Something has been weighing heavily on my mind this past weekend: my failed marriage.
Lately, I have been too busy to even think about it. Work, friends, settling into life in LA. But when I spoke to my mom, she brought up something that struck a nerve (and stayed there for three long days).
“Hey Meg, get this: our neighbor, who was with his girlfriend for EIGHT years and only just got married last year, is getting a divorce”
I’m ashamed to admit this but a huge smiled formed on my face.
YES! I’m not the only one!
I know, I know. That’s terrible of me. But it’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one with a marriage that failed after one year. And they knew each other for eight years prior!
But then the idea of my husband and our marriage latched on to me for three long days. While I moved into my new apartment and tried to distract myself with furniture shopping, he still kept bobbing around in my head. Like an annoying song that you fucking hate but can’t help singing along to.
For one of the days, I thought about the beginning of our marriage. Absolute bliss. See, my husband was a completely different person when we met. You can read it in my early posts. He was charming, sweet, handsome, funny, everything. He was a dream. And when he asked me to marry him, although I was hesitant at first, I knew we would end up marrying each other one day anyways. So, why not?
Fast forward three months, our honeymoon phase was over. Since I couldn’t leave the country, we didn’t take a honeymoon like we were supposed to. He always promised me that when we sorted everything out with Migrationsverket, we would have a real wedding in Thailand and travel around for a couple months after. Instead, our “honeymoon” was shared with his friends. We had parties at our house almost 2x a week. His friends constantly invaded our space and I actually didn’t mind. I had become quite close with most of them. However, I absolutely abhorred some of them and informed my husband of this. Still, they kept showing up with newly purchased items from Systembolaget.
“Oh, how nice is this!”, he would gush and glare at me until I doled out a “thank you”.
Gee, thanks for the 235 KR bottle of vodka. How can I ever repay you?
So, the honeymoon phase ended and our marriage was a constant rollercoaster. He would come home extremely inebriated and angry and I would be terrified. We would fight and scream until one of us decided to sleep on the couch. The first couple of times I ended up taking the couch but after the third time, i would just grab our extra sheets and the worst pillow I could find and drop them on the couch before slamming our bedroom door.
The next morning was accompanied by many kisses and a lot of makeup sex. He would hold my face in his hands and stare deep into my eyes and mind. The I’m so sorry baby, please forgive me routine. And because I loved him, I believed him every time. I reopened my heart (and legs) and forgave him. Every. Single. Time.
I won’t say that it was all bad because it wasn’t. He definitely had his good points to him. Our relationship was confusing to outsiders because they didn’t understand our dynamic. My friends and family constantly urged me to leave and even his friends questioned why I stuck around. I’ll never forget when one of his best friends sat next to me after my husband blew up at me and left.
“Why do you put up with this? He’s awful to you.”
I met his eyes.
“Because he's my husband and I love him"
His friend would give me a hug but I knew what he was thinking: dumb little girl.
But when we were alone, it was different. It was magical. We were constantly laughing and all over each other. I remember one time when we visited his parents in the south of Sweden. We ate a huge dinner and returned to his guest house, looking at each other with pure desire. I need you. Now.
We ended up having sex in the on the floor, maybe two feet from the door. I remember being drunk on wine and sharing laughter as we kept saying, “oh my god, are we doing this? I need you, I love you, take me!”
Afterwards, we lay next to each other in a sweaty heap, the hardwood floor beneath us already beginning to hurt our backs and knees. Our swollen lips just centimeters away, his fingers combing my matted hair.
“I love you most”, he always said.
That portion of our relationship took up the majority of my thoughts on Friday. We had fun. We loved each other. We truly believed that there was absolutely nobody else in the world for us.
What occupied my brain on Saturday and Sunday was the worst moments of our marriage. Pretty much the entire month of January and February. Actually, January was only bad in the last two weeks. However, February was the worst month of my entire life. A constant hell.
I don’t want to place the blame on him 100% but Jesus Christ. There are protocols in marriage. Unspoken rules. Did I really need to voice them? I didn’t want him to do certain things and I thought those things were understood. I didn’t want him to drink hard liquor because he became crazy afterwards. I didn’t want him to come home at 5-7 AM. I didn’t want him to invite random girls over to our apartment (“the guys wanted them here, not me!”, he constantly protested.)
Yeah, but it’s not your job to get your friends laid.
But it fucking pissed me off. One time I came home to a girl wearing my sweater and using my makeup. I saw red and flipped out on her. Poor girl. They had probably told her that it was fine to use my things. That I would be OK with it.
But then again, who the fuck uses a stranger’s makeup?
In December, we had a really bad fight. Cops called, police report filled out. That kind of bad. I thought that was it. I was getting a divorce and I was really going to leave. It was now technically "dangerous" for me to stay.
Suddenly, he changed (for a brief while). He became my loving husband again. I came home to flowers and kisses on the daily. We had a really nice Christmas together. We had so much fun picking out the tree together and decorating it with beautiful ornaments and lights. On Christmas day, we cuddled together on the sofa, our bellies full of herring and glögg, and I truly thought the worst was over. They always say the first year is the hardest, right? We were almost to our one-year anniversary. The worst was going to be over, right?
My hope was further perpetuated when we went to stay at his parents’ house in January. They were in Florida and we were tucked away in their countryside house. It was really amazing. Just the two of us, a fire always crackling, snow falling lazily outside. We talked about kids a lot during this time. Once in particular, we were walking down the main road and picking our future child’s name.
“Where will he/she go to school? What sports do you think they will play? Do you think I’ll be a good mom?”
I saw us so clearly. My husband walking the dog and me right next to him with a little toddler on my hip. I envisioned us laying on our stomachs in the living room with the baby laying on a PlayMat, cooing his/her approval. Then, my husband and I would look at each other and say, “Wow, we are so lucky”.
Then, around our third week down south, things changed. He was back. The monster within him had returned while I was fast asleep.
I know this because when I woke up alone in bed one morning, he had made his side of the bed. It was weird. It felt militant. And when I went downstairs and saw him hunched over his computer, I was filled with dread. The air was thick with what felt like utter hatred. He was back.
During this time, I got offered a job at an animation studio so I had to go back to the city. Once again, I was hopeful. I thought that maybe things would change and he’d be motivated to work. Instead, he became resentful and hated me more. He would get on me for not doing the laundry or not doing the dishes when I had been at work all day and he hadn’t. I think he was really confused about what a wife was supposed to do. I finally had it one day and exploded.
I screamed that I didn’t have time to do the laundry or dishes because I was actually working and busy. Not fucking around all day. If he wanted me to stay home and be his little kept woman, then he could work a normal job and provide for us 100%. That would’ve been fine. But that’s not what he wanted. He didn’t want to be responsible.
Shit hit the fan in Mid-February.
He started coming home at 5 am almost every night (if he even came home). Sometimes, I actually preferred that he didn’t come home because I didn’t know what kind of mood he would be in. I couldn’t win. I would wake up to an empty bed at 6 AM and begin crying immediately. Then, sometimes I would wake up to him standing over me ominously, the stench of alcohol filling the room. I was the most scared during those times because he didn’t look at me, he looked through me. Like an animal. No emotion.
One morning, I woke up at 9:30 AM and he was nowhere to be found. I called him a million times until he finally came home an hour later. Once again, he stumbled into our room and stared at me. I sat on the bed, wide awake and bubbling with hate, sadness, frustration, and disgust. I picture myself to have looked like a cartoon character: my skin beet red, eyebrows in a sharp furrow, just waiting for him to open his stupid mouth so I could scream. I wanted to scream more than anything.
This fight was unlike any we had ever had before. I truly hated him at this point and wanted out. I packed a bag to go to Olivia’s and as I opened the door to leave, I turned to him:
“You are not the person I married. I don’t love you anymore. I fucking hate you"
His jaw dropped and I left the apartment, only making it a couple steps before breaking down in tears.
I think I stayed away for a day or so before coming back to grab more of my things. I was beaten down emotionally and wasn't in my right mind. I had developed an attachment to him. An unhealthy one. It was Stockholm Syndrome in Stockholm. I was addicted to my captor.
So, I came home and our door was tripled locked. I knocked on the door and pushed past him to grab my clothes. He sat on the bed and began his dramatics. When I reached passed him, he grabbed me and brought me on top of him. He held onto me so tightly and kissed me, making me fall back in love with him again.
“You can’t be serious”, was the first thing Olivia said when I told her.
Then, another night he came home at 12 AM and woke me up from my sleep.
“We’re moving to Thailand.”
I thought I was dreaming.
“We’re moving to Thailand”, he repeated.
He nestled into bed next to me and launched into his grand idea. We would move to Thailand to be closer to his (family’s) factories. He was too distracted in Stockholm and wanted to take me away. What he left out was the "to start over and fix our marriage" part. We both silently dared each other to say/admit it.
In the morning, I reminded him of what he had said and he got offended that I questioned his erratic behavior.
“Of course, I meant what I said”
So, that was the end of the discussion. We were moving to Thailand and we would raise our kids there. I know this sounds nuts to read, but that’s really what we were going to do. Then, he did something unspeakable on Feb. 21. A few days after our anniversary.
I can’t go into it. I really can’t. It makes me sick to think about it. But that was the end of it. I had finally had enough. So, I left.
I actually forgave him for a short while. And then, After her fucked me over for the 103904th time, I finally ended it.
I was distraught. I came back to Stockholm to tie up my loose ends and I got to experience the single life. I slept around to try and rid myself of the pain I felt. It didn’t help that one of the guys I slept with regularly lived directly behind the apartment that I shared with my now ex-husband.
I walked around Stockholm feeling like a ghost. I fought hard to stay and was even offered a job there. But at the end, it wasn’t worth it. So, I went home and began piecing myself back together.
Even now, I feel crazy thinking about my marriage. There’s something in me that’s telling me that I shouldn’t think about it because it happened so long ago. But it didn’t! This was so fucking recent. All of this went down only 4-5 months ago! That’s insane. Just as easily as we slipped into marriage, we slipped right back out.
I am trying to not beat myself up when I think about my marriage. It was a very traumatic experience. Even though I have met other guys that I really like, I think I’m still allowed to remember and lament a little bit.
I take back what I said before: I don’t feel happy when other people get divorced. It’s one of the most painful things that a person can go through.
I don't want your pity. I just wanted to tell you the full story.
Now, I’m done. This is the last thing I will ever write about him.