I, Alana, take you to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.”
You’d think wedding vows would be obsolete when you stop being married, but I’m starting to wonder …
When you have kids, you’re stuck with your ex until death finally parts you. Like Louis C.K says: “Divorce is forever! It really actually is. Marriage is for how long you can hack it. But divorce just gets stronger like a piece of oak. Nobody ever says ‘oh, my divorce is falling apart, it’s over, I can’t take it.'”
Co-parenting means pretty constant contact. Even when the kids grow up there are still weddings and all that jazz to co-attend.
And you’re definitely poorer post-divorce. All that freaking hard work building a comfortable life goes down the gurgler when you’re supporting two households instead of one.
In sickness and in health … who else do you call when your child stacks it off her scooter or gets the flu or wins the school talent quest with her skipping routine (like the youngest did last week)?
And then there’s the really tricky part … the love bit. Cherishing might be a bridge too far, but love is like oxygen – love is a many splendoured thing – love lifts us up where we belong! All you need is love!
Hmmmm … that sounds like I’ve taken waaaaaay too many happy pills. But letting bad feelings fester doesn’t help you heal. It doesn’t help your kids heal either.
That’s why I’ve choosen to love my ex, despite what he did. There’s enough hate in the world, it doesn’t need any more. He was my best friend for 23 years and I can still remember the good, not just the bad.
OK, there’s a part of me that DESPISES him. But I’ve put that ugliness in a box. Occasionally it escapes and outrage starts exploding inside me again. So I chase it back into that box and shut the lid tight.
I look at the way bitterness destroys families and I want to avoid that fate.
My kids seem happy and well-adjusted – that’s my reward for rising above, despite how tough it’s been.
I’m driving to my in-laws’ family Christmas today. It feels important to spend this first Christmas together, for the sake of the kids … not to mention giving me the chance to have a good chinwag with everyone and watch all the cousins have bulk fun together.
Time and tide may erode my resolve to choose a gentler divorce path, but right now I’m living by the code …
“Hate the sin, love the sinner.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Song of the day: Frankie Goes To Hollywood “War”
And, for good measure, “When 2 tribes go to war”