I was lonely. It was more lonely with him there. More lonely with him beside me in the bed, for years really, a husband but not a husband. Lonely with him sleeping on the couch in the front room, in our apartment in Boston. Lonely with him in the other room here. He made me lonely. But I could live with that.
I thought I had to live with that. You read about how kids need their fathers. How girls, especially, need their fathers. Deadbeat dads, they are terrible. They are ruining the fabric of our society.
Well, what about the mother — the mother who says, I will push the father aside, because I’ve decided I no longer love him, or I love someone else, or I’m lonely and I don’t want anyone at all. What’s the difference? It’s still one parent depriving her child of the other parent, of the other parent’s time and love. I just couldn’t do that. Not for the longest time.
It wasn’t until I thought he was a danger to her that I knew I had to end it. Or, maybe, as my girlfriend back in Boston says, that I had the guts to end it. But people don’t know. Not even friends know. Especially friends. Your friends, if they love you, would like you to think that what’s important is your own happiness, that if I had just removed my husband from the equation, all would be better, since he was making me so miserable, literally trying to wreck me psychologically. But it isn’t like that at all. Maybe that would have made sense when I was still single. When you’ve brought a daughter into the world, she comes into a web of family, friends, places, stretching across generations and hearts and geography. You don’t just pluck out one strand of that web and “fix” it.