During my first wedding reception, a guest took my husband and me aside and told us to always be kind to one another. At the time, I thought it was a strange comment; we were in love, so of course we were going to be kind to one another.
Last week, an anonymous person made the following comment on my blog: “Really you are full of crap. You really need to be honest as to why your marriage didn’t work out and what you had hoped to gain from this split.”
In my blog “If I Would Have Stayed,” I wrote about choosing my older children over my husband. I also mentioned that there were other issues.
When we first started dating, there was that blissful feeling of being swept away. We talked for hours, went for walks, went running together, and went on several dates. We had the occasional disagreement, but overall, we got along and enjoyed being together.
Two years later, we got married, he adopted my three girls from my previous marriage, and within five years, we had two more kids.
Between work, caring for children, and lacking sleep, our lives became regimented and we stopped having fun together. Conversations that were once easy became a chore. I felt that any time I spoke about my day or my interests, I was met with hostility and immediately shut down. In essence, any kindness that existed at the start of our relationship had vanished.
I also felt that I had molded myself so much into his life that I lost who I was. Before I met him, I played the piano, figure skated, and socialized. After we got married, I still skated a few days a week for a few years, but I stopped playing the piano, and I rarely socialized with other people.
The marriage should have ended earlier than it did, but I was stubborn. When we got married, I made a vow to myself that I would not go through another divorce, so I accepted the life I had chosen.
He was unhappy, and every day was a struggle. I felt I could handle it impacting me, but I could not handle it impacting my older daughters.
As to what I had hoped to gain from the separation, I hoped, above all, to gain peace in my home, and I did that. I also hoped to untangle myself from a lonely, unhealthy marriage, so I could break free from the drudgery of day to day existence to live a life filled with a sense of wonder and passion.
And I did that as well.
Since my separation, I have cried a lot, and I have laughed a lot. It’s great to feel again, and lately, it has all been laughter. I do not feel sad, nor do I feel like there is a void in my life. I am happy with my ability to navigate my own life and to create new experiences for myself; I am satisfied with my life.
As for my ex and me, we completed our last mediation meeting last week. While the whole process was exhausting, it was better than fighting things out through lawyers. Not only did we deal with custody arrangements and the division of assets, but also parenting plans, communicating with one another respectably, and how to introduce new partners to the children when the time comes. While the latter is not an issue for either of us right now, the advice made sense: wait six months after dating someone, so the relationship is stable; and inform the other parent forty-eight hours ahead of time, not for their approval, because they really have no say, but to mentally prepare them.
Our final meeting was amicable, and he took me out for supper afterwards where we were able to have a conversation without any snide remarks and criticisms. I was even able to tell him about my trip to Hawaii I took with my oldest daughter over spring break without him getting on my case for spending money. That was the kindest we had been to each other in years.
To Anonymous: Did I provide you with a good enough response, or are you searching for something else? If you still think I am full of crap, please let me know. I am curious as to why you think I am dishonest with myself and why you think my marriage did not work. I am also curious about what you think I hoped to gain from the separation. All insight is welcome.
Thank you for reading.