Monday, April 7, 2014

Sunshine after the Rain: Finding Happiness after Divorce

As I sit here typing this, I am wondering why am I choosing to write this now?  I think it is actually therapeutic.  I can finally tell the story about what happened and then be done with it all.  Well almost done, we do have 3 kids to raise without screwing them up but I think we may just be able to do that.

15 years.  That's what I felt I had lost, but I've gained so much more. I'll explain.

I was with my ex from the age of 18 until I was 33.  We were married almost 10 years when I made the decision to leave the marriage.  The decision was all mine.  He says he didn't see it coming but I'm not sure how he couldn't have.

My decision to end things was not made lightly.  I had 3 small children to consider.  I hadn't worked in almost 8 years so I wasn't even sure how I was going to be able to support us if I couldn't find a decent job. I stressed about it for months but finally in December 2010, I just couldn't think of any more reasons why I was still in the marriage at all.  I worried how it would be for the kids but I knew that leaving the constant fighting and tension and the loveless relationship had to be better than staying in it.  My ability to be a wife to him anymore was gone.  I had honestly begun to hate him, actually hate me and the person I was with him.  I had let him make me feel worthless, lonely and depressed.  My whole entire being was based on who I was with him.  I didn't like me anymore, I didn't like the person I was with him or my kids.  It wasn't all his fault though, I had let him.  I had given him all the power and it was time to take it back.

Then it hit me.  The person I had become was an awful mom, an awful wife and an awful friend.  The depression had taken over my life and I didn't even want to be in it anymore.  I loved my kids more than anything in the world and I had to get me back for them.  I had to be the mom they needed and I needed to do it now.  The only way I knew that I could accomplish this was to leave what was making life unbearable, him.  I didn't love him anymore.  I didn't love me anymore, so I told him I was done.

Oh my god, it was absolutely freeing.  I felt a weight lift.  It was an almost immediate sense of relief.  I could be me again.  I didn't even cry over it.  Does that make me sound cold? I hope not because I am not a cold person.  I am loving and caring and not at all cold, I just had spent the last 5 years of my life, my marriage unhappy and resentful.  I even thought in those last 5 years that having another baby would help change things, make things better.  It did not, it made things worse and then I had 3 children to deal with and depression and a crappy marriage. 

We just grew apart.  We wanted different things, needed different things.  He found God, I did not.  He made the choice to make that his priority and that's okay (now) but it wasn't enough for me.  I needed intimacy and emotional connection, he could care less.

Does that make him a bad guy? No, it doesn't.  He just wasn't the guy for me anymore.  He is a great father and loves his kids to death.  He and I can actually talk now as friends would.  No more fighting or arguing (although we do occasionally collide sometimes) and the relationship is better this way.  We still have issues but they are easier to deal with now.  I wish that it had been different, that my kids didn't have deal with a broken home but in the end we will all be happier.

So what's the point of this whole long winded post?  Well the point is, even after divorce, you can be happy again.  You can have everything you ever wanted in love.  Divorce doesn't have to be the end of giving your heart away.  You can learn from divorce.

I learned exactly what kind of a partner I needed and deserved.  I know what kind of a partner I am.  I learned what is really important to me and my life right now.  My kids are my priority and my new partner would have to accept that I am a package deal including having to deal with my ex on a regular basis.

Although I spent 15 years of my life believing I was with my "soulmate" only to realize that I wasn't, I ended up with 3 amazing kids and a truly new ability to love myself, my kids and my new husband.

This time around we are equals, partners in everything.  We truly love and respect one another.  He was divorced as well so we both had the same needs and wants going into this.  We are truly happy and life is good!

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