When the kids are sleeping, we sit and stare at each other again, this time from different chairs in the living room. I say that deep down, I think it makes sense to separate, but I don’t want to because it’s too horrible. I say I won’t let myself be unhappy for years upon years either. If something, or everything doesn’t change, I have to end it and we have to find a way to go on living. I make him promise that he won’t fall apart completely, that he will be there for the kids. He puts his head in his hands and nods. “I know, I know,” he says.
“Maybe we can go back to therapy?” I suggest, and he likes this idea. I say that I’m not sure it will help because I’ve already told him everything I know. I’ve already cried and begged for a marriage that works and for fleeting moments, when I’ve unloaded all I can, it does. But then he forgets to call again. And I’m slamming the oven door, putting his cold dinner back in, and taking the kids up to bed alone. I’m screaming into the phone when his voicemail picks up, but never leaving a message. He looks at his phone instead of looking at my face, a tiny act that is not meant to cut me. But it does. And then, without my even noticing, everything falls back into its misplaced place. It always reverts, and part of me knows it will keep reverting until it’s so ingrained that all I can remember about my life is how to be someone’s angry wife.