It ended with a coat…
An argument between my 12 year old son and my husband ended my 20 year marriage – all over a coat.
It was the Friday after Thanksgiving. We had spent the better part of three days at our niece’s house, as I was helping her host her first Thanksgiving – for 20 people, no less. We returned home Friday afternoon after a two-hour drive. I just wanted some quiet time so begged off from a housewarming party we were invited to attend. Husband and son were preparing to go without me when a fight broke out between them over son taking a coat which husband deemed appropriate for the weather, one which son hated and refused to consider. The fight escalated into an ugly scene – son locked husband out of house after being chased around the yard by him, in the dark.
The next thing I know, husband is pounding on the door to be let in, which I did, being the wife of a NH that I was. He stormed into the house in a full blown rage and proceeded to throw our son down to the ground and pin him to the floor with a warning that he was NEVER to disrespect him in such a way again. The scene ended with the phone in my hand, having entered 9-1, at which point NH backed off.
That moment was my turning point. I had realized a couple of years ago that my leaving was inevitable but was hoping to hang in for another few years until our son was done with high school. While not ideal, his love for his dad is real, and my thinking was that if we remained together, I could help facilitate their relationship until a point where he could better speak for himself.
Some lessons come hard, as this one did for both my son and I. I ended my marriage at just after the 20-year mark, earlier than expected but, nevertheless, apparently at the right time. My son and I have both grown enormously in ways that I never would have imagined. We are both thriving. It has not been easy or fun but even with all of its challenges, at the end of the day, it has been rewarding, empowering, and comforting for us both.
Footnote: And yes, I did ask the NXH – why on earth did you not just put the coat in the car in case he wanted it, instead of escalating the scene to physical contact at which point CPS was called. (The Monday after the incident son talked to a counselor at school and, as a mandated reporter, CPS was contacted.) His response was that “He guessed he was just looking for a fight.”