And so we come to the last chapter of the trilogy.
A few months ago, an old friend found me on Facebook, and followed a link on there to this blog. She was my best friend from high school, and I’m ecstatic to be reunited with her.
She also brought another person from my past, back into my life, through a series of coincidences and some sneaky-ninja Facebook tactics.
And talking to them, reliving old memories, rehashing old stories, was wonderful. But it also brought up a lot of thoughts and feelings, like regret, and questioning why I put up with all the things that I’d let slide over the years of my marriage.
Was I happy?
That was the hardest question in the world to answer.
And it shouldn’t have been.
And I’m not saying that either one of these people “talked me into” getting divorced. Far from it. Both of them simply wanted me to be the “real me”, the one that didn’t put up with crap from anyone; the person that stood up for herself and what she believed in, no matter who was facing me. They both wanted me to be happy, and were willing to do whatever it took, whether it was talking till the wee hours of the night, or simply offering a shoulder to lean on, to get me to a place where I could say that “Yes, I’m happy”.
And when I stated that I wasn’t happy, it really snowballed quickly.
There was no attempt to “fix” anything, because my ex wouldn’t admit that he’d ever done anything wrong. He wasn’t willing to work on the relationship, thought it was pretty-near perfect, in his eyes. Because he was always getting his way, basically.
And I wasn’t willing to go back to the way things were.
So it was a stand-off, and I decided to just get off the ride, altogether.
The divorce process itself, was fairly quick. I gave quite a few concessions in the divorce agreement, simply to get out. But I also ended up with both children, and the house. And that was the important stuff, to me. There’s a very lenient visitation schedule for OnlySon, which I readily agreed to, since I want my son to have his father in his life. I know how important they are to each other, and I don’t want to stand in the way of that. But I also know that he needs a better structure in his life, and I can give him that. After all, it worked with the girls.
From the first meeting with my lawyer, to yesterday’s judgment from the courts, the whole process took only about 2 months, give or take a few days. Fast, I know. But, since we had worked out the agreement, and no one was contesting the divorce, it fairly flew right through the court system.
And sitting here now, I’m relieved that it’s over, while being sad that I failed. I’m happy to start this new phase of my life, but depressed that I have to start off on this, alone. Someday, maybe there will be someone to share this with. And I am willing to take a chance again. I have my grandmother to thank for that willingness, and I’ll tell about her story another time. But for right now, I’m on my own.
I’ve removed the rings.
But that doesn’t mean that all the marks of this finished relationship have faded.
Some scars take time to heal.
I get where you are coming from, but to say that you’ve failed when he clearly didn’t want to put forth the effort to nurture the relationship is upsetting to ‘hear’. You didn’t fail hun. He did. You did what you could to make it work, but it takes 2 to make a relationship. My ex was very much like yours … kept telling me that he had no problems and that all the problems I saw were mine.
Like you, I pushed his buttons more often than I should have. I’m not proud of that and I’m fine owning it. But the reality is, there isn’t anything I could have done, short of being a complete doormat, that could have ‘fixed’ things. No one should be a doormat and kudos to you for not going there.
You deserve to be happy. You couldn’t be happy with him. That’s OK … really it is. I know it’s tough and scary being on your own again, but you are a strong, beautiful person and I’m sure you’ll be just fine soon.
I know in my head, somewhere, that it wasn’t really a “failure”, but… there’s always that “but”. It’ll be ok, and I’ll move on, and I’ll be able to hold my head up again. Just takes time.
Hey, you. I just did something unusual. I slowly read all three posts … in entirety! So you got that going for you. 🙂
Since we’re talking about ex’s, how about a bit of wisdom from my first wife? She liked to say, “They can kill you but they can’t eat you.” I know! It makes absolutely no sense, because I’m pretty sure they could still eat you if they really wanted to. 🙂
The sentiment I take from it was, “Hey, things can get bad. But they could be worse, and they’ll probably get better.” Thankfully we’re still friends. She was a lot smarter than me.
What you wrote resonated in many ways. I’m different than I used to be, too. I used to be the life of the party. Now I’m decidedly not. I’m not sure how that transformation even happened. Even so, anyone telling you they wish you were still the former you feels pretty damn harsh. We would NOT be who we are today without everything we’ve ever gone through. We’re exactly who and where we’re supposed to be.
I know exactly how it feels to end up divorced feeling relieved it’s over but sad that it failed. Been there, done that. Perhaps I’ll share the tale one day.
I feel a lot of excitement and hope about what you’ve written. What comes through is a quiet strength and a feeling that this is a person who is well on her way into the next great chapter of her life.
For the most part, the friends that said that, are just wishing I were more the “happy” version of me. I am happier, even now in all the chaos, than I have been for a long time. It’s just the people who never really knew me in the first place, but just saw the polished masks I wore to work for so long – they miss that girl.
I’m just working on finding the balance I used to have, and I’ll get there.
Thanks for hanging on through all 3 posts, Tom!! I do appreciate it.
From an older woman who has been there (divorce) I urge you to not move too quickly onto the next phase of your life that would include letting a man in. You need to take a nice long time before deciding that you are lonely, or ready, etc. Moving on too quickly will do yourself an injustice.
Breathe. Live. Take time.
You will never regret it.
Thanks, Gran. I’ve been down the divorce-road before, and it’s never easy. Right now, I’m focusing on getting my life in order, finding a workable system for my children and myself. But, I’m not ruling out a change of mind if someone comes along that just “fits”. My Gram taught me to never give up on the possibility of love.