It was a gorgeous summer day, just months before the wedding, and I received a phone call from my fiance asking me to come over because he had something to tell me. I knew by the tone of his voice that whatever it was, it was really bad. The drive to his house was excruciating as I waited to find out what could be so awful. I sat down next to him on the bed as he began to reveal to me the nightmare I had never known was possible but was about to take over my entire world. He went on to describe that this was not just a one-night stand or a horrific mistake.
He had been with multiple women through the entire course of our four-year relationship.
There was nothing I wanted more in that moment than to be strong enough to get up and walk away. The truth was, I was too weak to leave. I sat there numb at the edge of the bed as everything flashed through my mind at rapid speed, my main concern: the invitations. Two hundred and fifty invitations were out in the mail. The venue was booked. The gifts had been registered for. The embarrassment and shame of having to tell our friends and family who had watched our fairytale romance over the last four years that none of it was true. The pressure was too much and I made a choice that day. I made a choice to stay.
I went through with our "dream" wedding, and as I stared into the mirror that day, dressed in my Cinderella ball gown, flawless makeup and hair, I released the girl from my dreams. And I welcomed the broken, sad, and lonely girl who was wearing a dress that so eloquently covered her scars.
One year into our marriage, history repeated itself, and after my husband was away at a bachelor party I found out he had been unfaithful once again. He begged and pleaded for me to let him stay and promised for a second time that it would never happen again. For whatever reason, I caved. Something inside me kept saying, This isn't our first time here, and I was able to move past it before, and so I will do it again. And so I chose to stay. Again. At this point, without realizing the depth of pain and anger that had been buried deep inside me for so long, I subconsciously started my journey to leaving him. Three more years continued of highs and lows, "working on it," and his unhealthy relationship with porn, and I finally found the courage to ask for a divorce.