Once upon a time, I dreamed that I would meet a prince, get married, have a closet full of yoga pants to accommodate the ass stretched out by birthing a litter of babies, and live sleepily ever after.
Truth be told, reality wasn’t too far off. I did meet a great guy who ran away with me to Las Vegas to get married, and I owned two pairs of yoga pants; one for each kid I had.
This past year, the bliss-induced glow around my marriage turned a patina of green as I made a harsh realization; I was miserable.
I don’t know how it happened. At first, I thought it was stress or exhaustion and I told myself if I could just pull myself together I would be all right. But, even after 8 hours of sleep and rage-releasing exercise, the ennui remained.
Day after day, I tried to “be better;” to be the wife and mother I thought I should be. And every day, I failed. I snapped at the kids, argued with my husband, and yelled at the dogs when I tripped over them.
I was in full twat-mode and barreling down a self-destructive path.
When I found myself acting like single 22-year-old, going out of town and waking up with a raging hangover, I knew things had to change. This was not the normal behavior of a 36-year-old mother of two.
I turned the bright light of introspection on myself and damn near seared my retinas out of my head.
The perfect guy, was actually absent emotionally from our marriage, and I, in turn, closed myself off from him.
I felt relegated to the same status as the kids; something to pat on the head and be told how good they are.
Instead of playing the part of kid number 3, I decided to slap on my big girl pants and separate from my husband.
Holy sweet baby Jesus in a tree. That was a horrible time. I questioned every choice I made, sure I was screwing my kids up and ruining my life.
Should I save up for therapy, or incarcerate them now, Minority Report-style, because they would end up serial killers with the trauma I inflicted?
Eventually, after spending a soul-stripping amount of time with myself, I knew I made the right choice.
I was lighter than I had been in months, because I no longer felt the weight of indecision pinning me down.
I also began to realize that I was a pretty amazing woman who deserved to have someone ever-present in their life.
Is everything perfect now that I am divorced? No. My kids are still sad that I am not married to their father, and truth be told, there are times when I am too. Not because I think I should still be with him, but because I grieve for the 26-year-old bride who thought she was running away with her prince to live happily ever after.
I wish to God she had been right. Even though she wasn’t, I am ok with that, because her 36-year-old self is more than capable of taking care of everything.