I thought we were going through a slump, that it was normal.
A lot can happen in one year, and some of it is really good.
To set the foundation, last March I was: I am by no means at my final destination, but I am in a good place.
I hated myself for being so unlovable, so unwanted and so goddamn dumb. “How dare you,” I said in a voice so hoarse I didn’t recognize it was mine. At times I was angry that they’d hired a private investigator, but I knew they never expected to have anything to report. “Well, at least he fessed up and is being a good dad,” his oldest sister, Lisa, told me by phone. When I hung up, I knew I’d never speak to her again. My kids didn’t deserve to grow up in a broken home, and I never wanted them to feel like they had. I punched so hard in my cardio boxing class that people stopped and stared at me as though I was the Hulk. I took on new assignments at work and started teaching. I had already hit rock bottom and knew nothing could be worse than where I’d already been. I named it “The Year of Yes.” “You want me to speak for three hours in front of 30 students? ” Being abandoned by Phillip also offered a convenient excuse for all kinds of things, and I was prepared to leverage it. ” I asked my cellphone provider in complete disbelief. In my mind I could hear Phillip saying, “What’s the point of stopping to look at puppies when we’re not going to buy one?
As he glossed over the details of his relationship, how he’d bought her gifts and taken her on trips, I realized, right there in my kitchen, that I no longer loved the man with whom I had vowed to spend the rest of my life. He said he was sorry, that he had had an affair because he was unhappy and confused, that he didn’t want to hurt my feelings and that he didn’t know how to communicate. “You’ve got to pull up your big-girl panties,” my own aunt told me. They were going to have a happy life, and their parents’ divorce was not going to screw them up. “No, sweetheart, of course you still do, but from now on you will have two beds and two houses. Sometimes mommies and daddies are happier when they don’t live together. Though my husband and his mistress had gotten back together, I knew it wouldn’t help to be angry or resentful. Sure.” “Oh, you want to take me on a motorcycle ride? ” “Go on a blind date with a pescatarian who will eat a platter of nachos and drink a bottle of wine by himself? ” But I was in the driver’s seat; I was capable of making decisions myself.
I am living this and it's not easy, but when I look at the good things that have entered my life over these past 365 days, I know it is the way to go.
If you are at least one year out from your divorce, what did you learn that helped you adapt to your new singledom?
Image courtesy of JPott at My divorce was final last March.
If you had asked me then what my life would look like, I would have stared at you blankly (with a hint of drool.) I didn't have a clue.
Some of my most awkward moments included having my first date since Y2K, attending dinner parties as the sole single person, telling the neighbors we were divorced and assembling an electric edger upside down.
Laughing about these things instead of internalizing a sense of shame will not only foster healthy resilience, but will make you attractive to others as you own your humanity.
He was going to stay at a hotel for a few days to think. Though I couldn’t see it at the time, they also marked a new beginning.