**Go ahead and press play below**
I get it now.
I get the reason why women stay.
The stay because it is easier. They stay because it is less painful. They stay because it's safe. They stay because they value the memories, the history, the dream, the financial security, or their family values, more than they value themselves.
That was me 3 weeks ago. Staying. Trying. Sacrificing. I thought that was hard. Daily, I had to struggle with my morals and the example I was setting for my children. I would constantly weigh what I had vs. what I deserve. I exhausted myself trying to be everything to a man who didn't value me or respect me. I endlessly tried to make him happy, when really, he will never be happy. He won't be happy with me, or with HER. He won't be happy until he gets happy with himself, and that's going to take a lot of work and time.
I thought all of that was hard.
This is hard. Divorce is hard. It brings out the worst in people. It's hard to take the high road. It's hard to "be the bigger person." Nothing about this is easy.
He wants to argue over finances and money. I want to argue over hurt and pain and shattered dreams. I want an apology that covers more ground than "I fucked up" and "I made bad choices." I want to know that SHE is worth sacrificing 15 years, 2 girls' futures, and everything we worked for. And, he can't tell me that, because he knows it's not. Nothing is worth this mess....not a million dollars, or a girl in spandex. Nothing.
We spew hatred back and forth like wildfire. What a thin line it is between love and hate...and then one of us extends the olive branch and all is fine, for a moment, until something else reignites the fury. The gap used to be a crack...now it is a crater; the distance between our hearts is large and vast. This. is. hard. How did we get here? This is really the road to happiness? Whose?
There are days where I feel good. I feel like a weight has been lifted. I feel at peace with where I am, and who I am. And more importantly, what I stand for matches up with how I live my life. I no longer have to care about what is going on behind my back. I no longer have to snoop and spy and look for evidence. The only people I need to care about now are the people who truly love me. I can now find joy in going to a 3 year old's birthday party and not worry that he is wishing he were somewhere else. I can live in the moment with my girls and give them 100% of me. I no longer have to divide my time between saving my marriage and paying attention to my kids.
And there are nights like last night...at 10 pm there were 3 girls crying atop my king size bed. Crying because change is hard. Crying for what is lost and different. There were sniffles, and tissues, and then good night kisses. There were 3 heads all lined up on the pillows....three bodies, all touching, all needing comfort and security. 3 people just trying to make it through the night. 3 people clinging to each other because we are all we have.
And then there are days like today...I woke up to Chloe's puffy cheeks on my pillow and I actually thought for a moment that I am the most blessed woman in the world, because I get to wake up to my kids; little girls who ran in and out of the bathroom, giggling, while I flicked water on them from my shower. There is still joy in life.
And then we piled in the car and headed out on our 1 hour commute. And, I had to tell the camp counselor about our issues at home. "Camdyn's daddy is no longer living with us. We've been a little bit of an emotional wreck. Camdyn still needs to follow the rules like everyone else, she just might need a hug or some emotional support after being reprimanded." Her response, "I'm so sorry. I was wondering what was going on with her. Thanks for letting us know." Somehow I choked out that entire explanation without crying. Somehow.
This is the Aftermath of an affair. Devastation that far exceeds the "jollies" of two selfish individuals. There are no winners. There are consequences. There are tears...but there is also hope.
There is hope and a new dream, in the light of the aftermath.
To Every Parent With a Spirited Child
1 month ago