|Many Months of
Living a Nightmare...
The many months of walking around with a pit in my stomach
due to the long process of jumping over the hurdles involved in a divorce
suit, dealing with single mindset attorneys, processing more paperwork
than anyone ever thought imaginable, trying to cope with the emotional
stress of the whole experience, and still trying to live as normally as
possible is over.
THANK GOD, IT'S OVER!
Most nightmares last a few minutes in the midst
of a troubled night of sleep. This one lasted for almost a year.
In that time, I have done more soul searching and
introspection than any other time in my life. Meeting with a counselor
has especially been helpful as well as reading some self-help books dealing
with the aftermath of divorce (e.g. Crazy
Time). It eventually became important to me to stop blaming her and
to work on getting the help I need in regard to my own responsibility concerning
the failure of our marriage.
Some people spend their entire lives excusing themselves
as being blameless when a relationship
fails. In their minds, the other person was completely at fault.
These are the same people who drag all of their old baggage into the next
relationship, resulting in tearing up yet another life because they refuse
to face their own demons.
As for me, confronting the issues that resulted in the
demise of our marriage became essential. Accepting my own part in
it's failure and then doing whatever was needed to overcome my own misconceptions
and misunderstandings literally became a self-imposed mission. If
finding love again is even a possibility, I cannot and will not drag anything
in to another relationship that will prove to be nothing more than the
seeds of it's desctruction.
God help me, I will never go through another divorce again.
Moving On to
Face a Better Future...
counselor helped me realize that all of the little problemed bits and pieces
of my life that were left unresolved contributed to the marriage failure.
The biggest takeaway from those many sessions was that I needed to focus
in on my own shortcomings. Instead of blaming my "ex," I needed to
both face my own failures and allow myself to heal in the meantime.
It's not easy.
In fact, it's very difficult.
You see, the tendency is to
place the blame on the other person--to excuse oneself from any culpability
so that we can move on, thinking that we are okay and basically blameless
for what happened.
It's a lie.
My mother was fond of saying,
"It takes two to do the Tango."
Beguilement is a serious self-deciving
form of untruth. We know that in our heart of hearts, yet, we allow
ourselves to be pulled in by it, thinking that to do so somehow justifies
ourselves. It's easier than taking any of the blame.
The result is that we postpone the
inevitable. Instead of doing the needed surgery of rooting out the
disease that caused us to be so remiss in dealing with the weaknesses of
the marriage, we place bandaides on the gaping wounds that will never heal
unless we are willing to get stitches. Too many of us spend the rest
of our lives with exposed and open emotional sores. Others get the
help that they need and find a way to move on--to become better off regardless
of the riveting experience of a longtime
relationship gone wrong--to heal and eventually be cured.
This does not happen if we continue
blaming the other person for all that went wrong. It only happens
when we take personal responsibilty for our own actions (or inactions).
Until we face this fact, moving
on will not be possible.
Heal the Soul...
I made a conscious decision.
Instead of focusing in on
those things that I perceived to be her part in contributing to the demise
of our marriage, I am going to remember all that was good about what we
had shared together for so very long.
I had to face it. I
screwed up. My part in it all was so rediculously stupid. What
in the world was I thinking? Losing her was something that should
never have happened. Yet, the reality is that I allowed things to
occur that should never have gone unchecked. Shame on her?
No, shame on me!
I've dealt with it.
I've gone back to the first
early impressions that were placed upon me by other men who had inadvertently
shackled me with their own misconceptions regarding primary
relationships. Facing the repressiveness of my own philosophical
and religious beliefs has been a journey
in itself. Instead of looking through a dirty glass window at my
ex-mate, I determined to face myself in the mirror of my own confusion.
The result was an eye-opening realization that I had let too many unresolved
issues get by me to add up to one reason after another as to why it all
came to an end.
How can two human beings who so
loved each other ever allow such things to happen? How is that we
came to a place where we found it impossible to ever find each other again?
So, I have chosen to exercise my
own demons. It was a good decision. In fact, it was the only
real option because it allowed me to resolve my own issues and replace
them with memories that are like a healing salve to my soul and may very
well sustain me for the rest of my life.
I had thought to write her a long
e-mail in which I would rationally and justifiably ennumerate where she
was to blame concerning the demise of our marriage. Instead, thanks
to a good counselor and several months of coming to terms with the realities
of my own shortcomings, I decided to work out a reasonable settlement concerning
the divorce suit and get on with my life.
Instead of retrobution, I chose
Each day, for the rest of my life,
I will remember....
Those wonderful moments when, as
teenagers, we talked on the phone for hours.
The winter's night I
held her in my arms while looking for a Christmas tree for her mother and
proposed to her. A light snow was falling on the ground as we pledged
ourselves to each other. I was eighteen-years-old.
As colleges students, we enjoyed
evening walks home and found little places where we could neck for awhile.
The Saturday evening as we
exchanged vows in our home church, promising that our love would last forever
"until death do us part." How I have realized since then, that I
still love her. I might have failed in regarding our relationship,
but I have never stopped loving her in my own way.
The birth of our children.
A little boy who has grown up to be a sweet, gentle natured man who would
never hurt anyone--who struggles with his own gentleness in a world which
rewards ruthless aggressiveness at any price.. A daughter whose difficulty
in explaining her decision to accept her own life choices resulted in her
father facing the demon of his own intollerance (and he could not be more
proud of her now), another son whose struggles to be accepted as a deeply
introspective individual who sees things beyond his years and, finally,
an adopted daughter who has had to face the consequences of her beginnings
and the loss of her adoptive parents love for one another. One should
never forget that divorce always involves more than two people.
Then there were all of those
good times--going out together, being a couple, sharing evenings together,
and so much more. I will never forget all of those special excursions
where we were alone together, enjoying long evenings when we shared one
assurance after another that we loved each other so very much.
The lifestyle we chose to
live together was too conservative and too narrow. Yet, we helped
so many others along the way. Being faithful in our church was something
we lived for with a passion next to none. Reaching out to others
together was what defined our shared determination to do something in our
lives that went far beyond who we were individually and even more so whatever
we could be together.
I will long remember those many
times when we discussed the happenings of our days and the beauty of a
clear evening sky filled with dots of light that shone through the numberless
night skies of our lives together.
The many Decembers where she
would decorate the house with all of the bright lights and colors of the
season have left me with wonderful memories shared by me and my children
as to years full of the best of what such days are meant ot truly represent.
I remember, too, the many
times we laughed, cried, and found meaning in life together.
Finally, there were our shared
histories and traditions--the love that we felt every day for so long--the
reason why I couldn't wait to get home after work to find her--to be with
her, if only to know that she was near.
How they linger. How they
ever flood my soul.
I am single
We have two lives; the one
we learn with and the one we live afterwards.