Tuesday, November 10, 2009
And the blogging begins...
Here they are. Man and woman starting out on life's adventure together. Hope springs eternal, plans are made, excitement and fun are their future. At least, that was the plan...
After four years of marriage, a BEAUTIFUL baby girl (Miss M), and a ton of marriage counseling, endless arguing, painful misunderstanding, and continual hurt feelings, our dreams diverged. We realized that no longer could we try to fit a square peg in a round hole. We were VERY different parents & partners who view(ed) family in incompatible ways that just couldn't be resolved. Everyone has their way of looking at life and that has to be respected (unless it's harmful to others), but sometimes different points of view just can't coexist.
You'll learn from my postings over time that time with family is my number one priority. It's how I was raised and I don't know any different. Give me the winning lottery ticket or more time with Miss M, I'll take my little one every time. My Ex, however, views family as important, but values her freedom and individuality above all. Given her childhood, which I won't go into, I understand why but that didn't change the fact that I was spending evenings and weekends alone with my daughter. A single daddy even before divorce. Love Miss M as I may, I longed for the togetherness of all three of us. The battle ensued and while there was some compromise, it became apparent over time that neither of us willing to compromise to the point that would make the other comfortable. With anger, resentment, some sadness, and lots of fear, I set in motion the wheels of divorce.
Now a year later, with more ugly battles under my belt than I care to admit, I've come to the realization that this is my life. It can be a battle of frustration and wills, lasting pain and anger, tit for tat, or it can become something more: a lesson for spiritual growth and acceptance, forgiveness (but not necessarily approval), and an opportunity to create the family dynamic I've always wanted, even if it's just Miss M and me. The blogs of some of you other single parents have helped me get there for which I'm immensely grateful.
In reading this, maybe you've been through this process and are thinking "Great! That's the place my life changed. Good for you!!!" Or maybe you're just starting this process and thinking "How in the world do I forgive that a-hole I divorced for all the things they did to me and for ruining my dream?" I will tell you that I vacilate between the two every day. It takes WORK EVERY DAY. Every morning I have to reset my head through prayer and meditation. I now realize that I have a choice in life and I'm much more comfortable in my skin when I focus on MY stuff, I keep MY side of the street clean, and I do my best to create MY version of the life I want both when I have and when I don't have Miss M. Notice in that sentence that there's no mention of HER (the EX). Regardless of my desire for her to have been a) a more attentive mother b) faithful to me during our marriage c) a person with conflict resolution skills that I understand, and d) a person who can accept responsibility for her own actions without blaming others, those things are COMPLETELY OUT OF MY CONTROL. I couldn't control those things while we were married so what makes me think I can do it now?
None of this means that I agree with how the Ex lives her life, many of the decisions she makes both with and without regard to Miss M, or that I wouldn't make things different IF I could. But I can't. So if I focus on the good I have now, I know I'll view those past problems (or any future ones) as bumps in the road, not mountains.
So here's the question of the day for all of us: What have I done today to help me work toward fogiving the past and living in the present? It's a goal to strive for in the marathon of life, right? You will surly hear me have bad days here, but if I can't share it with the people who understand this the most, where can I share it with right? We're in it together.