I’m starting to write a lot more about the reasons I’m divorcing.  Eventually I’ll distill it down to something I can share with friends and family, if they insist on knowing, as my brother put it, “Why he’s not in the family anymore.”  (Jesus.)  Or, as my mom said, after I told her I was abused and gave her a few discreet details, “I just don’t understand.”  (I don’t want to live with him!  I’m miserable married to him!  It’s not complicated!)  So I’ll be posting most of what I write in hopes for some feedback– not on whether or not you think I’m doing the right thing, but in the sense of my writing quality and if it’s not too crazy to want to share this with people who know me.  I may never make any of this public; mostly I just need to process it.  So here’s one of my first.

On May 22, I sent the following email to my friend:

I’ve been thinking about divorce for three days and its making me sick to my stomach, please advise

Later I called my husband to see if he was busy that night– so we could talk– and he said, “Are you going to break up with me?”

That’s how I found out he had been reading my email.

I wasn’t surprised.  I should have been angrier than I was; I had told him early in the marriage that my email was private (no matter how many times he plaintively responded, “Are you hiding something from me?”)  But there’s perfectly good reasons for a couple to know each other’s computer passwords, and I used the same password for everything, so he could have been reading my personal correspondence for the entirety of our marriage.

Then, a year ago, I started changing my personal passwords every three months, along the same timeline as my work’s corporate security required it for my login password– I already had a few dozen passwords at work, with a little box of reminders for myself, and the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was try to remember which password went where.

He noticed.  He would start pestering me for my password a few days after I changed it.  He changed his password without telling me one day (my computer had stopped even turning on), and sauntered over to enter it for me so I could check my email.  I saw him trying to hold back a little smirk as he got his little revenge.

Then, about a week after the Breakup question, he stopped sharing “our” cell phone with me.  So I got my own.  It was better than his.  I set up the visual pattern password.  And he asked me for it.

“I might need to use it in am emergency,” he said.

“You can call 911 without entering the password,” I told him calmly.

He persisted.  “But if I can’t find mine, and I need to call someone….”

“But it’s a password; it’s supposed to be a secret!”  I said that in a teasing tone.

“What if I need to know it?”

I was silent.  And I started changing the pattern password up to twice a day.  Especially when he started making a lot of comments about how putting in the wrong pattern too many times could cause the phone to lock up or even reformat.  “You should check on that,” he advised.  I took it as a threat and kept changing the password.  I even let him see it a couple times just so I could change it again the next time I had some privacy.  I never let the phone out of my sight and charged it every night beside the bed.  That went on for one more week before I finally realized what kind of person he is, what kind of person he was turning me into (a pathetic one, at least), and that I would not live with a person like that any more.


One Response to “email”

  1. atimetorend Says:

    Your writing is fine and I do not think it is crazy to want to share it with people who do not know you. In my opinion sometimes in situations like you are in that is the only way to express yourself, other than writing in a private journal, but you don’t get feedback that way which can help, I have found it to in my experience.

    The issues in the post *sound* like things that could be overcome in a marriage, especially if the behaviors you describe were new and just appeared in a time of marital stress. But of course the post only provides small details, not the bigger picture. I write that as literary feedback and *not* as relational advice.

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