It’s been a year. Since I found out my ex was having a long term affair. Since I learned who the affair was with. Since I asked him to leave. Since we started lawyer and dissolution processes. Since I started going to therapy regularly.
That’s one of the reasons why I’m doing this blog anonymously. In case you were wondering or curious. I’m not actually divorced yet. And, those who have been through the divorce process knows that anything and everything COULD be used against you. So taking no chances. Thanks to those friends in real life who read this and don’t call me out.
Taking a marriage apart is such a long process. So time consuming. Unless you have no kids and no assets, and then its easy peasy.
In reflecting on everything, I know I am in a much better place now. I knew it then. When he was driving away and my friend was here at the house at 2am telling me how much better I would be with out him. I knew we were miserable. I knew that I was already done. I had threatened to leave him twice before, earlier in the year, and not because I thought he was cheating on me. I didn’t have confirmed proof of that yet.
I most definitely didn’t feel good about it at the time. I was a mess. And not over him. Like I said, I was already close to leaving him. But devastated for what it meant for me and my family. I felt like a failure, not because my marriage failed, but because I felt like I had failed my kids. As their mom, I want their life to be amazing, to be easy, to be idyllic, to be the best that I can give them. As a person, I know that is not realistic. I know they would see through the facade of the marriage eventually. But seeing the breakup through the eyes of my then 4 year old son, broke my heart. Still does. He constantly tells me he misses his daddy. Who he does see several times a week.
There was also a lot of fear. Fear, because I’m a stay at home mom. I was scared to quit my job when I had my second child. My ex talked me into it in a lot of ways. I kept saying “are you sure?” His income was more than enough and financially it would have been silly for me to keep working and pay for childcare, but I didn’t want to feel dependent. Now here I was facing all these unknowns and the fear was almost overwhelming. I didn’t sign up to be a single parent. Taking care of kids takes help! If you don’t have a partner at home helping, then you need a support system in place. That support system keeps you sane, helps you logistically, and is necessary for success. I also didn’t want to have to go back to work immediately to support myself and the family. What would I do? Where would I work? How will I find something flexible enough? Will I have to send my kids to daycare full time? These are things that feel much more settled a year later, but I’m still working toward the goals of setting myself up for the best situation for me and the kids.
It has taken a lot of therapy to be ok with everything. Therapy has helped manage my emotions and expectations, and has allowed me to process the event in a healthy way. It was a traumatic event. No Joke. And I wasn’t dealing well the first few weeks. I didn’t eat. Didn’t have an appetite. Couldn’t sleep. Barely functioning. Crying all the time. And I barely cry as a normal person. It was emotional overload, and I couldn’t have dealt with it alone. I had a lot of help from friends and family. People that were willing to be there for me at any hour.
Many of our friends are still shocked. And several still don’t know. It isn’t like this is something people announce regularly on Facebook. “FYI – Ex and I decided to part ways, and getting a divorce! Have a great weekend everyone!!” How do you put it out there? Announce your engagement, announce the wedding, announce the pregnancy and birth, but there really isn’t a divorce announcement. Not unless you are friendly and make it together as a unified celebrity couple making a press statement. Otherwise its tacky, attention seeking, and self-serving. At least that’s how I feel about it.
Which, partly, goes to show you never know. People thought things were going well when they were at their worst. You really only see what people want you to see. Very few people knew the truth, until shit hit the fan.
This is all new territory for me. First of my friends to get married, first to have kids, first to get divorced. Where is the template for that though? While, I have taken the ex off my social media, I have not changed my name. It would be the easiest way for people to know, if I dropped the married name and went back to my maiden name. But I have kids. And I want my last name to be the same as theirs. At least for now.
In a lot of ways being married was stifling, suffocating, and I felt less than. I wasn’t able to fully be myself. I understand how unhealthy that was, but now it’s a fear that this is my pattern doomed to repeat in other relationships. But, I’ll know when I find the right guy, right? Because I won’t feel suffocated? It has made me very wary of getting serious, and at this point I’m so far from marriage being an option.
So it has been a year of being “single”. I say it that way because I’m no longer in a relationship, but legally not officially single status yet. It’s also been about a year of dating. I didn’t immediately start dating, took a few months before I dipped into those waters.
I’ve tried many of the dating apps: Tinder, Bumble, Plenty of Fish, OkCupid (for a minute), Match. Bumble has become my go to favorite.
One year, and 10 first dates. One guy with a girl friend. One kinda boyfriend – who went crazy. Several nice guys, no chemistry. I’ve learned how to be a little more comfortable in the first date setting.
Cheers to more adventures!