I am pretty ashamed to admit how long I stayed with my ex-husband after I knew our relationship was over. In fact, long before I made up my mind to leave, my body tried to tell me my marriage was doomed. Most of the signs were subtle, though, so I think I should at least be kind enough to myself to cut past-me some slack and offer up a healthy dose of understanding. Sometimes it's hard to see the forest through the trees.
When I look back at my marriage, though, I can tell my body was trying to tell my brain that it was time to leave. I had constant headaches and sore shoulders from the stress of being wound up and fighting all the damn time. I felt sad and anxious, even at times when I should have found joy. Insomnia kept me awake most nights, even though our baby was sleeping through the night. Nothing tasted good, so I didn't eat. And I was never in the mood. I got to the point when I couldn't remember what it was like to be in love with my partner or to feel good in my marriage.
My marriage was destined to fail, but I didn't want it admit it so I stayed in an unhealthy relationship for far too long, hoping things would improve. I don't judge other people for staying in abusive or just plain bad relationships, because I know how hard it is to leave (physically, financially, and emotionally), but I am so glad I eventually left my ex-husband. My life became so much better after I left my toxic husband behind. I just wish I had listened to the subtle messages my body was trying to send me all along.
I Was Anxious
I was so anxious and constantly felt on edge. I tried to tell myself that everything was OK, but I always felt like something terrible was going to happen — like the other shoe was about to drop. Damn, I should have listened.
I Was Never "In The Mood"
I had absolutely no interest in sex, and I mean none. I honesty didn't care if I ever had sex again, which for me was totally not normal. Towards the end of our relationship, my then-husband and I went months without having sex. In fact, I caved only after he would berate me or wear me down. When we did have sex it was terrible and I couldn't orgasm, which was not surprising considering how he made me feel.
I Was Depressed
At first I thought what I was experiencing was postpartum depression, but it never lifted. I felt like a cloud was tinting my whole world an unforgiving shade of dark grey. I thought it was just me. Turns out, it was us.
I Lost Weight
I couldn't eat and lost weight, which, honestly, made me happy at first. Then I realized that I was engaging in some pretty unhealthy patterns of disordered eating and obsessive exercise. I trained for and ran my first half marathon during the last year of my marriage, which I am pretty sure was fueled solely by anxiety and self-hatred.
I Had Insomnia
I've always been a night owl, but my insomnia became ridiculously bad when I was knee-deep in my unhealthy marriage. We had young children, so I expected to be sleep deprived, but I found that I couldn't sleep even when my kids slept through the night. I would stare at the ceiling and review pretty much all of the mistakes I had ever made in my mind, like I was forced to watch the worst slide show ever. It sucked.
I Got Headaches
I went to the doctor so many times for headaches. I was misdiagnosed with migraines, cluster headaches, and sinus infections, until my doctor finally landed on tension headaches. That made sense.
I Was So Stressed Out
Sometimes I felt like a cartoon depiction of stress — it was pretty comical, if you don't think about how messed up my life was. I was so stressed out that I would sweat through my clothes every day, developed an eye twitch, and constantly needed a huge glass of wine. It was bad.
My Muscles Were Sore
My upper shoulders, neck, and back were so sore that no amount of ibuprofen or massages could help. I was constantly so tense that my body responded by hurting.
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