chey being

Seeing what's inside again.


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Who would you be if?

With human contact, comes human stories.  Between personal friends and posts made here, I have listened to and read about some difficult journeys in regards to relationships over the last few months.  Some are right-smack in the middle of it.  Some are in the bitter or angry stage.  For some, time has dulled the pain but a gaping hole still remains.  And some have made it through to the other side stronger than ever before.   I have been hyper-aware to the many stories, probably because of my own personal struggles (and the problems of others seem to make us not feel alone), and they keep leading me to ponder the question, “Who would you be if?”  Who would you be if you never had divorced?  Who would you be if your spouse had not left you?  Who would you be if you were never hurt or betrayed?  The questions and scenarios are endless.

I know from my own personal experience, I can not imagine who I would be without some of my gut-wrenching moments.  Each moment has lead me to who I am now and I hope that is a more “enlightened” individual.  I put quotes around enlightened, because I don’t want anyone to think solely on religious or spiritual terms.  I also mean evolved, aware…wiser.  I know who I am more and more.  My trials and tribulations have sent me down paths that I never knew existed.  Does that mean I encourage these hard moments?  I instinctively say no, of course not, but I am not entirely sure.  I wish more that I could move through the challenging moments more easily.   I am a worry-wart and sensitive and little things to big things weigh on my mind heavily.  That is a trait I still need to work on and life may keep putting challenges in front of me until I figure that out.

My second husband went through a horrible divorce years before we met.  His wife left him and he took it very very hard.  I asked him if he wishes he never had divorced (A load question you may think, but he knew I truly wanted a honest answer and would not have minded if he said yes).  He told me that he is happier now but for the fact he did not see his children as much.  He realized that the relationship he had was not really that great and worth all the heartache he caused himself.  He knew now that he took his wife and life for granted.  He learned that you can not have a happy family and put work before everyone else.  He learned how to better communicate.  He learned how to improve on some of his own personality traits that caused problems within relationships.  He learned how to adapt his business and work to the easier, freer lifestyle he wanted.  None of this may have ever happened.

If I had not divorced, I never would have went back to school (One of the greatest experiences of my life!).  I may never have started writing.  I never would have moved out of the house that depressed me.  I never would have felt truly scared and alone.  I never would have felt my own strength, determination and courage.  I never would have learned how to respect my spouse.  I never would have learned to be less judgmental.  I never would have helped all the people I plan to help (This is my future self talking).  These are just a few, but the personal experiences and the personal growth that have taken place, are immeasurable.  I don’t want to take anything back.  I don’t want to take back a boyfriend dumping me.  I don’t want to take back the experiences of people hurting me.  What I want to take back are the months and months of sadness that I put myself through.  What I want to take back are the wasted hours, minutes, and seconds I spent wondering how I was going to get through it.  People come and people go.  I can embrace that now.  I can appreciate that now for what it is and not what I want it to be.  There is always something grander on the horizon, if I keep my eyes open and choose to see it.  For me, that is one thing I know without a doubt.

Who will you allow yourself to be when one trail ends?  Do you begin a new trail or keep retracing your steps?

 


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Slim pickin’s?

I was recently having a conversation with an older friend of mine.  She is married and divorced twice, with grown children.  After a few glasses of wine, she began talking about her life and recent dating experiences.  I briefly told her my story and how my second marriage is…well, questionable.  Her first reaction was sadness, but then she said to me, “Don’t do that, it is slim pickin’s out there, let me tell you!”  Now I understand that it may be normal to offer support to avoid divorce, but to offer discouragement based on “slim pickin’s,” blew my mind. I just sort of stared at her for a moment, a little dumbfounded.  A waiter came by just then and told us that the place had closed a half hour ago, so I never had the chance to respond to her.

During my drive home, I pondered her sentiments.  Was she suggesting that a bad marriage is better than no marriage?  Did she mean that even if I left a bad marriage, that I would only end up in another bad marriage because there are no “good” men left?  I know many people who stay in unhappy marriages because they fear being alone. I never really understood this mentality.  I would rather be alone with at least the opportunity for a happy marriage or relationship.  If you can not be happy by yourself and with yourself, than why would anyone else be happy with you?

My first reaction was to take offense.  That was her experience and I certainly didn’t believe that would be my experience.  But what if it was.  Would I be OK?  Honestly, yes, I would be OK.  However, it would be hard to say yes, not knowing two factors:

1.  I don’t do online dating.  Which means, I would probably not go through as many “bad” dates as my friend.  I tried the online dating for about 5 seconds after my first marriage and it scared the hell out of me.  So, I decided that when the time was right, the next one would find me.  I wasn’t going to worry about it.  (For those who have had great success with online dating, I am happy for you.  I don’t condone it; it just isn’t for me. I’m not the dating kind.  I think I’m the marrying kind.  Although, I didn’t realize to be the marrying kind, you have to be the divorcing kind as well??  hmm)

2.  I am not one to be alone.  I just know that I will never be alone.  I can’t really tell you how I know this, but I do.

Knowing these two factors, I feel confident that I would not have my friend’s experience.  Did it still scare me just a bit?  Yes.  It did.


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Married. Divorced. Re-married. Divorced?

Married.  Divorced.  Re-married.  Divorced?  Is that the next chapter in my life?  The new check-box that will define me on a personal history form?  Really?  I call BS!  This is not what I had planned.  This was supposed to be the LAST time. Ya know….like grow old together and walk off into the sunset.  I must be completely insane  to even think about this or maybe the insanity lies in staying in a relationship that isn’t working.  Some days I am totally furious with the universe and some days I feel like someone has finally turned on the lights.   I flow in and out of these moments like the ocean waves and I’m starting to get sea sick.

When I divorced years ago, I had a plan.  I wanted to date.  To date…a lot!  No, no, no, not other people, MYSELF!  I wanted to learn about myself.  Who was I?  Who did I want to be?  What do I want?  What don’t I want?  I have to say, I had a lot of fun dates!  If I were to write a rule book on what NOT to do after a divorce, it would be:  Rule #1  Do Not Date Other People.  After divorce, no matter whose decision, we are reeling from so many emotions, hurt, anger, guilt…ugh!  How can we possibly be good for anyone else?  Don’t do it!  Save yourself!  Sorry, I’m getting off topic.  I had refused to go through the process of dating to find the next “one.”  So, I firmly believed that the next person I was to marry was going to come along into my life when I was ready, and things were going to fall naturally into place.

And so they did.

Exactly as I had envisioned.

Until now.

I don’t think life was done teaching me lessons and I don’t think life appreciated me getting off my desired path. Some (such as my ex-husband) may think that because a marriage didn’t last until death do us part, that it was a mistake.  I wholeheartedly disagree with this opinion.  I would not change a thing.  I have grown so much as a person and, along with the heartache, I have had a lot of good times.  Perhaps, this is what I needed.  I wish I would have taken the easier road at times, but I am still learning to read the signs.

Some days I feel I can not possibly endure the process again.  It took EVERYTHING I had to go through a divorce the first time.  How can the universe expect me to survive another?  That’s like surviving being lost at sea…twice!  I do believe however, that I have created this mess and there is a strange peace in knowing that.  I am learning to let life unfold while keeping my eye on the final destination, because life will get us there, just not always the way we plan.