They seek me out, or so it seems. By text and by email, in the grocery store, and on the sidewalk in the center of town. Women going through divorce want to talk, and I’m a successful survivor who’s made it to the other side.
Funny, inside my daily life, it’s still a struggle. I’m still making compromises and picking battles, still robbing Peter to pay Paul. My boyfriend and I laugh at this divorced heroine status of sorts, because some days dealing with an ex-spouse is so complicated. You want to do the right thing, to be respectful, and handle yourself appropriately in front of your children. You want to feel good about how you deal with the other person during difficult situations. But all you want, once (okay,maybe twice), is really to just punch the opposition square in the face without witnesses or consequences.
But I guess if I stand outside my life, I look like I deal with it fairly well. I still live in what was my marital home, and is solely mine now. I’m engaged to a a man who I love very much, who manages to handle the side effects of my divorce with a respectful grace. I have three awesome kids who, despite the trauma that even the most uneventful divorces can inflict, appear to be pretty grounded. I work my ass off, but only because I have been blessed by not one, but two flexible, part-time abundant work opportunities.
Some days it sucks, and I whine because it’s not exactly what I signed up for. Nobody starts out wanting to get divorced. Some days I wish I didn’t have to work so hard, and I wish my kids didn’t have to explain their dual living situation to anyone. But, like my father used to say, it beats the alternative. I have indeed made it to the other side, have been given a clean slate and a fresh start. I might be tired and broke sometimes, but I have my freedom, my sanity, and my dignity. And I guess these other women standing outside my life, that know me, can see it, and hope to eventually get to this side, too.