Follow MC: facebook linkedin twitter rss Newsletter

Woulda … coulda … shoulda

Today, if I’d stayed married, I would have been married ten years. But I didn’t. Stay married, that is. The only one of my siblings to divorce, yup, that’s me — little black sheep of the family.

I left the man I’d promised to love and stick with through thick and thin. Keeping the first part of that promise was easy: I still loved him — or maybe I still loved the man I’d wanted him to be — the day I left him.

It was the sticking around through thick and thin part I couldn’t stick with.

Sure, I stuck with it for a while — tried to sort it out — tried to bring us down from the cliffs and pull us out of the ditches, but in the end — actually, pretty much from the beginning — I couldn’t manage any sort of middle road. Hell, at a certain point, the marriage was so off-road, trying to keep control of the wheel, trying to steer — wasn’t even in the game plan.

I hung on for awhile, thinking things could, would, should, change. And by that, of course, I was thinking the thing that needed to change most was, um, him. He probably saw it a bit differently.

We make contracts with people all the time — verbal, unspoken, physical, legal — and we break them when it suits us. I don’t know of a person in the world who doesn’t do this, even though a lot of them say they don’t. And the world goes round and round. Anything my husband did or didn’t do that was a breaking of our marriage contract … I’ve long since forgiven him — it’s myself I have a hard time forgiving.

I don’t have a problem with the fact that I left him. It was 100% the right thing to do — for me, for sure, and I hope for him as well. But I have a problem, still, all these years later, with the fact that I gave my word to stay with him always and forever, till death do us part, and then broke that word.

Yes, I understand the contradiction — when one knows what one has done is essentially for the good, but in order to do it, one has to do something which is essentially bad.

And that’s the thing, the rub, to steal from the Bard, that “makes calamity of so long life.”

In other words, I have no regrets, but at least one reservation.

The day after I took the vows I ended up breaking ...

The day after I took the vows I ended up breaking ...

Posted on May 27th, 2009Comments RSS Feed
7 Responses to Woulda … coulda … shoulda
  1. MC, the only thing worse than being unhappy for 1 day is being unhappy for 1 day and 1 minute. I’m sure you made the right decision.

  2. Thanks Cinderella!

  3. […] Continuing on the theme of touching features, MC Coolidge writes about the 10-year anniversary of her divorce: “I don’t have a problem with the fact that I […]

  4. Being held hostage in a Blue State
    May 28, 2009 at 6:45 pm


    Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine. -Robert C. Gallagher

    Cinderella: I hope and trust your issues have been resolved especially those with your step-sisters

    Always Remember: Se tu queres açucar vai comprar uma malassada BSH

  5. Yes, I agree — delicious.

  6. John W. Perkins
    May 28, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    The biggest failing of most women is that they believe they can change “him”. They marry the future he, ignoring/glossing over the now him. Convinced that love and chicken soup will bring about a dynamic change. It’s a recipe for divorce..

    To be honest, the best marriages are a combination of him being flexible and she having accepted and fallen in love intially, with the now him.

    Here’s a heads up, don’t try to change me as I am already the perfect mate. Or, so I’ve been told..

    If it’s ok with you, dear..

  7. Excellent points, m’dear.


Leave a Reply