Defining Moment

Marriage unwraps slowly. Maybe it’s not the slowness but the consistency that crushes you. Every day is a little bit worse, a little less predictable, until finally you’re doing things you never, ever thought you’d do.

I stayed. I was worn out. I was emotionally drained. My confidence was crippled. I cried whenever I was alone. I was scared, but not scared enough to make a change.

Everyone has a pain thermometer that goes from zero to 10. Nine won’t do it. At nine you are still afraid. Only 10 will move you, and when you’re there, you’ll know. No one can make that decision for you.

One night after a certain incident, everything changed. I knew that night I had reached my 10. I asked myself, ” What are you doing here woman?” I knew it was the end!

He killed my love for him. Murdered it. No fireworks, no tears, no yelling. It was over. I think I actually smiled. Very slightly, but I smiled.

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About the Author | Pauline O'brien