Also, I had been right smack dab in the middle of reading "The Good Divorce" for class. I had to write a paper, and this book, by Constance Ahrons was on the list. Since I pride myself on being "The Best Damn Ex Wife Ever" I figured it would be a worthwhile read. As it turns out, I've been living The Good Divorce for quite some time now. Pat me and Ex on the back....we've done a bang up job!
Here's the irony....
Tuesday night, I was reading the chapter on what happens when you or your ex decides to remarry and what that does to your "binuclear family" (a fancy term for two households that function with one family goal in mind.)
Wednesday...the other dangling shoe finally dropped. Ex is marrying his girlfriend. I guess I should stand up and applaud this decision. She's pregnant with his baby girl, and them being married is a lot better than E growing up wondering why his daddy lives with his little sister's mommy but never married her. So way to go Ex....good decision...or something like that.
So here's the thing. I blog in general about my divorce quite frequently, but I tend to shy away from specifics. There are a multitude of reasons for this, the biggest of which is that the specifics really no longer matter. I think it's safe to say that both Ex and I feel that our marriage pretty much bitch slapped us both, and we're better off now than we were two years ago.
Here's the part that does matter...in short story exchange of course. Picture this....
It's last week. We are outside my current office, and Ex has just brought E to me. This is an unusual occurrence in the middle of the week. E has been having a harder time transitioning between parents lately, so we try to give him time to adjust when pick ups and drop offs occur. During the time that E is adjusting, Ex and I are having friendly conversation as always. In the middle of me telling a (riveting) story, Ex grabs me by the face, looks entirely too concerned for my comfort, gets right up with me nose to nose and says,
"What the hell...are you ok?"
Me: Ummm yeah....what are you doing?
Him: Your eyes are yellow. The whites of your eyes are yellow!
(At this point I know exactly why he's freaking out. And I mean...HE WAS FREAKING OUT. His grandmother died several years ago of liver cancer, and just before she was diagnosed she became jaundiced to the point that no one could ignore it, and the whites of her eyes yellowed. She passed away very quickly.)
Me: Really? Oh wow...(now I'm all nervous)
Him: Oh wait....no they aren't....it's my shirt. (He's wearing a CANARY yellow shirt.)
Me: (indignantly) You scared me to death!
Him: Well you SCARED THE SHIT OUT OF ME!
And then we did a big "E in the middle" bear hug, and he got in his truck and left.
We love each other. We have loved each other for 12 years now. It never mattered who we were with, whether or not we were married, or at what point we were at in our divorce. Getting divorced doesn't kill that kind of love. Ending your marriage, moving out of your house, setting up a split schedule, having a new baby, or marrying someone else....none of that is big enough to end our relationship. We are family. We will always be family. And we will always love each other like family.
Were we meant to be married? I can safely say no. We were stupid kids who thought love was enough and learned the hard way that it most definitely isn't. Were we meant to share a home, and finances, and goals, and dreams? No. Both of us are happier now that we are not trying to intertwine our lifestyles and our desires. They didn't mesh. They didn't work. WE didn't work. Were we meant to be husband and wife? Our situation speaks loudly and clearly...we weren't. That door has since been closed....and new doors have since been opened. Life has started over...and started differently. Were we meant to be a couple? No.
Love doesn't dry like ink on a divorce decree. And family isn't something you're born into...it's something you make. Our living situation has changed. Our love looks differently than it did a while back. We are picking up and moving on, and there are new people taking their places in the picture. Is it easy? No. Is it pretty? No. Is it comfortable? No.
Is it family?