I put my hand up and said, "Just stop. You couldn't be bothered to have these conversations before; I'm not going to start now."
He was taken aback, but he shut his mouth and left.
This isn't the first time he's tried this nonsense. Just weeks after giving his treatise on why he thought divorce was his only option, he went into ridiculous detail about some sort of bowel problem he was having as if I'd have any care in the world about it. I said to him, "Exactly why are you telling me any of this? And who, precisely, will you start telling since your personal issues have absolutely no bearing on me whatsoever?"
More recently, he tried to start a conversation by mentioning The Hunger Games and asking if I'd seen it yet. I rolled my eyes, but remained civil. He didn't actually care if I'd seen it or not. He knew for a fact I hadn't. He just wanted to make small talk about something as if I cared to discuss anything with him beyond the basic care of my children.
It's as if he doesn't register the fact that he not only ended the marriage by his actions; he ended the friendship. I don't view him as a friend - not even remotely. Friends don't do what he has done. GOOD PEOPLE don't do what he has done. I view him as one might view a plunger. Yeah, it's useful, but you tend to keep it out of sight and when you DO have to have some sort of interaction with it, you gingerly grab it with two fingers because no matter how clean it looks, you know it's full of crap.
So yes. It seems as if I married a plunger. I have no desire to continue a friendship with a plunger.
And while I realize I'm called to look beyond his utter stupidity and see a child of God through the muck, I can't. Not right now. He absolutely nauseates me. I'm civil, but I am not going to play the "Hey, we're still friends" game. We're not friends. I don't necessarily know that we will ever be friends. That bridge has been burned. No longer am I going to make excuses or blind myself to how selfish and juvenile he is.
And that, readers, is why I am the one who actually did the legwork for the divorce / annulment. In truth, things would have remained exactly the same had I not gone to the lawyer. In fact, I saw my lawyer in March, two weeks after he lashed out (while I was carrying the child he lied about wanting). It was only after my constant prodding that he finally realized I wasn't backing down and went, himself, sometime in August (maybe even September).
After all, he's not the only child of God here, and no child of God deserves a plunger for a spouse. Once I recognized that, I haven't looked back. Sure, I mourned for what could have been, but more importantly, I recognized what never was - a sacramental marriage. I entered into the union with every intention of living out my vocation; he didn't. So this time, he got no pass. He wanted to play the divorce card? I'd force him to see it through and I have. I deserve better than a lifetime of his backpedaling into childhood. The length of our marriage has been me attempting to pull him forward into adulthood. I've been understanding of his weaknesses, his failings. I've celebrated his triumphs and his steps forward. I've tried to help him as best I could to become a better person, because that's what marriage is supposed to be. However, it's always been a one-way street. And while it's certainly a hurtful and heartbreaking realization, it's a freeing one, because I know that this marriage is not going to be the proverbial millstone. Since I truly don't believe it was a marriage at all (given John's willful neglect of every.single.vow. he made), I can move forward with someone who can teach my sons what it means to treat a woman with love, respect and honor.
I'm saying this because I know several readers have used my situation as proof that marriage can work between people of varying religious backgrounds. I've urged you NOT to use me as an example because of how difficult it's been. In the end, it's not only proven difficult; it's proven to be an absolute failure.
This failure is not on my part. After all, I've put up with every conceivable indignation in an attempt to live my vows faithfully. It was only upon recognizing that those vows were never made in good faith by him that I cut my losses. As I said, had I not gone to the lawyer, John would have put the divorce card back in the deck as he's done in the past. The problem is, he allows it to be in the deck at all. If marriage is to truly work, that card needs to be burned. Once I realized he'd never do that, I understood that my marriage never had a chance.
So my point is, even if you think you are capable and wiling to go the extra mile and take on the burden of a situation such as mine, your will alone is NOT ENOUGH to prevent a mess such as this. Free Will is a gift given to BOTH of you, and it takes two people to make a marriage succeed. I foolishly believed that my strength would be enough... that my willingness to put up with the intolerable was enough.
In the end, it was not enough, because a marriage needs TWO people to work at it. It can't be one-sided, and that's precisely what mine has always been.