THIS MONTH I will have been divorced for as long as I was married. It’s a strange milestone to meet and not one that I ever thought I would include in my life time. When I got married I honestly thought it would be for life. I married because for the first time in a relationship with a man, I couldn’t imagine not having him in my life for ever. I truly believed we would be together for the rest of our lives. We’d get married, have children, bring them up together, and then hang out together after the kids left home. We’d enjoy our grandchildren eventually and still be madly in love in our eighties. Oh how wrong I was.
There are many things that lead to the demise of my marriage, infidelity being one of them. I know there are many arguments against monogamy, that humans aren’t designed for it and that there are bound to be attractions to others along the way but for me, being cheated on was gut wrenching. There were other things of course, there always are and so 9 years in, it was over.
I was left on my own, the blame placed squarely at my feet (despite my never straying). I had two little girls to bring up and I was pretty scared. I felt very alone and I didn’t know how I was going to survive. Those first few months were awful and try as I might I couldn’t get over the separation and pending divorce. It was at this time I learned that there are some things you just have to go through. You can’t skate over it, you can’t skirt around it, you just have to go through it.
Relying heavily on my family and forcing myself to make new friends I began to think of a life that was very different to the one I had planned. I managed to survive the yawning chasm left behind when my children went away every second weekend. I started to do things with friends and a year later I was divorced and I felt relieved to be so.
I enrolled in a university course and started to make more new friends. My children started school, one after the next and suddenly I was finished my course and donning a cap and gown and graduating. Then I had a job and was working in my new career which I loved and still love. I discovered on line communities and met some amazing women, one of whom got me writing again. I started dating and laughing and enjoying life again in a way I hadn’t in a very long time. I realised how lonely I had been whilst I was married and how I could be alone and be fulfilled now I was single again.
I made some amazing friends, younger and older and I learned many new things. I fell in serious like with someone who broke my heart just a little bit and yet I was okay and moved on. I got a promotion and moved into a new house in a new area and started meeting new people who have enhanced my life in so many ways.
And so this month, I reached a milestone I never thought I would and I’m okay with that, more than okay, I’m happy in a life I didn’t plan but I feel lucky to have. A strange milestone indeed.