When people say their proudest achievement is their children I never understand it. Since having one myself I think children are their own people from Day One and I can’t claim responsibility for the quirky, smart, engaging, independent, loving child she is.
I have so much I can directly say I caused to be proud of.
The first was turning a business around from making a significant loss to making a significant profit within one year. That took every ounce of me and was the first time I took on a project where there was a very real danger I could roundly fail.
The second is my divorce. Sitting in the restaurant with our daughter last night for her birthday with him being kind to me over my recent heart break I was struck to the core by the extraordinary relationship we have created. There is no part of me which is not delighted that his life has taken a turn for the better- that he has a lovely girlfriend and that our girl might have a step sister who she gets on extremely well with.
Given that half of all marriages end in divorce it is imperative that as a society we deal with it better than we do today. Yet if I look at the ingredients which made our separation so very smooth they are not common. Don’t assume by the way there was no pain. In the 4 years leading up to it , the counselling, the endless anxiety, there was a great deal of that.
So first we waited until each other was ready. That was the 4 years I was talking about. During that time we tried everything. I even agreed to move to Australia for a couple of years to please him as I knew he really wanted this. It was only when we could look at each other and know that this was the best it was going to be, and it wasn’t good enough , that we could make arrangements to part. At that point it was also important to us to keep our family intact so we told people in a powerful way. That they could get we were both fine and could still love them all as well as each other.
The second ingredient I’m sorry to say is money. We hated the idea of not having enough money for the luxuries – our joint bank account was part of what kept us together and for 3 years following our split I could not even afford a takeaway . Yet we had enough. Enough to afford a small place each and to live without moving to a lesser area.
The third is that both of us promised not to involve a lawyer. We did what WE felt was fair without being riled up by some solicitor whose goal is to get the best for one of you.
The final was our commitment to making it work which was unshakeable. I still trust him completely with any aspect of my life and this trust is critical in creating an amicable divorce. We both felt “Agape”(described in the previous entry) for each other too.
Divorce is not going away. The key to me is acceptance that marriage is the complete responsibility of both parties involved. Ideally both should chose to end it jointly. However, If as is all too often is the case, one choses to leave without the permission of the other, sadly the onus is on the one who has been left to accept their part of the responsibility for why that has happened. For only when we take responsibility is there a powerful place to chose: I am going to fight for this person and I may fail, if I do I will accept that I was too late; or I will let this person go with love.