When I got married, I made a committment to my wife: I committed to love her until death do us part. I planned to grow old together. I planned on working through any issues that we had. I figured with God on our side and if we depended on Him, we could have a successful, life-long marriage. I had decided that divorce would never be an option.
Yet in May of this year, my divorce was finalized. I remember how I felt when I got an email from her saying that she had received notification that the divorce was final: I actually got tears in my eyes. It’s not that I still wanted to be with my now ex-wife…it’s that I was just so sad to have gone through it all. I was sad that it didn’t work. I was sad that I had gone against everything that I had believed at one time. And I felt the sting of the finality of it all. I am now a divorced man…something I never thought I would be.
And things haven’t gone the way that I had hoped they would. Yeah, I know, I often see things through rose-colored glasses. I really believed that my ex and I would be able to have an adult friendship after the divorce. I really believed that she would know that I would never intentionally screw her. I really believed that we would be able to have as “normal” of a relationship as is possible for two people who are divorced. And…it just isn’t that way right now. I left almost 11 months ago and things are still very shaky between us. I hope that at some point in the future, all of those things that I believed will actually be true.
In no way do I regret getting divorced. It had to happen and probably should have happened years ago. I cannot be who she needs in a husband. We really should have never gotten married. In fact, I remember laying in bed on my honeymoon…just days after getting married…and thinking, “Oh my God, what have I done?” I really should not have married her in the first place. I should have been brave enough to listen to what my gut was saying…”you’re gay…this isn’t going to work!” But that’s all water under the bridge now. I am glad that our marriage is over because it was so unhealthy for so long. I don’t miss being in a relationship where I was so unhappy.
But…going through the divorce was still very painful. We were together for 20 years. We had kids together. We were part of the fabric of each other’s lives for nearly half of my life. And that is now over. You can’t go through that without feeling pain and loss. A part of me is dead and gone. And despite moving on into a new relationship, that old part of me will never be replaced because she was the one that I had kids with…and that is a very powerful emotional attachment.
For me, divorce has been very bittersweet. It’s been good and it’s been bad. It had to happen and it is still incredibly sad. I should have never gotten married to her…but we shared some very important years together. B i t t e r s w e e t.
Again, I am living with the tension and this is my reality.
And believe it or not, I will always love her.