Monday, September 2, 2013

Twenty-five Years

I am sitting here, the evening before my 25th wedding anniversary, and can’t help but feel that I have been cheated out of the dream I had when I stood before the 200+ guests at my wedding. Part of that dream was celebrating my silver wedding anniversary. That is the time when life is supposed to start getting easier, having proven the testing of love and raised the children. In my marriage, we had talked of celebrating with a long-anticipated trip. Instead, we are in the midst of mediating our divorce and closing the books on 25 years of marriage. There is no celebration.

I am angry at not having a marriage that could endure and survive the trials of betrayal and addiction. I am painfully sad that I am now alone and facing this new season as a single person, just when I was preparing for the opportunities that open up when there are no children at home. And now with singleness I am fearful that I do not have the resources to maintain my current lifestyle. Yes, there is an absence of joy. It is a time to grieve my loss and to feel and express these emotions. Divorce is difficult, painful, death, and loss.

I wrestle with reconciling that indeed all these things are valid, and yet, I will still press onward and hold onto the new dream that this next season offers hope beyond what today’s feelings hold. They can co-exist. The devastation of divorce does not last forever. It will not always be this painful, but today it just is. I realize it isn’t missing the person as much as allowing the death of the dream of growing old together; of being together until death do us part. I hadn’t realized that the death that do us part was the death of the marriage. My friend Erma reminded me that although the marriage failed, neither of us are failures. Sometimes it still feels like that, though. This is why I keep pressing onward in The Healing Lane. I have needed to accept that I alone cannot save a marriage. I alone am not responsible for making the marriage work. I alone am not responsible for the success or failure of it.

Sometimes being in The Lane is about acknowledging that I am powerless over the circumstances, yet have complete control over how I handle it. Handling it doesn’t imply that I have to do it perfectly or with a smile or without help. Staying in The Lane can simply be done by being honest and authentic with myself and my emotions and thoughts as they become apparent to me. I am doing just that, partially by sharing them here. It still is my 25th wedding anniversary whether it is celebrated or not; I need to acknowledge that.

1 comment:

  1. re: "I hadn’t realized that the death that do us part was the death of the marriage."
    This was so true in my life, Sara. I was married as a teenager and I clearly remember how I felt after my marriage of 18 years ended in divorce. It was as if half of my body had been amputated. (I mean no offense to those who have suffered an actual amputation.) I felt a phantom pain every day for months. My use of the word "WE" was eliminated and it stung me. I had shared the years of 18-36 with my husband and we had grown up together. With divorce, he was gone and I was now on my own. There were dark times and my heart felt physically broken and in much pain, but a new life is possible. New memories, new growth and an acknowledgement of all the possibilities laying ahead of me showed up. I saw that I had so many opportunities to make good choices for myself. Your blog helps me look back on myself and my experience with divorce in a healthy way. Thanks!
    Your friend,