As I was getting a sandwich for lunch on Thursday, I heard someone calling my name. It was an acquaintance whom I've visited a few times for acupuncture treatments. The first time we met, I had asked her if she knew another friend of mine that lives in the area. It sounded as if they knew the same people, shopped at the same places, etc. The acupuncturist didn't know her however on my next visit, both ladies had met and spent an exhaustive amount of time discussing my relationship, past and present, with my spouse.
My friend had told the acupuncturist all about my marriage (I've known her since the first year of our marriage) and her utter dismay at hearing that we had separated. She asked the acupuncturist to plead with me not to get divorced. She told her all about what a wonderful man my husband is, how it would damage my children, how she was just sure we could work it out... We haven't spoken in years and she knows nothing of the details of why we separated. Why, oh why, do people like to get into my business?!
So, as I'm standing there in Subway, the acupuncturist, to whom I've talked to maybe 6 times, continues to tell me that I should forgive my husband's shortcomings.
"We all make mistakes. No one is perfect."
I guess she's making assumptions of why we aren't together.
"I've heard he is a wonderful man. Just be patient with him and see what happens. Don't shut him out. Always stay open to him."
On and on and on...
As I walked back to my office, I started laughing. Here's basically a stranger, telling me to wait for my husband to decide that he wants our marriage to work out - even though we've already been separated for nearly 2 years.
Meanwhile, anyone else I talk to, most friends included, can't understand how I could "waste a year" of my life waiting for someone who actually does want to be with me.
Does anyone even care what I want?
My husband is a wonderful man. I am very fortunate to have chosen him in my life. I also consider him a great friend and wonderful father. I have heard plenty of stories of what divorced dads do or don't do to realize that I am one of the lucky ones. However, I am way past waiting for him to decide that he wants to be with me again. We've gone through so much to get to this point that I can't imagine going back. I love him and I probably always will but from a different place than I was before. I can credit my soldier for helping me to get past a certain point where there was no looking back. But there's always someone out there who will say, "Well if you're such good friends, why not just work things out?" Some things are just more complicated than you could ever explain.
My mom and dad divorced when I was in my early 20's. They remained great friends up until my dad passed away last year. I guess I have a good role model when it comes to divorce. It didn't do too much damage to us.
I hope our separation and eventual divorce will have a lessor impact on our children due to our good relationship. Thus far, my children have adjusted remarkably well. Still, its not all tea and crumpets with the ex and me. We do still have our disagreements but at least we can talk about things and not take things as personally as we did before when we were together.
You know that saying, "Some people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime."?
I remember reassuring my husband as we were making this awful, gut-wrenching decision. We both always assumed we'd be together forever. You know, that naive fairy tale stuff? We lived it and believed it all the way up until the end. I had a realization that I shared with him during that time.
I told him that we would be together, even after our separation. But it would be because we are parents. We would always have holidays, weddings, births, etc. to share together so that "forever" idea wasn't so off the mark anyway.
It really didn't make the decision any easier. There is still a feeling of failure included with any divorce decision. However, I'm glad to know, everyone else's opinions aside, that it is still a relationship between him and me. We are the ones who dictate where it is and where it will go. And I am happy to share that kind of "forever" with him.