The last decade started with me having a pretty ‘textbook’ story – got engaged in January and then married on labour day weekend. YAY! My ‘life’ was on track! My new family was myself and my husband. We had our ‘first families’ backing us up 110%.
Two years later we became three with a healthy baby. First grandchild on both sides – do you hear the grandparental joy? On the weekend of the 5th wedding anniversary – things took a 180 degree turn. The stresses of my heart defect diagnosis, financial, career and parental responsibilities seemed to pile up and I was advised that my husband wasn’t ‘feelin’ it anymore’ in the marriage.
WHOA! Back up the truck here! He committed to marriage right? We wanted the same things right? Yes, and Yes. BUT – it changed for him. He wanted to be a Dad only, not a husband to me. Wow – it took me a while to wrap my head around that one.
The next couple of years, I redefined myself and my FAMILY. I redefined my beliefs. When I was married and then became a parent, I had a pretty narrow view of what was a ‘real’ family. Being dumped by someone that I still loved at the time and then coming to realize that the family dynamic that I ACTUALLY had vs. what I thought I ‘should’ - wasn’t giving me peace and happiness anyway.
My family is anyone that I love, trust AND it’s reciprocal. My parents are around daily for babysitting, my daughter loves spending time with me. My friends have always seen qualities in me I couldn’t see. I’ve loved again and learned I need to know and ask for what I need, not just love someone. I don’t have the self-talk anymore that questions whether my daughter and I are a ‘real’ family, whether we’re ‘less than’ or we’re a ‘broken’ family. We’re not. We’re complete. We’re loving and open and ready for whatever and whomever life throws our way. We’ve got our act together man!
The decade finished for me that my divorce paperwork is complete! For me, that’s ALL good. I have someone to co-parent with, I love my daughter and she loves me. I couldn’t ask for more.