Friday, August 15, 2008

Just Get on With It

Once again I heard those words. I received an email from a well-meaning friend who was advising me about a recent incident with my ex wife. He gave me a full page of his views on what my next step should be, including advice on seeing less of my daughter for a brief period to facilitate some other changes. Then he inserted the ubiquitous "your marriage is over, move on from the hurt".
Really? My marriage is over??? You don't say! I hardly noticed! In the 8 plus years I've been divorced, I have learned that this is what people say when they really weren't listening. I AM over the dissolution of my marriage. My ex wife is married and I sincerely wish her the best. I pray for her marriage and her husband and their success and happiness. And I mean it when I pray it. However, the divorce still has long ranging effects and I still feel them. I wanted to write back to this well meaning friend and ask him to pick one of his kids and choose to not see them except for one day a week. I wanted to ask him to select 80% of his daughters life and just miss it. For the life of me I will never understand why people think they could possibly understand what this feels like. This is pain like few have ever known, I promise you. If you've had a spouse or a child DIE, that is closer to what divorced people go through. Except there is no closure because they keep coming back to life every week when you see them again, and in many ways that makes it hurt all the more.
My well-meaning friend just doesn't understand that, as members of my family didn't, other friends didn't, co workers, customers, etc. In fact, I've become increasingly suspicious of people who seem so able to compartmentalize the pain of divorce and just live as if nothing ever happened. Let me recap for those of you not getting it...I lost my wife, I see my daughter, the pride of my life, once a week and every other weekend. The very thing that defined me as a man, husband ship and fatherhood has been removed or limited. The reason I got out of bed every morning and dragged myself to a job I never really liked is no longer a part of my life. I had everything I needed to be happy and it's now gone or at least severely restricted.
You're right...what's not to move on from?? I shouldn't have ever missed a beat!
Now just shut up!

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