I have always been a proponent that things don’t matter. What you acquire in life is not nearly as important as who you become and what you experience. I have had to let go of things so many times with my divorces and moves. I have had to teach myself that it truly doesn’t matter.
However, today I had an experience that hit me rather hard.
I have been missing my kids a little bit this holiday. I do enjoy my time without them and need a chance to recoup, but I miss them. Especially if they are gone longer than 2 days. So, today I stopped by their dad’s house to give them a quick hug as I was in the area. This is something that I never ever do. He always picks them up and brings them home. We only live a mile from each other.
During our divorce, he fought me over everything. EVERYTHING. It got to the point the we had to bifurcate our divorce which means that we had our divorce legally finalized without having the financials taken care of. The financials were taken care of a year later. The whole process took three years and cost tens of thousands of dollars.
He wanted the things. He wanted the house and what was in it. I wanted custody of the kids. Up to that point, he had been a very non involved father. He didn’t go to parent teacher conferences. He didn’t take the kids for overnight visits for three years after our separation. He was not involved in the upkeep of the house. I did 95% of it. I painted the walls. I placed the furniture. I chose the decor. I did all of this with him fighting me the entire way. He didn’t want me spending money. He had to approve all the decor. He was critical of my choices. Getting work done on the house was like pulling teeth.
I pulled up into his driveway, my old driveway, and saw how pretty the house looked. This was the house that I spent hours every day looking for on my own and with my realtor. He was not involved in the process of finding the house. This was my dream house.
The grass was cut, the outside lanterns were changed out and are now modern and sleek. There was the bench that I painted out front and the flowers that I planted in the pots out in front. I walked up the steps that I had walked up so many times before and rang the doorbell.
My children came to the door and were thrilled to see me. I was invited into the foyer. I haven’t stepped foot in that house in 2 1/2 years. I looked in on the beautiful hardwood floors that I had picked out and had paid someone to lay. I noticed the decorations that I had left at the house, still hanging in the same spots that I had left them.
To my left, a living room, with beautiful new couches and end tables. There were new decorations as well as a rug, lamps and pictures. Beyond that was the dining room. I had left him the nice dining room set and took the one that belonged to my grandfather. The nice set that I had left behind had been moved to the kitchen and a GORGEOUS new dining room set had taken its place.
He asked me in to see the tree that they were putting up. I walked up the three steps to the kitchen and looked around. It was amazing. New countertops. New decor. New appliances. New window treatments. Another brand new sofa set furnished the giant family room next to the kitchen. Above the fireplace was a brand new giant flat screen TV… with the box on the floor next to it. To the side of the room was a candle holder that I thought I had with me, but apparently somehow left behind.
New new new new new.
I fought so hard for what I had. I fought to get custody of my children. He wasn’t an involved parent and I needed to have the rights to be able to govern their medical and school care without interference from their dad. I fought to keep the house. I wanted to stay there with my children. However he was not going to let go of that and I knew that a trial over the house would be extremely costly and I could always get another home. I loved my home. I loved my neighborhood. I loved my ward. I loved my friends.
I found myself being so angry for the first time in a very long time. I was angry at him for fighting me over the house. I was angry at him for living in a giant 4000 sq ft house with 6 bedrooms that he lives in completely alone except for when the kids come. I, on the other hand, rented a tiny apartment for a year. Now I am renting another house. At the end of Spring I will be moving once again.
I am angry at him for having his house so beautifully decorated. When we were married, everything was a fight. Every single item that was purchased was an issue. I had to search the deals and buy on the DL so that I didn’t get in trouble for spending money.
I was angry at him for having beautiful furnishing and brand new tv sets. Yes, he pays child support, but it is an issue every single time. He pays his child support and that is it! He does nothing more. Because of some of the needs of our children, they cost more than the average child. I will occasionally ask him to get the boys hair cut or to purchase a school supply. Nope. Never. He will being them back saying, “I think their hair looks ok” or “Sorry, money is tight right now.” Ok… I work as a teacher! He makes well into six figures. I got angry that he nickel and dimes me for every last thing and never offers to help.
I got angry that when one of the children has a doctor appointment, I am the one that takes them. I am the one that takes off a day of work when the kids are sick. I am the one that makes all of the arrangements to have their needs taken care of, pick up their medications, stay in touch with their teachers.
I was mad at my second husband. I was mad that he promised me a joyful marriage to the point that I left so many of my things behind wanting to start new memories with him. I was angry at him for losing his job a couple of months into our marriage and not once trying to find a new one. I got mad at him that I was the one who was forced to go back to work in order to take care of our family where he had no desire to do so.
I was mad that of all the men in the entire world, I chose those two. I had put my faith in two men to be kind, provide, love me, want to take care of me, and quite honestly want to be with me.
I know that divorce is not one sided and that I certainly have my issues and my faults, but I can say with all honesty, that I tried so hard to make a good life for both of those men. I put my heart, soul and mind on the line for them wanting to love them and wanting to be a good partner, wife, mother and friend. I wanted to show them how much I loved them and how much I wanted to be with them.
No, I wasn’t perfect. I tried so hard though. For it to blow up in my face so blatantly is shocking to me. I have one ex husband that sees how hard I work to provide for his children. I ask for help on a few things and he can’t because he is financially strapped, yet his home is filled with gorgeous brand new furnishings. He wears new clothes. He drives a new car.
I have another ex husband who decided that I wasn’t the woman that he wanted to be with. No matter how hard I loved him and tried to please him and make our life and our marriage better, it wasn’t enough. Now he is back to living the life he wanted with the girl he wanted and I am left picking up the broken pieces of my life.
How is that fair? How is it fair that they can come in, talking so sweetly and beautifully telling me how much I was loved, adored and cherished, and almost instantaneously, have it turn to disaster. They are both living very comfy lifestyles doing what they want and not having a care in the world. I am left working hard to make sure that I can keep this little family sane and whole.
I know this is an angry post. I didn’t expect these emotions right now. I have tried to hard to be strong and today it just isn’t working for me.