I am forecasting that this will be a multi page post as divorce has so many complicated layers. Being divorced especially around the holidays starts a range of emotions for me, as I imagine it would for anyone who is also divorced with children.
As all of you know that our acquainted with me in someway, I ended my divorce after seven years for many reasons. I don’t need to go into all of them now but I want to point out to those contemplating divorce that have children, some of the things to expect (whether it be great things or terrible things) and to keep it real.
First, let’s talk about the good. We all get divorced for many different reasons. One of the biggest reasons, is infidelity. Maybe it’s abuse. I am no expert but I imagine those are two pretty hard things to overcome.
I personally could never overcome infidelity. It would gnaw at my insides and turn up unexpectedly forever. I would always feel insecure and I would always feel untrusting. It’s a deal breaker for me.
As I get older and I am realizing I am closer to death then I am to life, I refuse to live this fourth-quarter with hurt in my heart, and living and or being married to a cheater or liar. When my life is over and I am dead and gone, I want to figuratively look back and smile and not shake my head that I was a complete dumbass I was by wasting it, and staying miserable through it.
Abuse is another deal breaker. When someone whom you have loved, that has looked you in the eyes and told you that you are the best thing that is ever happened to them, someone who you have held hands with while delivering your children, attended funerals with, have grieved together after watching a loved let go, vowed to love and respect till death do you part, someone who you consider your best friend, and number one person in your life, betray you in a way either physically or verbally, it is very hard to forget. It feels exactly like cheating. Somethings then are done and said, that can never be taken back or forgotten.
If you have a healthy marriage, God bless you. You are one of the lucky ones. If you have a shitty marriage and I’m looking to get out, one of the best things about getting divorced he’s regaining your freedom to go about the life the way that you want to while rebuilding your self-confidence and self-esteem and surrounding yourself by people you choose. The feeling of independence once divorced and knowing that you now full control of your life again, can feel pretty empowering. To me however, someone who is not wired to be single, I felt a lot of times if sheer loneliness and darkness.
I always wanted to be married. I always wanted to have a partner, a best friend, someone who I could love emotionally, intellectually, sexually, someone just mine who felt equally intensively about me. Someone who would be my partner in crime, someone who could hold all my secrets, someone who I can turn to no matter how or when, it what time. A buddy, a bug killer, my protector.
I tried forcing a circle into a square in my previous marriage, by marrying someone I hardly knew because I was pregnant. I felt that it was the right thing to do under the circumstances. Boy, was I wrong. Marrying a stranger because you’re pregnant isn’t the greatest idea, nor is having kids with one. We were sewn from two entirely different cloths, in every possible way, and I could not have possibly married someone more wrong for me.
Being divorced is partial freedom. If you were in a toxic marriage. It is now up to you, to move forward with your life with or without somebody. You are free to find somebody perfect for you and settle for nothing less. All the qualities you’re looking for in one list, all of the dealbreaker’s in another. Your life is up to you, as is who you wish to spend it with from here on out. The caveat is if you have children you will have a relationship with your ex for the rest of your life until the day you die.
The most excruciating for me was losing time with my children. I literally felt pain so deep, I wanted to kill myself. They are all I love in this entire world. I don’t know if you’re like me but my children are the center of my universe. I would die for them and I would die if anything happened to them. They are my greatest joy and I live and breathe for them.
I watch their every move, I listen to their every word, I am trying to do my best to teach them how to be successful, smart, intuitive, intelligent, well mannered, and respected, young people. I’m trying to give them the tools my father gave me and I hope I can point them in the right direction. I love on them hard and squeeze them.
When you’re going through the process of divorce the word custody and parenting time did not quite sound as awful as it is, until it started. My first year joint parenting was a nightmare for me. I cried and craved my children all the time. I would go into their rooms and smell their blankets and pillows and literally cry like they died. To not be able to hold them when they are hurting, kiss them before they go to sleep, see their faces and receive their hugs and kisses every day of my life anymore, was the most sickening and heartbreaking realization once the wheels were in motion.
At this point I wanted to reconcile my marriage, just be with my children. I wanted to again make the sacrifice of living in a loveless marriage to see my babies every day. But it was too late. He had moved on and was fucking his coworker.
In the beginning, my ex-husband would allow them to come over whenever they wanted, but when he noticed they wanted to be over all the time, that was over. He was extremely jealous of the bond I have with my kids. When my children would ask him to come over my house, he started saying no, when my kids wanted to call me, he also starting saying no. I basically felt like a stranger was keeping my kids captive 50% of the time, like they were kidnapped.
The first year was unbearable. This is when I got hooked on Xanax and alcohol. Speaking to my ex was a down and dirty fight, coming to any type of agreement about anything was impossible, not seeing my kids 50% of the time was like a death, and all this is the price you pay for freedom.
Another interesting thing to experience is who your true friends really are. This is an obvious statement. Some friends wanted to stay neutral, some team Julie, some team my ex. I was happy and hopeful to see the amount of people who are there to support me. It was a very dark time and I needed real friends.