From my perspective in life, things are always pretty simple. I bucket my life into things that are black and things that are white. In my life, things are rarely grey. In the event that something falls deep into my grey bucket, I struggle for years releasing it into the previously mentioned definitive buckets. My divorce was simple, and I want the world to know the truth.
The simple truth is that I loved the man I married. He was thoughtful, attentive, caring, hilarious, and he loved Big; and at the time, that’s all that mattered. I wasn’t looking for a “replacement father” for Big because Big’s father is nothing short of amazing, and to this day he is one of my closest friends. I loved that my husband was the safe arms to land in at the end of a crazy day and that he seemed to have me on a pedestal and loved me so deeply that there was no room in my life for anything else. We had a fast engagement and practically ran down the aisle to get married.
The simple truth is that I knew deep down that I shouldn’t have married him, but by the time I figured it out, it was too late. The invites were out and my parent’s money had already been spent on elaborate plans and honeymoon itineraries. It was simple: I felt that walking away would be just another notch on my parent’s belt of things I had done wrong with my life. My mother wasn’t with me while I got ready for my big day as I had my makeup done, and she forgot the pearl necklace I wanted to wear back at her house. The truth was that I knew that if this were the right thing to do, it would mean the world for her to be there with me. I have no regrets about the day. My parents made it the absolutely most beautiful day of my life, bar none.
I found out I was pregnant with Little the day we came home from the honeymoon and my pregnancy was tough. I was put on bedrest for four months with Little, and our relationship was strained. Things stopped being hilarious and I felt like I was a major burden to my husband. The simple truth is that I could literally feel Ex falling out of love with me, and I, falling out of love with him.
When we decided to go our separate ways, it was extremely civil. We talked over coffee one morning about how our lives had changed since Little. We talked about how our marriage was not what we “signed up for,” and now, that seems so ridiculous to say. I had always thought that once I got married, I would fight until the bitter end for my husband, but in the blink of an eye our conversation went from a simple split for a little while to a divorce.
I met with a lawyer, and it seemed in that instant and with a few signatures, my once beautiful wedding day was nothing more than a dusty wedding dress hanging in the hall closet. I went home and boxed up everything he had touched, he had purchased and he had brought into our home. Actually, he left with nothing but the clothes in the closet and the grill on the patio; and he left me with exactly what I started with but with the added bonus of a bitter, hurting heart.
The truth is that I wanted my husband to hurt just as much as I did, but the killer thing was – he didn’t. He quickly moved on to a new relationship and I felt slighted every night that I was at home with our infant. I wanted to rip Ex’s lungs out every time I saw him. They say that anger is a stage of grieving; and I can certainly attest to that. I slammed doors with him on the other side, I yelled profanities at him, and I said a ton of awful things that I knew I’d regret.
The simple truth today is this: I love the man I married because of his love for Little. I don’t tell him enough what a great father he’s turning out to be. I don’t defend him enough when my friends/family try their best to be supportive and get defensive for me in matters regarding him. I sometimes forget that my relationship with my Ex doesn’t really matter; what matters first and foremost is his relationship with his son, and he’s excelling at it. I still make jokes at his expense when I’ve had too many beers and I’m out with my friends.
From Little’s perspective, his life is either mom’s house or dad’s house. Ex, Ex’s amazing wife and I have worked for four long years side by side; often times without realizing or admitting that we are on the same playing field. Our judgement and opinions sometimes get cloudy, but we all agree that our son comes first, and that we will never discuss our affairs in front of him. Little’s perspective shows that it’s either black, or it’s white. It’s mom’s house, or dad’s house. There is no in between or “grey” because in our family, we simply do not allow it. Side note: the most fun I’ve had this month was clothes shopping with the Ex’s wife for our Little. We easily dropped $300; and we wildly threw clothes into each other’s baskets with “oooooh, look at this oneeeeeee!” with a residing shriek. I love her with every ounce of my core because simply put, she loves my child. What else matters?
If any of you are struggling with messy divorces, or horrible parent custody issues, I urge you to seek clarity. It’s not about you. It’s not about how horribly you can hurt one another; because all you are ever going to do is throw your child(ren) into a grey bucket. No matter how painfully bad you’d like to kill your Ex…you at one time loved him/her. Hold onto that when times are rough and remember that your child needs you to suck it up and stay calm. I promise you this: remember how things were when things were simple. Remember those things and keep them top of mind when times are chaotic and uncertain, and you will not only see clearly, but your child will thank you in the end.