Today (the day that this posts) would have been my 19th wedding anniversary. You could say I’m celebrating by doing a few things I would have never done married. I will spend the evening running a Sex Geekdom discussion about masturbation and desire changes as we age, followed by joining friends for a trip to the hot tubs. While I am enjoying my post divorce life, I still have moments of sadness, anger, regret and even jealousy. I am relieved to be going forward in my life, at almost 40 years old, with permission to be completely myself, to be fully responsible for the majority of my life (there is still that income thing I need to work on), and to show my children a strong, independent, happy woman.
We have made it through this last year (we split less than 2 weeks after last year’s anniversary) as friends. It was a shit show for a few months, but once he moved out it improved very quickly. It wasn’t long before I found myself thanking him for walking away, giving up my victim role. It took a little longer, but eventually I reconciled with her too. We are good. Our kids get to see us living very separate lives yet being very at ease when we do spend time as one big group. That was not only a gift to our children, but it was a gift to myself.
He was always my support system. He did so much for me. He still does. To this day, I talk to him almost every day. He listens to whatever is going on in my life. I listen to him. We really have a pretty good relationship for being exes. I couldn’t have seen that happening just a little over a year ago. He wanted it, to be friends, all along but I didn’t think it was possible. How is it possible? Because we all make a choice to be good to each other. All of us. Me, him, his girlfriend. It’s possible. But it takes everyone and a lot of emotional intelligence and maturity.
But I still get upset. I find myself driving away from her house, sad. It was a year ago that we were driving away from her house together.
He calls to ask if I voted and I think of all the times I encouraged him to vote, like she does, and he wouldn’t.
My son comes home talking about how they are going to take the family to a water park and I get angry, yep angry, because he wouldn’t do that stuff with us when we were a family unit. I actually confronted him about it I was so angry and a little jealous that I didn’t get that version of him.
He was a major germaphobe with us. We didn’t visit friends during flu season, etc. Now he’s in a serious relationship with a walking petri dish. (She’s a kindergarten teacher.)
I have resentments. I do. But they don’t eat at me, but just tug at me once in a while to remind me that I didn’t just walk away from this with butterflies and puppy dogs and rainbows. I choose not to dwell on those resentments. I am a lucky woman. I have this chance to live life on my terms, something I never did when I was married. I am surely not recognizable to the people that knew me pre divorce. I hope I am an improved version, but I guess that depends on how my changes affect you. I love Michelle 2.0. I am living life by my rules. I am following my interest wherever they take me. I get to write about it and thankfully I get feedback from readers and I am helping people.
I needed those 18 years to get to where I am today and I am thankful. I still have this amazingly supportive family, including my ex. We are all still a team, just a little bit bigger than we were before.
My marriage wasn’t great but it did get better through the years, rather than worse. That’s a success. My divorce, same thing. I view it as an absolute success. I’m a little sad today, but I can’t help but be happy that we all got here in one piece.