I intend to keep the person, journaling type stuff off of here, usually. But today, I think I just need to get this out.
I got married in May of 2003, my then husband started cheating in 2006, that I know of, though I have reason to believe it was before that. I found out about the cheating in 2007, I found out about new women in 2008, and the physical abuse started then too. He was arrested August 29, 2008. We haven’t lived together since. I had filed for divorce, but, with how erratic his behavior had become, I really did want a lawyer to make sure I had covered everything. A lawyer was out of the question, I couldn’t even figure out how to have heat in our house. Sadly, that stayed with me, I now have a lovely house with more blankets/mittens/hats than I care to count, because I’m so afraid of a repeat of that. I know it is illogical, but, I still buy more.
Anyway, that isn’t the point. I tried to move on, I did what I had to do when I had to do it. I had to go to school more than I needed a divorce. I had to get a car more than I needed a divorce. I had to have a place to live more than I needed a divorce. So, it got put on the back burner, the old divorce filing was thrown out, and I moved on with my life, still married to this man.
I finally got to a point where I could refile. First he was mad at me because I got a lawyer, then he was mad because child support was raised. Then he decided that he wanted full custody because I go to a “foreign church” and don’t let the kids have Christmas or hamburgers. I go to a 7th Day Adventist church, tell the Visa card I don’t let the kids have Christmas! And, the boys dad came for a 4th of July party at my house, one where we were grilling hamburgers and hot dogs, and the kids were eating them! He bad mouthed me, he slandered me, he’s told the kids I stole $1700 from him. I didn’t, because he was so far behind in child support, I got his tax return.
But, I kept moving towards the goal of divorce, and on March 30, 2012, my divorce became final. I found out this morning. I have sole custody of my kids, and he has a lowered child support obligation. So, I suppose everyone wins.
I know many people who have been divorced, they’ve all told me that it didn’t matter how long we’d been separated, I’d be sad today.
Today, I feel…scared. Scared that there was some mess up, and I will find out soon we aren’t really divorced.
I feel happy and excited. I’m no longer legally tied to him. There is no way his mistakes can now come back to haunt me.
Today I feel, off balance, I’ve been saying for so long “When I get a divorce…” and, I can never say that again. It feels so unreal.
Today I feel was, anticlimactic. Shouldn’t there have been fireworks and confetti or something? But, no, I simply walked in to the court house alone, asked if the judge signed the paperwork, was told yes, walked out to my car, stopped for an orange soda, and went home. I’ve been waiting for years for this, and it changed absolutely nothing.
Today I feel in shock, like I’m watching somebody else’s life. It hasn’t sank in yet.
Today I feel, slightly sad. Today the man I promised forever too became just someone I used to know. I’ve always said, my Joe died that night, the night I found out about the affairs, he was replaced with an entirely different person, and today I threw my handful of dirt on his coffin. And that was kind of hard to be honest. And, it was never that I wanted that person back, I always knew, somehow, there was no hope for reconciliation, that the man I loved had died, and I had no interest in his replacement.
It’s an odd feeling really. I mean, I did love Joe, but, the man I divorced today was not at all the man I married. The rare twinge of nostalgia I have, the rare moments I miss are equal to missing my grandpa giving me cookies. I know he’s gone, I know he’s happier now, and, I wouldn’t wish him back for anything. I couldn’t take him back anymore than I could raise my grandfather from the dead.
Today I feel, some sense of failure. The insecure 21 yr old is still here under the woman who learned so many lessons, and wonders what I did wrong. I also feel some failure because I did mean it when I married him. I meant my vows. However, it took two to keep that promise. I couldn’t do this by myself, no matter how hard I tried.
However, today I also feel empowered and hopeful. I have learned a lot. I have changed a lot. I did have time to work on those flaws from years ago, and become a better person, a person more equipt to deal with the ups and downs in my current relationship. I’ve become someone who is comfortable being me, but not so comfortable I can’t change when a flaw is pointed out, but, also someone who can recognize if it truly is a flaw being pointed out, or if it is someone trying to tear me down. I’m feeling hopeful because I am young and I get a second chance to try to be happy and to learn from the mistakes in the past.
I am hopeful because I am in a relationship, and I know I have the capacity to love with my whole heart and forgive far more than I ever thought I would need to. And, I think, at times, one person in a relationship needs to be the bigger person to keep moving forward. The key is probably taking turns. I am confident, I found someone this time who is willing to love me completely and unconditionally, and I will do the same for him, and if I technically made a horrible marriage last almost a decade, what will we be able to do with a good relationship?!
And finally, I feel relieved. I probably feel that most of all, my life is no longer in a holding pattern while I wait for a divorce, while I wait for him to make a new threat to change some term of the divorce. I am free of him, and I feel like a huge weight is off my shoulders. There is no going back now, if he is a jerk to me, we can’t suddenly become remarried, he can’t undo this for me. And that is a really nice feeling.
I’m waiting, expecting, a huge breakdown and lots of tears, but I honestly don’t think it’s coming. Now, I just need to wash my hands of the dirt I buried my marriage with, and move on to tomorrow, and I can’t wait.