Today would have been my fifteenth wedding anniversary. My Ex and I have been divorced (more or less) for four years now.
I don’t regret my marriage, not at all…and I don’t regret my divorce either.
Of course, divorce was not a part of the plan. (If you’re following this blog you can imagine that things have moved in a direction far from any plan I ever had).
I used to believe in marriage. Now I’d say I believe in some marriages. Seeing happily married couples makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside (really). We were happy, my Ex and me…until we weren’t. It was a long and difficult process to get to where we both knew it was time to let go.
Believe me, neither of us took divorce lightly. In fact…
I will fully own the fact that people I knew who got divorced prior to my own marriage’s unraveling – I totally judged them. Not out loud, of course, but in my head…unless there seemed to be a reason that I deemed worthy. Um…that I deemed worthy? What the hell gave me that right? Was it the ring on my finger? Was it because I was unhappy too?
Was I thinking – Why should they get to start over when I’m stuck here?
The truth is no one gets married thinking they are going to get divorced…I mean, I sure hope not, but…that doesn’t mean all marriages are meant to last. I know a lot of people are going to find fault with that statement, because the whole point of getting married is to make a lifelong commitment.
Still, I’m saying it. They aren’t all meant to last.
We come into each other’s lives for a reason (some call this a soul contract). We don’t always know why or for how long…but I dare say it isn’t always forever, even if at one point in our lives we are convinced it is.
I am not advocating that people take marriage lightly. Really, I’m not. It is a serious commitment, and when people have children together, that adds a whole other layer of responsibility.
However, sometimes it is best for everyone involved (including the children) when two people can admit that they no longer feel connected; that something is missing and they aren’t willing to quietly wither away together because they’ve made a commitment that has proven to be unhealthy for them both.
I am grateful for the twelve years I spent with my Ex. We had many happy times, and the times that weren’t happy….well, I learned a lot about myself (and about life) during and following those times.
We have two beautiful children, and we are both dedicated and loving parents.
I am also grateful for my divorce. I’m doing things I know I never would have done if I’d stayed married…things that have filled my heart and soul. I feel like I am discovering who I really am for the first time in my life.
I also want to say (although this may seem odd)…
Looking back (especially this year, after the passing of my dad), I am so grateful to have had the amazing wedding day that we had. It was a perfect day, and we were surrounded by all the people that we loved most. Several of those very important people aren’t with us anymore, and so to have the memory of that perfect day with them all there to celebrate…it is a truly priceless gift.
For that reason, October 9th will never be a sad day for me.
This afternoon when my Ex brought the girls home to me, I wanted to acknowledge the day, but “Happy Anniversary!” seemed weird to say. So I just awkwardly said, “Happy October 9th!”
He looked at me quizzically. “What does that….? Oh, right. Shoot, sorry.”
Later he texted me, “I am Sorry.”
I wondered for a moment if he meant he was sorry for forgetting our “noniversary”…or for our marriage…or for our divorce…?
After a while I simply responded, “No regrets.”
That’s the truth.