Tag Archives: divorce

A Promise Broken

I have never considered myself an abused woman. Though I will tell you my first husband was verbally abusive.

At first I was in love, he was a charmer.  I was taught to tell the truth but no one really talked about people who lie.

And for a period of time, I was afraid of him.

But that isn’t why I stayed.  I stayed because I had made a promise. A covenant.

I stayed until I worked out my fear of him.  I stayed until I was clear that when I left it would be for good.  No going back.  I had left and returned a couple of times before we had kids.

The main reason I was able to leave is we had gotten to a point where he acknowledged his promise didn’t mean anything to him. He was out to get all he could from all he could.

When there is a breach of contract, there is no contract.

He didn’t want a divorce, he didn’t want to be a husband either.

I had to be strong enough to make my stand and do so in a way that he didn’t retaliate.  We split in the early 90’s.  During this time, several men killed their leaving spouse or their children.

I had to navigate these treacherous waters carefully so my children could have the life I wanted us to have.

I prayed, a lot.  I would not leave my husband for another man.  I was either going to be in this relationship or not. And on thinks I could have insisted on, I let him have so he wouldn’t think I ‘owed’ him.

The rocky road didn’t end with the divorce papers being signed. He was sporadic on seeing the kids and paying support.  I never knew when he’d show or what mood.  I dealt with each incident when it came.

In the mean time I raised the kids.  Took them to school, checked report cards, taught them life skills and when chores were done on Saturdays we got in the car to do something fun.

The life I wanted.

 

Forgive Them, Forgive You

A long time ago,  1991 in fact, I split with my first husband.  It was nasty and messy. I couldn’t live the way we were any longer.

The kids were 2, 4, and 6. I worked hard getting their lives more stable than it had been.  Mine, too.

One of the first things I did was forgive their dad.  I forgave myself as well.

Each time it got crazy, I wiped the slate clean with forgiveness.

It wasn’t until 2005 when he had his first heart attack that my first husband even wanted to be forgiven.

The first time he asked, I told him I forgave him.

But then he kept asking.  Every time we talked, he asked.  I finally told him I had forgiven him a long time ago and he didn’t have to keep asking.

I think he needed to forgive himself. Self forgiveness is as important as forgiving others.

I didn’t forgive him for him way back when in the midst of all the pain and crazy for him.  I did it for me and the kids.  I did it so we could live well.

And we did. And we do.

My prayer for you and yours is a life well lived.

 

 

Love vs Grace

I have a friend who has recently filed for divorce.  I don’t know the details but I know the next few months will be difficult.

I’ve been through three divorces. The first one when I was a junior in high school.  My parents had been unhappy for a long time.  Well all my life really.  My dad was mad at his dad.  That grandpa died before I was born.  I know very little of him and about the only picture I’ve seen is in my parent’s wedding album.

There were other issues as well.  Mom would call my sister and I into her room periodically and let us know we may be leaving Daddy if he didn’t stop drinking.  So when she asked me what I thought that last time, I told her, “You’ve been talking about this for years, go ahead and do it.”  She did.

And life fell apart.

I married a few years later.  Way too young.  However, I have children I love dearly and wouldn’t change a thing.  Well, yes, I am sorry there wasn’t more I could do for the kids dad.

Love wasn’t enough.  He had demons he was fighting and it destroyed everything.  I stayed as long as I could but there came a day I knew none of would be OK if I didn’t get myself and the kids out.

I didn’t hate him, I just didn’t love him anymore.  Or more correctly, the most loving thing I could do was to leave.

Then another marriage.  That failed.

And now Gpa has dementia.

Love hasn’t been able to change a thing.

It hasn’t been enough.

And I struggle with that.  I love all these people and it doesn’t make a difference.  Life is still hard.  Demons still torment.  Past anger still festering.  Things said and done that can’t be taken back.

But what is enough is grace.

Grace wipes the slate clean.  It’s a do over.  Let’s start fresh.

Create something new.  Better.

I want this for my friend.  Something to look forward to, a letting go of the baggage.