Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Demise of a Marriage, PartII....

I always wanted to be a wife and a mother. Growing up, I never said I wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer, I wanted to be a mommy and a wife. I like taking care of people and I love family. I chose a hard road. I got pregnant when I was 20 years old with a man I had known for a month. My X turned out to be a wonderful person, I got very lucky, but the road was hard.

Bump in the road #1 - he was divorced and had a child from that marriage that he paid a shit-load of child support for but wasn't allowed to see. We moved in together right away and started planning to get married a month after the baby was due. We worked so well together as a team and he got along with my parents fabulously. They treated him like another son.

Bump in the road #2 - when I was 5 months pregnant with our first son, we found out my X had a 3 year old son in his home town. The woman had told him she had an abortion, but never did. She never planned on contacting him, but she was on welfare and they told her she would lose her benefits if they couldn't find the father. There was a year of court papers and paternity tests before we found out for sure it was his son. And then they hit us with $13,000 in back child support. He tried to sign over his parental rights, but the court wouldn't let him because the mother was still on welfare. The DA felt badly for him and offered a deal where we paid 1 lump sum of $6500 and they would forgive the rest of the arrears and we would just have to pay monthly. We ate our humble pie and went to my parents to borrow the money. They agreed, which relieved some of the stress, but here we were paying child support for 2 children we never saw and we now had our own child. I ended up getting a part-time job to offset the child support we paid. We were able to resolve all of the issues, but that wasn't until about 6 years into the marriage.

Bump in the road #3 - my X's career was in the entertainment industry! For those of you who don't know, it is probably the most unstable career on the planet. Over the course of our marriage he lost his job no less then 6 times. Now, none of these times were ever his fault, it was always budge cuts, or a change in the market, or a format flip. It was hard to be mad at him cause it really wasn't his fault, but he did choose to stay in the industry. In between good jobs, he would work odd jobs, but he always worked. The instability still constantly threw our family into crisis mode. It always felt like an uncomfortable roller coaster I couldn't get off.

The last straw - the final career move was out of state. This required leaving the area I had lived in all my life, all my friends, and all my family. But being the good wife and backbone of my family, we packed up and moved. A year later he was let go from that job. I was done! I had just finished my degree and started working myself. I couldn't handle the instability anymore. I had been the only glue holding the family together for 8 years and I was exhausted. My X was raised that if he simply went to work, he was fulfilling his duties. That wasn't enough for me. Everytime the bottom dropped out he would withdraw and I had to pick up the pieces, devise a plan, and execute it behind the scenes. It was exhausting!

When I decided to move forward with the divorce after a year and a half of separation, I met with a lawyer who was a cousin of a friend. I liked her a lot and we talked about what had happened and how my X and I live near each other and get along great. She asked the question I think a lot of people were wondering...."If you guys like each other so much, why are you divorcing?" And the answer is....we make a great team, we make great co-parents, I like him as a person and I think he's a fantastic father, but we don't make good married people. We never really had the passion, the fire that I think is necessary to sustain a long term marriage. I don't know why, we just didn't. And then you add all the pressures and obstacles that we faced and each one chipped away at whatever bond we did have until nothing was left. I know that we will continue to be good friends. Even through the process of the divorce, we don't fight and we always keep the kids first. I know it probably won't always be easy, but I respect him and I just want him to be happy and I believe he feels the same way about me.

**The Long of it**

No comments: