Since this blog began, I have been waiting for litigation to end, so that I can tell the whole story of my marriage. I did not expect it to take so long, but it is now at an end and I am free, finally, to explain.
Eight years ago, I married him based on this promise: We would have a child. I never intended for The Child to be an only child, having been one myself. When my first marriage ended, once I regrouped and rebuilt, I ached for my child not to be an only also.
It was not a small item, nothing I overlooked: It was several conversations, and a promise, firmly stated.
Vows were exchanged and a house bought and furnished. And then, when it was time to fulfill the promise, a problem arose with a shrug. In the years that followed, he attached preconditions to his promise, and stalled, and delayed and discussed the matter endlessly – always with more promises that it lay somewhere in the future.
One day, I finally stopped seeing the promises and saw the reality. When you are 42 and female, you know there isn’t that much future left for that particular promise.
It quickly became a desperate situation, accompanied by increasingly expensive assisted reproduction techniques in high-tech facilities that aren’t covered by medical insurance. The doctors said, you need to do this and that, you need to be serious about this, and you need to do it now.
And still he dawdles. Things happen that don’t quite make sense, but definitely obstruct the goal: the child, deferred.
Finally, the doctors say, you are out of options but for one, and The Departed agrees, and every last bit of savings is drained from the bank account to pay for a last-hope, extremely aggressive in-vitro procedure.
I’ll see you pregnant, says the doctor.
There are so many daily needle punctures that my belly is bruised and track-marked from it; the pain is intense from the near-daily ultrasounds to monitor the situation in my hard-to-find ovaries. It will be worth it in the end, I tell myself, alone at the endless doctor appointments.
The pain and the cost are nothing – a small price to pay for a dream. I forget about these things; I pick names and decorate nurseries in my mind.
Three days before the procedure was to be completed was the day He departed.
I found myself, at 44, not contemplating how I could still have my dream through the miracle of modern science, but instead going deeper into debt to free myself from the person who did this, who after stalling and delaying my dreams, stalls and delays my exit in every way he can think of.
While all this is going on, I suddenly notice my only child, and realize she isn’t so little anymore.
And I wonder: how much reality have I thrown away chasing a dream and believing lies that, in retrospect, should have been achingly easy to see through.