As I’ve mentioned before, this blog is not just an art blog, it’s a life blog. The best way to describe it is a lifestyle blog, but I’m no Martha Stewart, so don’t expect elaborate tutorials on how to make the perfect quiche or decoupaging a 19th century chair in the most perfect way. What I can offer is the perspective of a 30-something year old woman, trying to navigate through this world the best way I know how, and sharing my experiences, my ideas, my artwork, and what I’ve learned along the way. I promised myself that I would be more honest about my life and my experiences, because I hope that someone else will read this and maybe relate to what I’ve shared. So with that said, I’ve decided to try out a new feature called “Let’s Get Personal Fridays.” I’m open to ideas for a new title, but the point is to talk brutally honest about a subject that has been or is on my mind. This week, it’s in regards to something I haven’t talked about in a few years…my divorce.
Long before I met my Angel and had my little Angel, I was in a relationship with my college sweetheart for 8 years. It was my first serious relationship ever, and it escalated into something passionate very quickly, a brand new experience for 18 year old me. However, with that passion came drama. And a lot of it. Talking and explaining everything that made us so NOT good for each other would take up enough space to fill a novel. At some point, I began using the excuse of “passion” being the reason why we fought all of the time, where I felt uncomfortable just being in same room with him, why I didn’t care where he was, or who he was with when he disappeared for days at a time without telling me. Because when were together and we weren’t fighting, things were great. So when he asked me to marry him, I said yes with little hesitation. But there was hesitation. Deep down, I knew things weren’t right.
Planning a big wedding was stressful. My family and some of my friends weren’t too fond of the idea, because they were not fond of him. But they were supportive because they wanted to be there for me. The closer the date got, the weirder I felt. Our fights stayed intense, if not worse than before. We got into a huge argument the day we got our marriage license (over what I can’t remember now), so bad that I tore the license up and threw it out the window. We ended up having to go back and get another copy. But despite it all, I chalked it up to pre-wedding jitters. When the day finally came, it went off without a hitch. We went on our honeymoon, came home, and started married life.
One thing I learned quickly: marriage doesn’t change a person. He quickly reverted back to old habits and behaviors, no more than a month after we got married. He spent more and more time away, our fights got worse, and after barely a year and a half, he moved out of our apartment and out of state (we were living in Virginia, he went back to New York). Shortly thereafter, I found out in a pretty dramatic way that he had been cheating on me with several different women, since nearly the beginning of our relationship. That was the final straw. I sold everything in our apartment, packed up my clothes, my art supplies, and my two cats, and moved back to my father’s house in New York.
I started divorce proceedings immediately after getting settled in NY. During that time, I had to communicate with him, but thankfully since we didn’t have any children, money, or assets together, the communication was minimal. Despite a few rough spots and cruel words, he made the divorce easy and it was finalized in a few months, and we haven’t spoken since. During that time, I met my Angel, with whom I was honest with from the very beginning in regards to the situation (one day I will write about how we met, he deserves his own post). Six months later, I found out I was pregnant with little Angel, and the rest is history.
So what have I learned from the whole experience? Quite a lot. All marriages start with the best of intentions, but sadly, they don’t always turn out that way. That’s why I kind of bristle when people say, “I want my first my marriage to be my only marriage.” Well, that’s what I wanted too, but it didn’t happen. And I felt like a failure and ashamed because of that. Also because I was so young when it happened. I was married at 26 and divorced by 28. Divorce was supposed to be for 40 somethings! But as time went by, I realized something…staying with someone who makes it abundantly clear that they do not want to be with you, is a bad idea. Why stay in a situation where you are both clearly unhappy? Is marriage supposed to be forever, even when you are both miserable? My ex showed me many signs over the years that although he loved me, he didn’t want to be committed to me. He didn’t want to be a husband or a father. Why he proposed is a mystery to this day. But a long-lasting, “forever” marriage requires both people to be in it one hundred percent, and to have the same common goals to make the marriage work, despite any adversities that may come your way. A big diamond and a fancy wedding won’t do that, only the husband and wife can do that. I also don’t put all the blame on my ex. There’s things I could have done differently and behaviors that I could corrected to make things easier. That’s why I don’t really like hearing any bad words spoken about him, and prefer that he is not spoken about at all. ALL of the blame of our demise isn’t just on him. The most positive outcome of the whole situation is that I am able to apply these lessons to my relationship with Angel. In fact, I feel more solid, committed to, and more partnered to him than I ever did in any relationship I’ve been in.
Angel and I have talked about marriage many times, but we haven’t really committed to a date or time frame right now. Our main focus has been dealing with a lot of life changes (like moving, new jobs, career changes, etc) and raising our son. I’m sure people have their opinions and questions, but one great thing about getting older, you care less about things like that. And I do know that with my second marriage will be the better marriage, because I am with someone who wants to be committed to me, and because of that, everything else slowly fell into place. People see and feel our love, and are truly happy for us, something I’ve never experienced. It’s a beautiful thing. One day we will make it official in the eyes of God and the state, but for right now, we enjoy the wonderful partnership that we have. I know I have found my best friend for life, and life has taught me that that means more than any fancy wedding or shiny ring ever could.