My awesome cousin just got married. He deserves it and I hope he and his beautiful bride have a lifetime of happiness together. I hope their union is the opposite of my first one and much more similar to the one I have now. My hope is that they have the type of marriage that brings laughs and smiles and fun and comfortable respect to each other.
It took me surviving a failed marriage to realize that relationships aren’t supposed to be tragic. Yes, they’re hard work. But you aren’t supposed to cry. (Unless he pegs you with a Nurf gun ball on accident). Marriage isn’t supposed to make you second-guess who you are. (That’s what watching “I Am Cait” is for). It’s supposed to make you strive to be your best for your partner. It’s supposed to make you feel complete.
I never thought I would have a “mulligan” marriage. I don’t think anyone gets married thinking, “meh, we’ll give this a shot. Prolly won’t last long. Next time I think I’ll just go to the drive thru in Vegas”. You get married with hopes and dreams of your future together. You get married with plans for family and a lifetime of memories and having someone to grow old and fart in public with.
The moment that dream starts to fade you grab on to it with all you have and sacrifice yourself to bring it back. The worst feeling is knowing that someone you love doesn’t love you back. Divorce is tragic, crushing, devastating. It isn’t something that should be celebrated. Until…
He kicks you out of the house. With a baby. And takes his girlfriend to his graduation ceremony with his entire family to become a green beret instead of his wife and new baby after you’ve put your whole life on hold for 2 years so that he could follow his career. And draws out your divorce after promising not to just to twist the knife a little more. And owes you a shit ton of money. A person can only take so much before they break.
One day I stopped crying. One day I stopped expecting to get his love back. I stopped looking for that one word to say that would win him back. That was the day I felt free. And you bet your sweet ass that finally, a year and 2 months after I moved out, when our divorce was final, I celebrated. I cried happy tears. One of my best friends, Betsy, even had a Happy Divorce cake sent to my office. And I celebrated with everyone. You’d think I was retiring early after winning the lottery (because I promise I’d come back to the office for that and wouldn’t move to the beach immediately with my middle finger in the air).
I was like the Oprah of Divorce cake, “And YOU get a slice! And YOU get a slice! And YOU, never seen you before but YOU get a slice!” It was over. What began with such promise and hope had ended with no more feelings. I had no more hate for him. I had no more love for him. I was blessed with a beautiful daughter from that wretched union. I got the best of him. And now I’m still celebrating. I’m celebrating my freedom, my happiness, my self-esteem, my family that I so desperately wanted.
So, is divorce something to celebrate? No. It isn’t. But when your life is stolen from you and you get it back, THAT’S worth celebrating.