I have been a bit MIA for the last week because of that horrific guy Hurricane Dorian. His slow move that completely wiped out the Bahamas meant I was staying at my sisters longer than I thought so I left my lap top at home. Sorry for the delay!
Here is another little section on my journey to accepting single motherhood…
Acceptance. One of the hardest things for me has been to accept my marriage is over. Through therapy, I realized it wasn’t so much that I wanted to stay with my ex but it was that I had to grieve the future I had in my mind of what my life would be like. I had to grieve what I saw for my children. I had to learn that my perspective on what life is supposed to be and what it is going to be are two very different things and I had to grieve that as well. When I look back on my marriage and my relationship with my ex husband it wasn’t all bad but because of how different we are it was difficult. Especially when our children got older and we stopped finding joy in our relationship and our focus turned to our children and that happiness. We just didn’t have the same love we once have. Our priority was no longer our marriage.
Another hard part of accepting my marriage ending was my values. I remember calling my cousins hysterically crying in a parking lot one day telling them I didn’t want to go to hell for being divorced. Now this was a totally irrational thought and my cousins talked me down but it was something I felt so strongly about. I felt like marriage was something you do once and you take great care of it. You look back at 70 years old and say “We made it! We got through the hardest times in our life together.” It was something my grandparents had and something my parents had. I didn’t understand “giving up”. To me, we were giving up. To my ex husband, we had tried and tried and how much more could we try and it still be difficult? It was another thing I had to accept.
I will never forget sitting in my therapists office talking about this very topic. This was actually my first local therapist I saw right when things came to ahead. She said what your blueprint for what a family is and what his is are very different. He grew up in a divorced household, so this is in some respect “normal”. Then she said because I didn’t experience divorce my blueprint for what a family is is that you do not give up. You fight, you work together, you do everything you can to make it through the hard times because you saw it get better and knew it would work out. And she was absolutely right. Then when I saw my therapist I have now she mentioned how our values were different. Again she is right. My values on faith and family are very different from his. Not to say his are wrong or not ok but they just are not the same. And when your values do not line up it is hard to make it work because for me, you fight, you do the work and grow and learn from past mistakes. For him, it just was different.
So one of the most interesting things about my blueprint or values is that even though I can’t fight for my marriage anymore, I can fight for my children and myself to have what I value in a family. For me that is family vacations, fun holidays with cousins, music playing in the house and dancing around like fools, pizza picnics movie night in the living room, cherishing our community and support system, and just overall living life. I was so incredibly fortunate to have a family that was all about living life and having fun that I stopped letting that be my focus and tried to fight for something that wasn’t going to happen because I was fighting alone. Now I see that my family doesn’t have to be this perfect two parent household with the 3 kids and two dogs. It can be two separate households with both parents splitting time and working together to raise happy kids and giving each of our traditions and values to them. My ex and I are very different people from very different worlds and that was one of the things I loved most about him. I loved his small town upbringing and going to Michigan to see his family but it also was a big part of why we seemed to clash. So in the end, our kids will, hopefully, get the best of both of us and be happy little people.