A Practical Guide to Navigating Former and Future Feelings and Realities
Getting divorced was one of the greatest things to happen to me in my entire adult life. My ex is happily rid of me and ensconced in a new life. My heart yearns for his happiness, as it always did, perhaps more even, than I worry about my own joy. The difference now being, I am not in any way responsible but very supportive from a distance. Probably should be slightly more of a distance, but that’s always been a challenge for me. I am somewhat prone to smothering or completely ignoring people. Hot or Cold. On or Off. I struggle with finding a middle ground, but it is a struggle I am making huge strides at winning.
Since the split, I am healthy, happy, completely unmedicated and I certainly don’t crawl into a bottle or engage in destructive behaviours with the vim and vigour I once did. The days of seeking validation and running in circles at sonic speeds trying to fix everything and anything that fell into my vision are long put to rest. These days life is about true and fulfilling connections, healthy boundaries, incredible gratitude, and modeling health and grace not chaos and confusion to my kids and step kids.
Ouch that was a lot, it get’s lighter from here though so stick with me.
From day dot of hooking up with my future husband Damon he was briefed in no uncertain terms on the fact that my first husband was, despite being a royal pain in the ass at times, probably the only person on this planet I truly trusted and would almost certainly remain my BFF. This is generally not a problem, although occasionally confounds him as I tolerate basically zero shit from absolutely everyone else these days, and Phteven is free to be his most authentic (and occasionally infuriating) self, whatever that may look like at any given time.
Writing that down, I really am filled with gratitude for both my former and future husbands. They could not be more different and I am so proud of them both and honoured to be watching their journeys into our autumn years. They are both incredible dads, brilliant in their own way, and they are both inherently kind in a world where there are far too many unkind people doing unkind things.
Damon is the only person I ever dated that my kids met in that capacity (their mom’s boyfriend). He has been made to feel incredibly welcome and is infinitely appreciated for his domestic and interpersonal skills. Even Phteven is loath to find much fault in the spunky former monk. I had a moment of cold feet thinking about the permanence of matrimony and was quickly told to pull my head out and “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” Even Stephen is well aware that I am punching above my weight in so many ways. Damon is a dedicated and doting darling who I’ve been sharing my life with for nearly three years now. Husband number two (in July we hope) is an emotionally intelligent, fiercely loyal, delightfully dedicated and doting partner indeed. Husband number one is often available to advise husband number two how to navigate the storms I can conjure up, as despite being in a pretty great space, I am still occasionally a hair trigger away from being a traumatized and terrified child conditioned to self-destruct.
The three of us talk nearly every day. Here’s the actual toolkit we use to keep communication open and flowing. We have a DM chat group called “eating our feelings” that has been our main go-to point since the three of us headed off on the Star Trek Cruise through the Caribbean back in February 2020.
Why is this so important? Because it is a transparent and purpose built chanel for the three of us to discuss everything from childcare to challenges, from finances to feelings, from work to jerks at work, we discuss it all. Damon and Steve are the very picture of calm objectivity and planning and I bounce in and out of the chat asking questions that have already been answered and injecting my typical(ly annoying) Dee cheer and cheekiness to grown up conversations.
Communication is key. The lack of clear communication and grace was a huge factor in our marriage ending. Nobody is squarely to blame, we just lost each other a long time ago and no matter how we tried we could not find our way back. Steve and Dee were a freakishly strange but formidably effective force for change and hope. We were also a bit of a mess for most of our time together. Moving forward toward a future where we are all connected but heading in our own empowered directions, this little thread has been one of the single most important places online or IRL I exist.
This week, as a birthday gift, my beloved and brilliant ex-husband has undertaken the mammoth task of getting us officially divorced, as it is one of only two things I asked for from anyone anywhere for my 44thbirthday. He’s been rushing around finding yellow paper to print on, organizing a JP to witness, and generally being a small but perfectly formed document printing machine.
Marrying Steve was absolutely one of the best things and greatest adventures anyone on earth could ever possibly imagine being a part of. He is a royal pain in the ass, a grumpy misanthrope and is, was and will forever be one of my most favourite people on this planet. I am very excited to be flitting off to Rarotonga in July where he will happily hand my crazy cute self over to Damon to have and hold forever, as equals who are ferociously focused on working on ourselves, our farm, family, fulfilling friendships and our relationship. Contentment eludes us if we don’t do the work, but it is so fucking worth the effort.
I gotta say, I feel like I am simultaneously living the happiest fathomable ending and beginning, and it’s all coming in fairly hot on the heels of a horrific state of anxiety and depression that nearly ended me.
Wherever you are in your journey, I hope you can glean a bit of hope to keep going and fight for your freedom and demand a life that you feel safe and seen in. Life is not meant to be perfect, but it can be so much better if you cancel shit that is toxic or you’re done with, and you focus on a future that is full of possibility and hope. Boundaries, communication, and knowing you are truly fucking worthy of comfort, clarity and clear communication. You get it. You get those good things because you deserve them.
We all do.
So much Love and thank you so much for reading.