Divorce-A-Bration

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.

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Let’s Be Honest

Let’s be honest. Nope, nothing after that sentence. That’s my complete thought. Let’s just be honest. Imagine how much clearer relationships would be, directions would be, lives would be if we were all just honest. Know what you want, say what you want, mean what you say. How comforting would that be, to know that no ulterior motives lie behind a message. No repressed feelings to fester after years of pretending.

If I were honest with myself I would have uncovered my fear failure much earlier in life. My flight response when self-doubt engulfs me and I feel the false pressure of my impending doom. (I mean, I’m not Indiana Jones! Thank God, right!? I mean, those caves! Gross.) I would have followed my dream of acting. I would have gone to school for something more creative.

If I were completely honest with my babies I would tell them that sometimes I’m terrified. Sometimes I wonder why these beautiful little creatures are calling me mom and looking to ME for answers. I don’t even know what color I want my toe nails! When did I become mature enough to manage little lives??? Answer: I DON’T REMEMBER THAT EVEN HAPPENING! Run, littles. Run to safety! Those Cheeze It commercials with the immature cheese and the guy with the white coat, run to the white coat guy. Run to him, little ones. He’s mature. Not me!

If I were totally honest with myself and with my husband I would have probably told us both that I wasn’t entirely ready to get married when we did. I was terrified. I was too guarded. The sins of my past were still too raw. Buuut, then again, it kept things interesting, right, bae? You know, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and all that. We definitely climbed a mountain. You’re welcome, Love. I made you work for it. And, by default, I made us BOTH work for it. So, that plan backfired.

You see, I’m a recovering co-dependent. That means I’ve spent my ENTIRE life not being honest. I spent my whole existence doing everything I could to control things, to please people, to keep peace, to stay under the radar and always do the “good” thing. That’s how you act so that people you love love you back. That’s how you get people you love to stay. You do the “good” thing. You become perfect. Everyone wants perfect, right? In the words (or word) of Donald Trump: WRONG!

You know what gets people to stay? People. They have to decide to stay. I’m not capable of controlling that! You know what gets people to stay? Beautiful chaos. The mess. The adventure. Respect. Trust. Memories. Life.

Some people will stay, some won’t. Those who don’t, well, that’s a reflection on them. Not you. Do what you do. Sky dive, go to the beach without planning to, have a mimosa at 6am on a Sunday, scream FUCK when things get overwhelming. (just not in front of the babies. No one wants THAT call from school.) Guess what? God won’t send you to hell for it. He doesn’t care what time you drink! It’s prolly 5pm up there all the time. Have a good heart. Have good intentions. Set boundaries you’re comfortable with for every relationship you have. Know what you stand for and stick to those convictions. Don’t apologize for them. Respect the boundaries of others. And respect your own. And let’s be honest. Who do you need to be more honest with? What do you need to say?

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