Before I begin this month’s column, I would like to share a disclaimer. This article is based on the opinions and experiences of a person who was in a really bad marriage, in every single aspect. There was no hope for reconciliation, and things were only getting worse to the point where the behavior of both parents was negatively affecting the kids and exposing them to things kids shouldn’t be exposed to.
I am in no way promoting divorce, nor do I think it is reasonable to seek perfection in marriages. If you have ever been divorced, you know a day comes when you think to yourself, “This is it. Enough!” However, if you are just having a few bad days, weeks, or even years in an otherwise healthy, loving relationship that has a strong friendship base and a decent sex life, this article doesn’t apply to you. You are better off going to a marriage counselor, giving it time and making small changes by truly listening to the needs of the other person. Going through a divorce is not a fun ride, so if there is even a small inkling of hope lingering in the air, just work it out. Now, on to the story…
The day I decided it was all done was the day I realized that I just can’t change anymore, and I didn’t want to. I liked who I was, and I was not a bad person in any way. I was just emotionally and physically drained and tired of the fighting and the awkwardness at home. Thinking to myself, “Oh, he is almost home, what errands can I make up to leave the house and avoid him until I absolutely need to be at that dreadful dinner table with him.” We couldn’t look at each other anymore, and when we did they were looks of hate, contempt and resentment. I know that was not fair for me, him or the kids. I also know he felt the same way.
I can just hear my grandmother’s voice in my head saying, “The grass is not greener on the other side.” That voice, along with all the other fears about how things would be when I became a divorced mom with two kids under the age of five, probably prolonged my marriage a lot longer than it should have. Thankfully, my marriage was so bad that it shattered all these fears and gave me the courage to say, “Just forget it.” (Of course, I used another F-word.) I will take whatever color grass there is on the other side, and as long as it’s not mucky, worm-infested mud, I’ll take it. Actually, I might even take worm-infested mud over the misery I was experiencing on a daily basis that was eating away at my soul. Side note: I have never been a big fan of cursing, but the grueling process of divorce brought me and the F-word closer together, and now it’s my friend for life.
I wrote “thankfully” earlier because now that this process is over, I can truly say I am thankful I did it and I am much happier. Yes, I have to take out the trash myself and, yes, I can’t rely on my ex for small things around the house, but I was paying a hefty price for all the benefits of having a man in the house. We weren’t cuddling in front of the TV, taking walks together, or sharing a bed anyway, so the loneliness is the same, minus the emptiness that comes with being next to someone and still feeling completely alone.
At least now, the loneliness is actually mixed in with the hope of possibly finding something better. The grass doesn’t have to be brand new or bright green, just greener. I’m not expecting the fairytale, but I am expecting peace, friendship and intimacy. I know I deserve it, and it’s not too much to ask. I am obviously not jumping into anything anytime soon, but the hope makes me feel alive. It makes me feel like taking care of myself and going out on my days without the kids and building friendships again and just living an average, healthy life. The most important positive change that came out of my divorce is that I am now one of the best versions of myself, and my kids notice it and feed off of it. They smile more; they have become more social and more playful. And that is the only green I need on my grass.
Question of the Month:
If it weren’t for logistics, finances, and the kids, would you seriously consider divorcing your spouse?
Submit your answers to this month’s question or share your own experiences, questions and thoughts to Lady Nona by filling out the online form here: nonahood.to/askladynona. Your submissions will be anonymous.