman asking, “Did you do enough to save your marriage?”

I read through her post. She was not divorced, nor had she started the divorce process. She was wanting to know how do you know when it is time to start the process. She wanted to know how much effort and action should be put into the marriage before “giving up.”

I did not offer any advice or feedback, because my first response was “if you are asking if your marriage is over then it probably is.” Once one party has given up, or checked-out, the trust is damaged. It is very hard to gain that trust back.

I thought about my situation. Did I do enough to save my marriage? Could I have done more?

My ex-husband wanted the divorce. I gave him the divorce. It wasn’t until years after our divorce did he make a comment to me that stopped me in my tracks: “You didn’t even try to save our marriage. You were in such a hurry to file.”

Whoa! Excuse me?!?

I was faithful, the entire marriage. I was isolated as a stay-at-home mom. I didn’t have friends to visit or have girls’ nights. My ex-husband was my world. I would have followed him to the ends of the Earth and back. I supported him in his job. I thought he was amazing. Even when I knew he was cheating – emotional cheating, I know for sure. Not sure about physical cheating, even to this day – I stayed. I looked the other way.

I seen receipts. I seen pictures of women in bathing suits that he took. I watched him be secretive, hiding his phone. I was naive. But, I was in love. I wanted my marriage to work. I wanted my first marriage to last forever.

We had been married for two years the first time the word “divorce” was mentioned. It was during a fight – don’t remember what the fight was even about – but he told me that he would win full custody in a divorce. I believed him. I was worried that he would take my child from me forever. That power over me forced me to ignore the red flags.

I knew our marriage was heading for divorce those last few years. He was distant. He was hateful. It was nothing for him to leave without acknowledging me. He had checked out.

I stayed.

When I seen the messages to another woman from my ex telling her that he was going to divorce me to be with her, I knew it was over. I told him that I had seen the messages. I told him that I would give him the divorce. I filed for divorce the next day.

Did I do enough to save my marriage?

At first, I didn’t think that I did. I regretted my hasty decision. I went back to my ex. For two more years after my divorce, I was with him. Allowing myself to be used and mistreated again, but I was trying to save this relationship. I was blindsided with him dating other women, and bringing them around my child. I cried all of the time. I felt like trash. I was being used for sex and then told to leave. Why? Because I wanted us to try our relationship again. I wanted him to want me; to love me; to need me. He didn’t. He couldn’t, for whatever reason. I even asked him if he would like to give “us” another chance. I got the answer “I’ll have to think about it.” I honestly believed he would think about it. No, it was another power move. I gave him the power to decide what I should do.

Did I do enough to save my marriage?


But it can not be saved if both parties are not willing to make the effort. The day he said that I filed too quickly, I honestly think there was some truth in his words – I don’t think he ever thought that I would leave – but I think it was another attempt to control me. He was seeing I was not scared of him. He’d punched the wall by my head and I didn’t flinch. I stood my ground. I prepared myself for the blow. The words were an attempt to hurt me when physically threatening did not work.

If you are questioning if your marriage is worth saving or did you do enough to save your marriage, no one can answer that except you. You know how much effort you are putting into your relationship. You know how much or how little you want your relationship to succeed or end.

I cringe when I hear about couples staying together for the children. I hated the thought of my daughter growing up in a broken home. Even over the weekend she said something about she remembered that first time ex and I had to do drop offs. She said she was scared and said that her parents were breaking up the only home she had ever known. Then she smiled and looked at me and said she was happy. She said this was her home.

I made the effort to save my marriage, but that is in the past.

Now, I have to make sure I make the effort to save and keep a relationship with my ex-husband as a co-parent. That is all that matters is a positive co-parenting relationship for my daughter.


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