Today I lost 220 pounds of dead weight: My divorce became final.
Now, now, I guess there’s no sense trashing the ex. He is a good dad. Well, as good a dad as he has the capability to be. He just was not a good husband for me. Perhaps he will be for another woman, but we are not a good fit. We are that couple that gets along better now than we did when we were married.
We worked everything out ahead of time, so the only thing I had to do in court was say that I agree to the terms of what we had already decided. It took all of 10 minutes in front of the judge. The judge who actually said, “Congratulations,” when it was over. I’m not really sure I want to be congratulated on this.
I’m not “celebrating.” It’s not really a happy occasion. I didn’t go into my marriage thinking it would end. I didn’t picture myself here, as an ex-wife with part-time custody. My lawyer even said as much, that when you plan your life and you think about the roles you will play, such as daughter/son, wife/husband, mother/father, you don’t consider how you will act as an “ex-spouse.” No one dreams of becoming an ex-wife.
But that is what I am now, an ex-wife. And I am ok with that. I played the wife role rather well, even given our differences. But I am much happier in this role. As a wife, I was starting to become resentful and bitter, feeling degraded. I catered to my husband’s every need. As an ex-wife, I am empowered and I am strong. I take care of me and I take care of my son, and I will do everything I can to protect him.
And, frankly, that’s why I left my marriage: to protect my son. I didn’t want him to grow up thinking it was OK to be controlled or to control; I didn’t want him to think it was OK to degrade women; I didn’t want him to grow up thinking a woman’s job was to wait on him. I didn’t want him to have a miserable mother (or a miserable father–though he was pretty happy with the way things were, see above: “catered to my husband’s every need”).
But now my son has a happy mother. He is a happy child. I think the ex is happier than he would admit. And if he’s not, well, I’m not willing to go back to being the woman I was in my marriage. I’m much happier being me. My son is happy, and that is what matters.
I am not celebrating my title change, but I am celebrating moving forward, closing a chapter in my life (as much as can, with daily interactions with the ex) and looking ahead.