When my former husband first started hurling divorce threats at me in anger, I was scared. I had 2 little kids at the time and a persistent dream or maybe just expectation that I would stay married for the duration. I couldn’t conceive of a life for my children that didn’t include married parents. I wasn’t even thinking about what might be best for me at that time, I was just panicked. The habit of thought that divorce happened to other people and not me was incredibly strong. I was consistently the reconciler. The peacekeeper. The one trying to keep the broken ship afloat.
Then I lost 2 close family members in rapid succession, both unexpectedly which shook me out of my stupor. As things got darker in my marriage, I started to think more about what I needed and wanted from life. Which I now knew provided no guarantees about how much time anyone gets on this Earth. Did I really want to spend the rest of my life putting my own wants, needs and dreams on hold while trying to keep an unhappy spouse in my life?
Eventually, the answer became no. It wasn’t a very climactic or dramatic no, just a sad resigned I’m not going to do this anymore kind of no. I quit worrying so much about how this was all going to work out and just started moving ahead. I found a cute house for my kids and me and we adjusted to not seeing each other everyday. It wasn’t always smooth sailing, but I made sure they always felt loved and safe. I learned how to become a me instead of a we. I cried some, but honestly, felt more relieved than anything else. Over time the weirdness of it all subsided.
Now when I look back, I thank my lucky stars for my divorce. I feel like myself again, but also stronger, wiser and more resilient. I am pursuing creative dreams like writing and starting my own consulting business – things that would never have happened had I stayed married. I also know now what it feels like to be truly loved and all that a successful marriage can be. I’m not going to sugarcoat the fact that it sucks that my kids had to experience divorce, but they have gained resilience themselves in the process and they are doing fine. Oh, and they do have married parents now. Just not to each other!