Irreverent Mama

Thursday, March 01, 2007

"You'll be surprised."

That's what people told me when I was going through my divorce. "You can hardly wait for this to be over, but when it's over and the dust has settled, you'll be surprised at what you'll miss."

These were well-meaning people, trying to prepare me for the post-divorce life that they were afraid would only let me down, not being the unmitigated, unceasing bliss I was anticipating.

They were well-meaning, so I didn't swear. I didn't laugh in their faces. I didn't even roll my eyes. I might have sneered, just a wee bit.

This was not a celebrity-style, marry-on-a-whim, divorce because you don't like the way he chews his Cheerios. We'd been together twelve years, we'd produced three kids. I was committed to the death-do-us-part, otherwise I would have left at least six years previous. Did the marriage counselling. Changed some habits.

But when the divorce finally - finally! - happened, what would I miss?

- running short of money, having to scrimp on groceries because the man spent $800, or a thousand, or $1200 that month on... what? (Not drugs. Gambling? His girlfriend? Buying rounds for the entire office? I never did find out.) Just gone, frittered away, vanished forever...

- the fact that my husband had a girlfriend? Who would phone him at our home whenever I was out. (How do I know? I bugged the phone. Heh. Rather exciting and nasty, that, except their conversations were booooorrrring. So very, very boring.)

- being sneered at whenever I spoke, or have him simply walk out of the room mid-sentence?

- being thumped around? the black eyes? the bruises in less conspicuous spots?

- waking with a start of fear when he came in at 3 in the morning. Would he slip quietly into bed? Would he be in a foul mood and wake me to start a fight? Would he (and this would be the least attractive option) want sex?

Or maybe I'd miss the dirty socks left laying about the bedroom, the toilet seat left up, the newspapers strewn all over the living room and the used kleenex on every seat in the house? Or his terrible driving and the weekly speeding and/or parking tickets? His barking at the children?

Yes. So much to miss. How can people say such drivel? It's been 12 or so years, and all I feel when I consider the marriage that was, is relief.

Heady with relief, I am.

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  • Nobody told me I'd miss things, but they did question the wisdom of setting out on life on my own with 2 small kids....they thought perhaps I was exaggerating the hell...your marriage sounds very much like mine was.

    So yes - heady relief.

    By Blogger Wendz, at 7:03 a.m.  

  • I wish my mother had left my father so many years ago. You did the best thing ever for your kids by leaving him.

    By Blogger candace, at 11:45 a.m.  

  • The beauty is, now he can fritter away all the money he likes--keeping in mind of course that the lost dollars will be his; the portion that he's bound by law to give to you for raising the children, well that's another story.

    I am amazed and impressed by your courage. And feel free to tell the people who say you're making a mistake to F-off.

    By the way, I was raised properly, I never leave the seat up.

    By Blogger Denguy, at 9:51 p.m.  

  • wendz - I was surprised by those people. I think what they were trying to do was have me consider my options with greater care. I suspect those who said these things didn't realize how bad the marriage really was.

    But I did!

    Candace - Thank you. I know it. And, happily, so do the kids!

    Denguy - and fritter he does. However, although I'm careful to ensure at the bank that there are funds to cover his cheques when I take them in, the funds have almost always been there. We had a significant hiccup this summer - and now he's paying child support out of his line of credit! Seems his money management hasn't gotten any better over the years...

    I didn't feel courageous at the time. It took me far too long to leave that marriage. The catalyst was my oldest daughter: I was NOT going to train her to be the victim of abuse (as I was trained in my childhood).

    (People don't suggest I've made a mistake any more. This was an old memory.)

    Oh, and good on you re: the toilet seat! (My son, too. I am a pround mama.)

    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 7:24 a.m.  

  • I have a good friend going through a divorce right now. It is hard to know what to say but I do my best to show support and respect that she knows what is best. I have no doubt she, like you, would have left earlier but she stuck it out and tried to make it better. I have the greatest admiration for both decisions.

    It is shocking what people will say because the feel the need to say something or don't think about how what they say will make you feel.
    I have trained myself to say little or to say "I don't know what to say" when I don't.

    By Blogger Lisa b, at 12:37 p.m.  

  • I've always found that it's while you still think you're in a relationship, but slowly realise that what you feel most strongly is a kind of nostalgia for the things that attracted you in the first place but have somehow, inexplicably, gradually gone missing - like laughter, loving, and so on - that in fact it's all over. A friend of mine had a kind of reverse hen night the moment her decree absolut came through. A toast to freedom! And new beginnings. So here's a belated cheers!

    By Blogger f:lux, at 3:31 p.m.  

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