Saturday, August 29, 2009

Last Saturday was the 2nd anniversary of my divorce being final.

I have some mixed feelings about that because I am a believing member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints which teaches the importance of marriage and the family. Marriage is a sacred covenant ordained of God. Prophets affirm and I do believe that.

Few things delight me more than seeing a couple who obviously love and care for each other - especially an older couple. A good marriage is a most wonderful thing.

It was however, a prayerful decision and I did counsel with my spiritual leader, who while he could not suggest or encourage divorce in any way, was certainly understanding and supportive. I know that when I made the decision, I felt lighter in body, mind and spirit. I believe that was a confirmation that I was doing the right thing for myself and my family, possibly even for Glen.

What a good two years it has been!

Peace in my home. Indescribable the difference! There had been almost no "fighting," but there was constant stress, tension and unhappiness. Our home is happy and peaceful now.

I am no longer constantly fearful for my finances. No more threatening calls and letters. No credit card debt, interest and late payment charges. No more threat of another bankruptcy. I can pay my bills and handle minor emergencies. Thanks in good part, of course, to a regular decent support payment in addition to my own earnings. Glen has been good about that. Now I am in charge of my finances and while I could be better, I am no longer sabotaged by secret spending.

We have made great strides in decluttering and organizing our home- although much remains to be done. As we have progressed in physically improving our living environment, I have come to better realize how depressed and crippled each of us had been. How dreary and unhappy our emotional and spiritual environment had been. Somehow I had thought for years that my children were not so deeply effected by the unhappiness in my marriage. Wishful thinking!

Yet, I cannot say I regret waiting as long as I did, either. For myself alone (and setting aside religious guilt whether justified or not) I would have been free possibly decades before, but I wanted my children and I was counseled to try to stay until they were raised. I didn't quite manage that. Yet, I think that the divorce probably happened at the right time for me.

I am so grateful for the years I had at home with my children. How I miss that now! Even though Benjamin, my only remaining minor, is a very good, competent, self-reliant young man, I miss being an at home mother for him and I know that sometimes he does, too. This was something we had discussed beforehand. We agreed, and still do, that the price of divorce - my having to leave the home to become a working mother was worth the benefits of the divorce. It is still a hard thing.

If I have any bitterness, it is about the loss of time with my children and home. That and that our home needs major repairs that I do not know have money, time, energy or knowledge for - what needs doing most urgently and how to go about it. Not that G had any interest or was any good at that, but while married I could tell myself that it was primarily his responsibility. Ok, and that I am beginning my working "career" at an age others are retiring.

I have found that the burden of being solely responsible for the house (I was always pretty much solely responsible for the children) feels pretty heavy sometimes. On the other hand, humble though it is, I feel a thrill of joy and pride knowing this is MY house (ok mine and my boys!) where we really finally feel at home. That Ben, at least, feels the same is evident in the incredible work he has done around here - sorting, cleaning, organizing, creating order, wrestling the front yard into some semblance of decent shape - all self-motivated and self-directed. Ben inspires and encourages me.

I knew that one of my children battles depression. I have since learned that others have and do. It is partly my failure as a mother, probably partly genetic, I think part of it is the spiritual battle between what we think we ought to be and what we perceive ourselves to be, and probably other factors. The divorce has helped some of us a great deal. For some, it came too late.

Almost daily, I feel a thrill of joy and think "This is MY home!" (I hope the guys feel some of that, too, - it is not an exclusive selfish "my" but a feeling free of oppression) or when making a decision, "I can do what I want to do." -meaning, I can do what I think best and not worry about someone overriding or undercutting me.

A good marriage is a great thing, a bit of heaven, a godly thing. A troubled marriage is worth trying to save. I say this by way of counsel to the unhappily married: Seek help and try to work it out. I do believe that two righteous people who truly live the gospel and honor covenants can create a happy marriage despite differences in taste, style, background, etc.

To the still single: choose very carefully. Being single is better (way better!) than being unhappily married. There is no loneliness like being trapped in a bad relationship and unhappy home.

If I could do it over, would I NOT marry Glen? Only if I could be guaranteed my children. - Or guaranteed that they would have better lives without me. ;( - I would go through a great deal to have my wonderful children, their spouses and their children. Maybe it would have been better for THEM to have been born to different homes, but they have been and are some of the greatest blessings and joys to my life.

I battle the feeling that it is a sin to say so, but, What a blessing my divorce has been in my life!


  1. a very candid assessment. Good for you and your strength and desires for good. Sounds like you made a very difficult decision with a lot of maturity, to me.

    this is Muum, me and the comment thing a ma jig aren't 'working together well' today!