Over the holidays (a word which should be said quietly with a reverent "thank the Gods for them, thank the Gods they're over" possibly with some salt thrown over a shoulder for good measure, or some incense... or an exorcism) more than one relative of mine said some version of the following:
"You have the weirdest divorce I've ever seen."
I suppose it IS pretty weird compared to the divorce attorney commercials on the local "rock" station that promise (in a charming Southern accent**) to "protect men's assets and his ability to provide for his kids", or reality TV divorces that seem more like a Jerry Springer episode drawn out for
eight thousand years of shitty "entertainment" ages in the media.
There have been "friends" in both our lives since we separated who try desperately to convince us the other is going to make life hell, or take everything, or destroy the other person. On one hand, I pity the fuck out of those people. Really: the best they can do to support a friend going through a painful breakup is fill their mind with imagined threats?
On the other hand, their idea that a relationship has to sour over STUFF is disgusting to me. Just...disgusting.
The holidays themselves had some hard moments for me: winter solstice/Christmas/New Years is a natural time to reflect anyway, and there are things about him and us that I miss terribly. I expect I will always miss those things, and you know what? I SHOULD miss them. I lived with my to-be-ex-husband for twelve years. I have loved him for almost fifteen. Why would us divorcing make me suddenly hate him or not want the best for him? What an utterly asinine concept.
Yup, I recognize this makes me uncommon compared to the commonly-held stereotypes about splitting up. Is it really so awful to agree as a couple that regardless of our relationship status, deep down we still care about each other and don't want to see each other suffer more?
Hmm. Maybe my understanding but not empathizing with WHY people think it's weird is exactly what makes me weird. Honestly, I don't get it. But when it comes down to brass tacks (a phrase that baffles me because OW)...I don't much care, either. My own brand of easy-going mixed with stubborn ass makes the whole split pretty simple: I loved before, of course I still love. Others' discomfort with my loving AND divorcing isn't really my concern.
His and my well-being is my concern.
Things were done by both of us: we were together a long time, hurts happened. So did joys, mistakes, vacations, fights, make-ups, support, celebrations, and a couple dogs. I still hold to my original post about our separation last spring: badmouthing my ex-husband will earn you instant fuck-off points, and you'll slide down my "I respect you" scale pretty fast.
Because ex-husband doesn't equal ex-friend, much less enemy. I'm lucky to have had a decade with him in my life as a husband. I learned a lot about him, myself, and about what I think is really important in relationships. The end of our marriage doesn't change those things, and I intend to keep him in my life as my friend as long as he'd like me there.
*Never was a girl scout, so maybe there IS a badge for that?? If so, can I get one honorarily with my next shipment of Thin Mints, please?
**So seriously, is that accent fake to bring out "good ol' Southern family values" in those stupid commercials?