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Minutes after we'd been declared husband and ex-wife, Edgar was vigorously berating me, calling me a dumb, stupid woman. I looked up at him and wept.

"I'm giving you what you wanted," he said. "I kept my mouth shut."

I kept crying and trying not to think about the other people in the waiting area. They probably appreciated the entertainment.

It was my turn to keep quiet. I recognized Ed's fury as the typical reaction of alcoholics and addicts when something doesn't go their way: It has to be somebody else's fault. Ed was right, I'd gotten what I wanted. There was no need to remind him of how and why, with the destructive assistance of alcohol, we'd ended up in divorce court.

My ex actually, accidentally, did me some favors as our marriage came to an end. Over a year ago, he was the one who angrily asked if I wanted a divorce, never expecting me to say yes. Had he not asked, I'd probably still be working up the courage to say so.

On the day of the final hearing, he reminded me that he is prone to untruthfulness and to blaming others for his problems.

I felt really bad when I told the judge our marriage was irretrievably broken. Though I'd been over that question and over it and over it countless times, always finding the answer was yes, still I had a small doubt at the moment of truth.

It wasn't big enough to stop me, though.

I never thought I'd get divorced. I meant that business about taking Ed for the rest of my days. When I realized, though, that my days would be fewer if I stayed married to a man who couldn't quit drinking, I was able to break my promise.

I'm sad about it, but I'm not sorry about it.

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