Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 8th 2015 Contents | THROUGH A GUY'S EYES |
MY EX-WIFE AND I were married for 12 years. We're both doctors,
and lived in the UK for over a decade before coming back to Trinidad
for family reasons. While we were in the UK, I did everything possible
in order to support her specialist career, because I loved her and I
wanted her to succeed. To me, our marriage up until then was per-
fectly normal, and I thought we were happy, but things changed once
we returned to Trinidad.
Within a couple of months, Barbara wanted to go back to the UK.
There was nothing she didn't hate about Trinidad; the hospital, the
driving, the crime. I wanted to stay, because my parents are getting
on in age and there was no one else to look after them. In retrospect,
I had supported her for so long this was the first time I really stood
up for something that I wanted. For six months we argued about
whether to stay or to go. There was no shouting or screaming, but
intense, quiet arguments. Against my better judgement, and again
wanting her to be happy, I relented and agreed to go back to the UK.
But with movers organised, and new jobs sorted out, Barbara
changed her mind at the very last minute.
So we bought a house, settled down, and Barbara threw herself into
developing her private practice. She decided to start working on Sat-
urdays as well, and I didn't agree with that. To me Saturdays were
for family, and her practice was doing so well during the week that I
really didn't see the need to work weekends as well. I was just stand-
ing up for something that I felt strongly about again, I suppose. She
stopped after a couple of months, but I didn't realize how much she
resented me for that until much later on.
My career had been on hold for years, so I started doing a Masters. It
was a huge amount of work, but I also knew that she was lonely at
nights so sometimes I used to leave essays unfinished and go up-
stairs just to keep her company. But it simply wasn't enough. In May
of this year she called out a co-worker's name in her sleep one night.
She would talk about this guy a lot when she came home, but at the
time I just thought that she felt sorry for him as his wife had died a
few months ago. When I asked Barbara about it, she denied that
there was anything going on, but things deteriorated rapidly from
Needless to say all physical relations stopped. She didn't even want
to sleep in the same bed with me most nights. She said she wanted
a separation. That she wasn't in love with me anymore, and she
needed to find herself again. I remember how flabbergasted and
helpless I felt when she would say those things to me. Where were
they coming from? Our marriage wasn't that bad, was it? These are
all classic things someone who's having an affair says, but I was too
much of a fool to even consider that possibility. It never even entered
my mind at the time that someone who I thought shared the same
morals and values as I did would be capable of something like that. I
tried everything possible to save the marriage, except beg. E-mails I
wrote went unanswered (and I later found out were all forwarded to
her paramour). Letters went a-begging. The one marriage coun-
selling session I managed to convince her to go to, she lied when the
counsellor asked her if there was any third party involvement. He
told us that our problems were not unique, and that he could have us
back on track in three months but she flatly refused to go back.
I felt like my life was out of control. But the thing is, I still loved her
and didn't want her to be unhappy. And by now she had made her-
self so desperately unhappy that I agreed to move out. And she was
over the moon when I agreed. So happy, in fact, that she took off her
wedding ring while I was still in the house. The sheer callousness of
that act still hurts me today. How did our 12-year marriage come to
mean so little to her in such a short space of time? Not knowing
about the affair, I felt like the most disgusting, most worthless hus-
band on the planet. That I had created this toxic marriage and this
was all my fault for making her feel this way. I blamed myself in a
hundred different ways. If only I hadn't done this. If only I hadn't spo-
ken to her like that. If only I had been more attentive. My entire world
now was self-flagellation, self-loathing, and regret.
She called out a co-worker's
name in her sleep one night.
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