My husband (I’ll call him Pete) was three, entirely different people to me during three, completely different phases of our relationship: courtship, marriage and divorce. Now, as my post-marriage co-parent, he simply gets to be himself. I choose to adore the adorable things about Pete and without fanfare accept the rest. Because we are a team. We are raising our small son. This is the agreement we made. And I choose to live peacefully by it.
Are things between us unfair, even now? Sometimes. Did events transpire that were so painful that it was hard to imagine surviving them? Sure did. So why isn’t this a blog about how hurt I am, how wronged I’ve been?
Because that’s not the stand I take for love and family, healing and transformation. I honor heartbreak by striving to learn from it. I honor the people I have loved by looking to them as teachers. I strive to let go of what is leaving and hold my hands open to the absence, the opportunity.
I believe that we are shaped not by what happens to us in life but by the stories we tell about those experiences. Story, then, is the scaffolding on which we construct our lives—and even our selves. I loved my husband one way, and now I love him another way. I loved myself a certain way when I chose my husband. And in parting ways with him, I have learned to love myself far better than I ever imagined possible.
Our hearts are more flexible and our identities more fluid than we may realize. This is why I write. To reach beyond who I thought I could be. To keep my heart and eyes and arms open. To declare all of us welcome to the feast of our lives—especially when we are at our most hopeless and helpless.
Let’s do divorce with all the clarity, integrity and ferocity we can muster. Then get on with our incredible lives.
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