It was hard, without doubt, to go through the divorce. I read somewhere that death is less traumatic in some ways than divorce. Having experienced deaths of family members, I can say that it’s different, but equally as traumatic, as a sudden death or suicide. I think it’s because there’s not the factor of being rejected and that person going on with their life while you stand there, feeling like you’ve been violated, wondering what could have been done to make things different, feeling guilty for being part of something that causes so much heartache for the children, and trying to put the pieces of your life back together.
Actually, though, the divorce would not have been a big surprise, if I’d not had on blinders. It was the end of a decade long relationship that was not healthy for most of the time it was in progress. While I grieved the end of my marriage, most of all I grieved the dream of an intact family, of a husband who would love and cherish me, of a husband who I could love and respect, of the hope of a healthy relationship to serve as an example to my children and help guide them in their future relationships. Some of the things I gained, after I healed a bit and got my head on straight, are a healthy, happy home environment for my children to grow up in and less stress. Constant resentment, conflict and stress is a horrible way to live.
During these past 6 1/2 years after the divorce, I’ve not dated a lot. Instead, I’ve taken time to get to know me, to learn to be the best parent I can be, to try build stronger relationships with my parents and my two sisters, to learn to manage my finances and make sure my household is running smoothly. I’ve learned more about asthma and type I diabetes, bicycle care and violas, NBA and wrestling than I ever could have imagined I’d need to know.
I’ve come to see that my marriage and divorce helped create who I am today, as the compilation of all our life experiences do. For that, I am thankful. It’s been important for me to be able to share with others, to reach out and let my experiences help them feel less alone, less crazy, hopeful, and even cheered by knowing I’ve walked a similar path. Reading their stories and struggles and forming a community of friends who understand has helped me tremendously.