Do you remember the first conversation? I mean sure you had arguments, discussions, therapy sessions etc…. BUT, do you remember when the word “Divorce” was first said out loud? Friggin A….I do and its something I’ve learned to laugh about with my friends and family all the time now.
Picture the scene…. beautiful home in the hills of Northern California. Sunshine, 60’s outside, my young kids were playing quietly in another room. (Kids playing quietly by the way is a feat for many of us) My wife and I had been going in circles trying to figure out our 18 year marriage. We all know the issues as I’m sure you have had the same ones too. So there I am working on being thoughtful as she came home early Saturday afternoon from running errands. I grabbed a nice bottle of wine, made a beautiful cheese board and walked outside to our patio on that beautiful day. Not 2 minutes into the conversation and the “D” word was dropped. Heart stops, breath lost and its almost like you were not sure you heard right…..but you can see in her eyes she was serious.
So what do you do or better yet what did you do, for those with this experience? Beg and plead on your knees? Pretend it was a joke? Start to cry? Jump up and down in excitement? I don’t know you could have been waiting for this day like Xmas!! Well….I was not. It hurt and it hurt bad. The funny thing is I don’t believe I was hurt because of her wanting to divorce….(we actually are friends now, will cover that later) but because it was an actual act that I told myself I would never go through again. See when I was young my parents went through several separations which were all preempted with yelling, screaming, crying, drunkenness, running away, hiding in hotels and small town cops that did not arrest for anything domestic back in the 80’s.
That hurts to say but I failed. Did you fail too? Did you think you were going to be happy with a family and kids and do everything you dreamed of doing? Pictures on the wall, kids graduating high school and college. Big weddings where your kids tell everyone how great you raised them. Playing with grandkids and our children having positive relationships because of them watching you married over the long years.
So….I failed, you failed, we all failed. I have learned that its okay to fail. Its okay that things did not workout for a lifetime. Its actually okay that you think its okay! You learn there is a reason 50% of marriages end in divorce and I am sure you thought “that would never be me”. Only losers get divorced or the crazy people you see on reality TV. But me….nah…I am an upstanding citizen. I pay my taxes, work hard, play with my kids, have awesome vacations. I buy thoughtful gifts, make dinner, attend all the school plays etc, etc. Well guess what? ANYONE can get divorced.
And it is OKAY!