Friday, March 21, 2008

Death of a Marriage: May 21, 1994 - March 20, 2008

The call came at around 2:00 this afternoon. The judge had signed my final divorce decree, and my marriage was over. Thirteen years, 9 months, 29 days from the day it began, it was over.

I wasn't quite sure how I would feel when it was final - oh, I had ideas, but nothing definite. Having had approximately nine hours to reflect, this is as good as it gets:

1) I am relieved. My marriage became a lie a long time before I was willing to admit it. I was working, giving, loving, and trying, while my partner - my husband who had promised to love and cherish me - was constantly pursuing his own interests and excluding the family we had created. My custody order is in place. I have primary custody of my children, and I am able to make most decisions concerning their care.

2) I am sad. It is a death. I had many dreams on the day I married. I had many dreams, not even very long ago, about what marriage meant. The dreams are officially dead today. And I'm okay with that. It was time. Yet I am still sad.

There are benchmark moments in this life. Our births are celebrated each year. Later anniversaries. We know exactly where we were the moment we found out our first child was coming into the world. We remember the moment we looked into that tiny face and saw the mystery of creation and the glory of God reflected in this tiny human face. Everyone remembers where they were when they heard the towers had been hit by airplanes. We remember our wedding day . . .

And I will choose to remember this day as the end of the beginning of my life. I am no longer naive. No longer a child. I know who I am, why I am on this planet, and what I must do. I will walk forward and do it.

And never again will I settle for anything less than everything that I deserve from someone who claims to love me. This is the lesson I have learned.

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