What? You say. Yes people, I got divorced.
No, you may have not had the slightest inclination that anything was wrong. No, there was no cheating, abuse, etc. Yes, I decided to date before the paperwork was finalized. And no, it’ really none of your f’ing business.
I’ve encountered a few life changing events in my 32 years. I have two wonderful, healthy children. I had the opportunity to marry someone who is a wonderful father and I can co-parent with for the most part, successfully, even though we aren’t together. I am publishing my second book-a lifelong dream. And, yes, I got divorced.
Deciding to end my 8-year relationship to my husband was both one of the most difficult and also the most exhilarating experiences in my life. The end of one chapter, as hard as it was, was also the beginning of a new chapter. The new me. I had morphed and changed and evolved since my twenties, and boy I was loving this new version of me. And oh the future, an oh…the opportunities.
The hard part was of course, telling my best friend that I could no longer be married to him. He was understandably crushed…he was eight years older than me and didn’t understand the fact that I’d changed…that I’d grown into someone that no longer could grow old with him. As a wise friend once told me, sometimes you start growing apart instead of growing together. While he knew we were quite opposites, he’d grown accustomed to the idea I would always be the woman in the household-while he made all the big decisions, told me how short my dresses for Christmas parties could be, and how I was supposed to act in the presence of other’s when I got too mouthy or opinionated. He would always be the man of the house, shushing me when we were buying a car (and clearly I was the sales figure of the union…) as that was his role. He would always have the final say. Even with a little firecracker like myself…he was the boss.
Even though his ways were starting to wear on me…I was still opposed to giving up for a multitude of reasons. He always had my back…if someone said something bad about me, they better be ready for a fight. He stood up for me to his mother, his friends or family, or anyone else who crossed me or had something to say that wasn’t positive in general. I suddenly felt like a terrible person…I now would no longer have his back. How fair was that?
And of course, our two beautiful babies. They loved our family and would be heartbroken. How would I face telling them…and not to mention parenting alone? Plus, we had two rambunctious, high maintenance children. Often times, my friends and even family around me don’t understand them. The only person I can share that connection 100% with, now and forever, is him. I still call him when I have a child issue I need help with, or when someone says something negative about our children and I need to vent.
Or, what about financial or just pure independence in general? While I’ve consistently made excellent money and have been fiercely independent all my life…I feared being alone. What if I got fired from my job? What if an intruder broke into the house? What if I had a shitty day and simply wanted to come home and tell him about it-the one who’d been there through thick and thin for all those years? He’d no longer be there.
As human beings, we are each uniquely different. Some of us are made to stand the test of time. We would prefer, regardless of how short life is, to stick out the tough phases. Those people are made to prove that for better or worse in our wedding vows could be more than just surviving the seven-year-itch. Those people, whether they hate change…or simply just refuse to give up, are able to stay in marriages that become unfulfilling because they see the light at the end of the tunnel, or rather, because they can’t imagine life any other way…or, the other multitude of other reasons people choose to stay.
While I realize in biblical times it was said that one shouldn’t divorce, I also know we live in a different world today. I am a firm believer that life is short and that you shouldn’t settle. You live and you learn. I should not have gotten married at the age of 23. I had no clue back then who I was or what I wanted. I didn’t even approach knowing these things until the tender yet much more knowledgeable age of 30. So how was I supposed to successfully pick a spouse and life partner? I was an insecure, young little girl when I met my husband. Who knew I’d be making a six-figure-income and working on my third book by the age of 32? Who knew that I’d be discussing press releases with my book agent and cover plans with my publisher. Who knew that I would no longer be okay with taking orders from another human being when I was perfectly capable of doing everything on my own. Who knew that I would require appreciation for each meal cooked, whether it was chicken too many days in a row, and each pair of underwear or jeans washed, even if they weren’t folded the right way or pressed…I sure didn’t know back when I was 23.
I’m not one to give up easily either. I have a career in insurance sales and someone could tell me no fifty times and I still hear a “maybe” hidden somewhere in their voice. I’m a glass is half-full-girl all the way. I feel like I can make a situation what I want it to be by doing whatever it takes to make it happen. But also know that I make it happen…I don’t stay at a job I hate for years, hoping for it to get better. I take action -talk to management, what can we do? I’ve tried different positions at corporations before, started my own business…and ultimately even quit a lucrative job and took a gigantic leap of faith to be happy. I refuse to stay somewhere too long that I’m miserable. It just won’t happen.
While I couldn’t stay married to him, I did decide that I would provide a better working relationship and hybrid family for my babies than my parents did. While I was selfish in wanting out, I wouldn’t be selfish in refusing my kids two parents that get along. So, I continually fight for that. At the dismay of my friends and family, I push to get along and even have relationships with his girlfriends. I will have an amazing relationship with my children’s stepmother. And while I’ve been told numerous times to let that go, I hold my head high and vow to not listen. I will not have a broken family that fights all the time like I had to grow up with. This is not a testament to how wonderful my family is -the situation just wasn’t healthy between my parents. I will sacrifice whatever I have to do, to make sure we are all one big happy, blended family. So far, so good in that department I can proudly say.
I’ve been given a lot of advice and been subjected to many different opinions through this journey. It’s interesting to listen and hear the vast majority of what people around me think I should do or how I should act in the wake of a divorce, or the aftermath that follows. Ultimately, I’ve learned to shut my mouth and listen to my gut. Because everyone has an opinion, and the one that matters most is my own. While I’m emotional and passionate and can be a bit impulsive at times, I’m the only one who knows what’s best for me.
Divorce is not a dirty word. We are in the 21’st century folks, and while we shouldn’t embrace the splitting of a marriage union-we definitely shouldn’t judge. Look around! People are welcoming gay marriage, polygamy…etc in todays world. Divorce should not be so taboo. Shit happens. And while I’ve learned only the opinions of the ones who truly love me are the only ones I give two shits about…I’ve also learned the ones who shun my decision are the ones who are the most miserable themselves. They’re trapped in an unhappy marriage and too afraid or co-dependent to face divorce themselves. They envy my happiness and ability to take the plunge. And that I’ve learned, is their problem. For a person that has cared so deeply about making everyone around her happy her entire life- this revelation alone is a success.
I am now more beautiful – inside and out, fit, successful, and amazing then I’ve been before. I’m a WIP as a I call myself, or-a work in progress. I’m learning my weaknesses and how to deal with them…bit by bit. I work hard, and I take pride in my life and my family and my home and my ability to the see the beauty in the world all around me. I revel in the friends I’ve made, and the life I’ve built. I am excited about the future…to continue to knock items off my bucket list, and live this life to the fullest. For me, divorce wasn’t the end. It was my friends, my new beginning. ~Trina
Have has divorce become your new beginning?