Appearances can be deceiving.
From the outside, back in 2016 it probably looked like I’d hit the husband jackpot. I met Devin not long after I moved to New York in 2008, at a house party thrown for a coworker of mine. He and I both lived in Park Slope, a picturesque slice of gentrified Brooklyn near the borough’s huge Prospect Park.
Along with falling in love with Devin, I fell in love with the neighborhood. It reminded me of “Sesame Street.” It was the type of neighborhood rife with charmingly preserved brownstones, frozen yogurt shops, yoga and pilates studios…and left-leaning white professionals. We stayed there when we moved in together.
But cracks emerged in my marriage long before Martin fell into my orbit.
While I was a transplant to New York, having grown up outside of Kansas City, Missouri, Devin was from nearby Long Island. His family was a short train ride away, and his core group of friends had remained largely the same since high school.
Christmas and Thanksgiving were always spoken for: We took the Long Island Railroad out to see either his mother or his father. Our wedding in September 2014 — a stunning affair at Brooklyn Botanic Garden — was lavish and expensive, mostly because Devin wanted it to be lavish and expensive. I jokingly called him a “groomzilla” because of how deeply he immersed himself in managing the details so it would be perfect. (It worked. Our friends and family raved about it for years afterward.)
But, instead of us building a new life together, it started to feel more and more like I was being hammered into a shape to fit his.