The Chapter In-Between
Making the decision to move on with my life and leave behind a marriage of 8 years was not easy. While, I thought each step would get easier I was completely wrong and somewhat blindsided by someone I thought I had known. There is some truth to if you want to really and I mean really get to know someone, get a divorce. We were terrible as a married couple, I was certain undoing a sacrament would be a much smoother process. I know now that was the furthest thing from the truth. What I thought would take a matter of months turned into a process of over two years.
It was February 2015 when I decided I was done with existing in a relationship that was not allowing me to be the best person I could be. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted trying to hold it all together. I was tired of being unhappy and there was nothing I could do in my relationship that would ever be enough or right for that matter. I was tired of asking for a friendship. I had never felt so alone. Many nights I would find myself huddled at the edge of my bed crying myself to sleep wondering what I was doing. My answer; I am sleeping in the bed I made. You know, that age old wisdom passed down from my grandmother.
One morning as I was making my (our) bed as I routinely did every day, I looked over at my husband who was getting ready for work and said, I’m done making this bed! He looked over at me somewhat puzzled because the bed was partially made, I repeated myself and followed up with I want a divorce. His immediate response; I want you to change your last name (back to my maiden name). He walked away and then turned around to tell me he wouldn’t be single for long. I knew within those couple of minutes I was making the best decision for my life.
It seemed like the split would be amicable and we would each go our separate ways. Initially, we decided to see a mediating attorney for the divorce. I figured we would have time to think about how we would proceed with the divorce while waiting out our mandatory 6 months separation. Collaboratively, we came up with ground rules for our separation/divorce. One, we would put our children first, putting in a conscious effort to make this transition as painless as possible. We agreed to stay living together in separate rooms and still do things as a family unit.
Over the next couple of month my husband went for a Hail Mary pass, it was already too late for me to accept any last-ditch effort. I feared it would turn back to the way things were, just as they had been for a very long time. The anxiety of the unknown had me doubting the move I making. Was I really certain this is what I wanted? Could this get better? We each spent the summer doing our own things. Alternating weekends with the kids. We were going our separate ways and moving on with our lives. As more time past, I knew I would be more than okay.
As the end of summer neared he asked if I could wait till after the holidays to file for the divorce. He didn’t want the kids having a terrible memory of their holiday being clouded by a divorce. I was finally doing stuff for me again. One of the biggest changes for me was opening a business. This gave me the opportunity to focus my attention elsewhere. I started to feel like I was living again.
Over the summer I noticed my soon to be ex had moved on just as he said he would and by the fall I decided perhaps it’s time for me to dip my toes in the “dating” waters. I tried online dating for a while, and while it was fun and I had my share of laughs, it held no fulfillment. This was when paradigm shifted. It was going downhill fast, we went from being two adults going through an amiable divorce to two people who could not be in the same room. I kept my word and waited out filing till after the holidays.
The holidays came and went and it was clear a mediating attorney with an amical divorce was not in the cards. This is when the hard just got harder. The arguments happened almost daily. A few weeks after filing it was no longer a good idea for us to live together. Our children deserved better. He refused to leave the house and as much as I didn’t want to move the kids back and forth, I had to do what was best.
I wanted to prolong being in two separate houses because I knew I would have to give up my kids half of the time. I was a stay at home mom for the last 8 years, the thought of not seeing my kids everyday crushed me more than anything. No longer crying over a marriage that was not going to work, I was broken hearted with having to share our children. A piece of me wanted to be selfish and fight but this other part of me knew it wasn’t fair to our children, or any of us for that matter. They love us both and they deserve to see us equally.