Many of you are aware that Bill and I are in the process of divorcing. Others of you may not have known. Divorce is a hard thing. It certainly isn't something you want to think about or can foresee at the beginning of your relationship, but we all know that it happens. For lots of reasons. For me, it's happened twice. I could let that fact sour me on relationships or cause me to be bitter, but I don't choose to take that route.
I sat down and explained to my big kids that sometimes couples change over the course of a relationship. Or maybe circumstances change. Certainly feelings may change. I told them that no one can ever predict the changes, but what's important is how the people deal with those changes and whether the difficulties that arise from them can be overcome. I explained that it takes good communication, a mutual respect and a deep feeling of emotional connection in order to deal with problems in a healthy way. I told them that there are many dynamics at play in a relationship and that sometimes in order to be your best self, it makes sense to move on. I also assured them that healthy relationships do exist, despite the fact that their father and I have both been through two divorces.
Despite the fact that I initiated the divorce, there are still a range of emotions that I'm going through. What may surprise some folks is that they're not all negative. Here are just a few that come to mind.
Of course, there is sadness. At the beginning of our relationship, I had never loved anyone as intensely as I loved Bill. It's sad to realize that I'm not able to get back to those positive feelings again. When that realization came, I knew it was time to move on. Some people are able to bring back the love. Maybe they never really lost it. It is a sad thing to realize you no longer have those strong feelings. I do have positive regard for Bill as a father. I want to be sure to make that clear. And it is incredibly sad to know that he and Brady will not be able to see each other every day. We are working together to be sure that Brady sees and talks to both of his parents as much as possible.
That leads to the next emotion, the ever-present guilt. I do feel guilty that because of my decision Brady will be missing his dad some days and that Bill will be missing him. However, the tension and unhappiness that is in this home when we live together is not good for anyone. I feel guilty that I may be setting a poor example for my kids about what relationships are. But I hope I'm showing them how important it is to stand up for yourself and to take charge of your own life, not to let the emotions and actions of another impact how you look at life and how you feel about yourself.
It's scary bein on your own and being responsible for meeting the needs of three children. As a freelance writer, the work may not always be there, and I need to be incredibly self-directed in order to be sure that I'm making enough to get by. As a woman dealing with ADD, depression and anxiety, that can be even more of a struggle.
Despite the fear and the struggle, I know I need to take control of my life again and to move forward in a way that's congruent with my values and my personality. Moving on through the fear is a very empowering thing, as is knowing your happiness is in your own hands. I am an intelligent woman with the talent and resources to succeed. Being on my own has given me more motivation to use my skills and to take charge of my career, my relationships and my life in general.
Above all else, I am hopeful. I'm hopeful that I can live the life I choose to live in a way that is authentic to me. I hope that I can create a home for my children that is their sanctuary, a place to recharge that is warm and welcoming. No more stress and conflict. I hope that I can venture out in the world and meet new people, have new experiences. I want that for my children, as well. I have many hopes.
While there are some negative emotions surrounding my divorce, overall, I feel positive about things. I know I made the decision that needed to be made and that had been a long time coming. It was time. It's now time to move forward positively, and I am so looking forward to doing just that!