Once upon a time, I met a boy and I fell head over heels in love. It was a grand thing. The best thing that had ever happened to me at 21 years of age. I fell in love and got married and had two precious girls and my life was pretty much exactly what I had always wanted. None of that was a lie.
Nick and I had our share of troubles. Our marriage was tested repeatedly and we always managed to come out stronger for it.
This time our marriage fell apart.
I am not proud of that. At all. I meant my vows with every beat of my heart and I still take them very seriously. Coming to terms with the fact that there is literally no way for me to keep my vows and remain married has taken me a long time to wrap my mind around. I have come to believe that I am keeping my vows by getting divorced. I promised one day in October 13 years ago to love Nick no matter the bend in the road. I never imagined this bend. But it has come. And Nick feels that in order for him to feel fulfilled and happy, he has to move on to another life, another wife, another family. It's a hard thing to accept-quite frankly, it hurts like hell, in a way that I don't think can be imagined unless you are living through it-but I think that I'm finally to a place where I not only can accept that this is happening, I can embrace it as a part of my own journey.
This is not an overnight revelation. This has taken months and months of grief and sadness and journaling to get to. Writing and writing and writing for myself. Acknowledging millions of feelings and emotions and barely keeping my head above water. This has been the hardest thing I've ever lived through. It has been like grieving a death in which there is no body.
Nick and I have always promised that if, for any reason, we ever split up, we would remain friends. I have every intention of keeping that promise, but my goodness, is it hard. Putting aside my own feelings is so difficult and sometimes it is just more than I can manage. I'm doing much better, and Nick and I are for the most part able to be friendly, but we are a long way from the ideal in my head of how this eventually should work. And I just don't know how long that will take. My ideal includes each of us having a partner who makes us a better person.
I finally am beginning to feel that this has happened so that someone can come into my and the girls lives that-once we meet him-we just can't imagine how we ever got along without him. And if we are lucky enough that he comes with a child or children, we will wonder how our family seemed complete before. That is my prayer.
This journey has been hard. It has dwarfed any difficult circumstance that I've come up against in the past. It has been hard to watch my children go through this and not be able to magically fix it. Betsy has had to learn that she can be very angry and disappointed in someone and still love them. It is a lesson that I think that some adults have yet to learn.
But the three of us are stronger. We know that we are blessed beyond belief to have each other. Embracing this as an opportunity for our family to grow is not easy, but we are getting there. Step by step. Breath by breath. Prayer by prayer. We have rounded the bend in the road and we don't quite know what lies ahead. But I believe that it is something glorious. Something amazing. And something that we won't want to live without, once we finally get there.