Divorce Saved My Happy Ending
When I married Danny, the man I loved, and made the vow ‘til death do us part, it was heartfelt and something I didn’t take lightly. We made this vow to each other September 15, 1990. After 2 years, I was finally marrying my best friend. Fifteen years after saying “I Do”, I was saying those two words again. The only difference was, this time I was saying I do to a separation.
Whatever intentions are there when you start a journey, there always comes a time when the road branches off and you have to decide what road is best for you. Unfortunately, this time, the I man loved and still admired, needed to take another path than the one I chose. Basic human needs change and you start to see things differently. This is a man that yes, I still loved, still made me laugh, and still held my trust and respect. He just wasn’t meant to finish the journey with me as my husband.
When it Feels like the Seams are Unraveling.
When you have a garment with a loose thread, you can either keep pulling the thread until the garment falls apart, or stitch the garment back together. We had many moments where we wondered if we should stop pulling the thread. We also questioned if it would be for us or the kids. The beginning of the end is always hard, but sometimes you have to separate emotions and realize that you just don’t fit into each other’s present or future any longer. The ending of a relationship is so different from the beginning. Time feels like it is standing still, allowing you to feel all the reality of it. It was painful: but our memories of sharing our lives for that brief time were still very sweet memories.
The Beginning of the End
Danny and I separated in 2006. My daughter Sarah was 9 and my son Brendan was 16. At the end, it broke my heart that we had become distant, angry, uncooperative with each other, and refused to see eye to eye on anything. My best friend had become my adversary. I remember our final day at our home. We were packing the moving truck we rented for the final trip to what would be my new home. Our tears were real and the emotional rollercoaster we were experiencing was heart-breaking. As we gave each other a final hug in front of our past, my best friend and I realized that our lives were changing forever.
From the beginning of our end, without discussion or laid out plans, we still shared every holiday, birthday, and tradition we ever had with our children. Every April, we would take Sarah and Brendan to Cape May for the day throughout our marriage. We would pack up the car, take the 2-hour drive, spend a few hours at the Cape May Zoo, head to the quaint little Victorian shops on the main strip in town, head to our favorite little ice cream shop, and finish our day playing on Sunset Beach until the sun set. After our separation, we continued this tradition with our children. It was just incredible to be able to still share this time together, but now it seemed with less tension and arguing. I even remember the first Mother’s Day after our separation. I actually had to work, and came home to Danny with the kids cooking me Mother’s Day dinner. Although he still left me to do the dishes. Lol.
So, this leads me to ask – is separation or divorce really a bad thing?
I could never imagine Danny not being a part of my life: but life does carry on and in 2011 I met someone. I had spent all those years in between dedicated to my children (and family). The path I was on led me to Craig, who is now my fiancé. My children accepted Craig into our family which led Danny and I to finally say this was the time to make things final. We divorced without lawyers, not a single day in court, and with the same respect, admiration, and love for each other that we had always shared.
It is actually now a tradition in our family, including Craig, to go to Danny’s for Christmas. We exchange gifts, share Christmas dinner around the table, and are thankful for all the blessings we have in our lives. We made a vow to each other that day of September 15, 1990 till death do us part. Through the good, the bad, and the ugly. We honor that vow still today, not out of obligation but out of love and respect: and not just for each other but for our family. We divorced to save our relationship. It’s authentic, and we’ve held steady to the intention of being true to ourselves and true to the collective idea of “us.”
It’s okay to alter the journey in the name of love.
Divorce doesn’t always need to end the journey. I do challenge you to keep the vow and the commitment and never forget what brought you together. Somewhere inside, there will always be a shadow of the person you fell in love with. If you need, create a “Kindness Contract”. You must certainly agree that the well-being of your children is the TOP priority. It is so important for them to understand that staying in a relationship that doesn’t work for you doesn’t work for anyone. Help them understand that you need to be true to your own path and journey but respect the other person at the same time. Let them know that just because you are no longer married and sharing your home, it doesn’t mean that either of you has stopped being human. It also doesn’t stop you from being a family, which your children should never feel they have lost. I will never regret the journey I shared, and still share, with Danny.
Part of this guest post was originally shared on Joan Senio’s Blog
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