Monday, February 06, 2006

Me-Me #17 -- The Divorce

Welcome to another installment of, "Come ON -- tell me the WHOLE story!" otherwise known as "I love to talk about myself", and in a pinch can be called Me-Me Monday. The object of the game is to refer to your 101 Things About Me list, pick one of your "things" and tell the whole sordid tale. If you're new and you want to grab this image for your post, see the instructions at the end of my post.

17. I divorced my first husband at 32. (Cory, I think this is the last week I'll be picking on you.)

The decision to get divorced does not happen overnight. It also doesn't happen cognitively, as far as I'm concerned. I think the thought creeps up on you slowly, the realization that you've already left hits you like a ton of bricks. But the decision is not instantaneously made with a list of pros and cons. At least it wasn't for me.

That's not to say there wasn't a "OH!" moment, but the actual variables materialized over time.

When my bestest friend in the whole wide world found his whole wide world crashing down around him, he took all of us along for the ride. His once boring, suddenly painfully exciting life was a rollercoaster we all screamed through. We suffered as he suffered, clung to hope as he clung to hope, and rejoiced during his brief moments of respite. One of his respites was a saving grace called Divorce Source. Tired of telling us every day "how things are going" or what he was "feeling," he just gave us the link and allowed us to follow his saga from the privacy of our own homes.

Even though I was not divorced, even though I hadn't given it much conscious thought, I got sucked into this world where people were trying to get over a bad marriage and move on to a better phase of their life. I wanted to talk to them, but I didn't want my friend to know, so I created a fake persona in order to communicate with the other women -- to hear their stories, and perhaps to assure myself that quite possibly I would be able to move on myself... one day.

It was here at Divorce Source that I struck up a friendship with a man who was looking for some support to help him cope with the sudden departure of his wife and child. The friendship blossomed so quickly that it knocked me off my feet. In six weeks' time, we met. Somewhere before that, I knew I was in love with him. In six months' time the friendship blossomed into romance and wilted into impossibility.

I hid it for awhile, then finally confessed it to my husband. I still wasn't sure I wanted out of the marriage because we had kids to think of. My husband agreed to open our marriage to the possibility of polyamory. The problem was, polyamory means you love more than one person, but I hadn't loved my husband "that way" in a long damned time.

When the relationship ended, one would think that I would have settled back into my marriage. Yet now more than before, it was not a possibility. I had tasted real romance, passion, fire, and mature adult love. In the ten years since I married young, I had grown up and pinpointed what it was that I wanted in a lover and partner. I knew that having tasted it, I could never go back to living without it.

My husband was seeing a therapist and he begged me to go see him too. The nights of crying and sleeplessness were taking their toll on me. I agreed to go, and it was here that the "OH" moment happened. My husband's therapist asked me, "Could you be happier than you are now?" I answered an immediate, emphatic, "YES." He told me I had already made my decision, I just needed someone to help me admit it.

I moved out two weeks later, filed and signed a few weeks after that, and became a single woman just nine months after logging on to Divorce Source. It happened I never ever saw it coming, though it was coming for many many years.

I just want to add, for anyone that wonders, Cory and I have talked about my Me-Mes of late. He told me that he had read them, and that it's okay. He said, "we're good." He said seeing it like this makes everything make more sense. Who knew when I started telling these stories that I'd finally be able to say the things I should have said to him four years ago.

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