My divorce came through this week. The Decree Absolute. I had known it was on its way although it seems to have taken longer than expected. I am assuming this is due to Covid-19 as every other bloody thing seems to be these days.
The anticipation was horrible. I listened for the post arriving everyday wondering if this was the day I was going to have to deal with the realisation that it really was all over.
I can usually guess as to how I am going to feel about stuff, but not this.
I’m free! I’m free!… or?
On the one hand, I could imagine myself running to the door to grab the letter as fast as possible, ripping it open, reading it and then cartwheeling down the street, gin in one hand, old wedding dress on fire in the other hand screaming “Im free, I’m free!” My ex-husband is an utter knob so this scenario was a strong possibility in my mind (apart from the running and cartwheeling bit. I never run. Why on God’s green earth would I? I was amazing at cartwheels when i was ten but now i can hardly support my own body weight on my feet, never mind my hands.)
On the other hand, I had an image in my mind of me peeping round the corner to see if there were any official looking letters on the mat, tentatively opening the envelope, hands shaking and then dissolving into a wreck of a woman on the floor weeping and wailing like a 2 year old.
The day arrived. The letter was there.
‘This is the Decree Absolute’
I was in shock when i opened it and saw the words “This is the Decree Absolute” written in a massive font, bold and underlined. I just stood there and thought, “Alright mate, no need to rub it in.” Whoever wrote this had clearly never been divorced or else it might have read something along the lines of “I’m really sorry, I know this is shit, but this is the Decree Absolute. Here’s a cheque for 200 quid for you and your best mates to go out and get hammered.”
I felt slightly numb. I had officially become one of the 42% of marriages in England and Wales that fail and end in divorce.
Fail. I was a failure.
The tears flowed before it hit me
I cried. The tears flowed. I was sobbing over a man that irritated the fuck out of me on a daily basis. A man that is a pathetic father and was a crap husband. A man that I would love to see the back of if it weren’t for the kids.
This lasted for about an hour.
And then, like a bolt of lightning it hit me. I wasn’t grieving for this man. I was grieving for my marriage. The two things are separate, and in the five years we have been apart, I never realised it. I have been confused many times, wondering if and how I could still love him. But now I know. It was never a question of love. It was a question of grief over my marriage.
My marriage has been around for most of my life. My husband has not.
My marriage was my dream from being a little girl. It had been part of my plan from way back when. A marriage and a house with a few kids all dipped in sunshine and sparkling. And now it was gone. It didn’t belong to me anymore. It was over. Done.
I never expected that. To experience this clarity within seconds of opening the letter that I knew was coming anyway. Funny how the mind works isn’t it?
So an hour or so passed and after I had finished wiping tears and snot from my face, I looked in the mirror and had a word with the bloody awful, puffy looking face that stared back at me.
The first words that left my lips were “Fuck this”.
I am free. I am actually free of years of misery connected to this man. Ok, my marriage has ended but I have not failed. He failed. I have brought up two kids almost single handedly. Ok I have to do all the stuff that typically he may have done for me like put the bin out or cut the grass or get the car serviced, but shit woman, he was so crap I did all that anyway. Plus I don’t have to listen to him eat, or listen to him poo from the other room or put up with Match of the sodding, jumped up, day anymore.
I haven’t failed in the slightest. Now that I am free, I can get on with the next chapter. I am a single mum and I am happy. My marriage is over and I still may never run, or do cartwheels for that matter but I am amazing.
So three cheers to my divorce. I wish I had done it years ago.
If you are going through the same I wish you strength and love because yes, it’s shit. But do me a favour? Go to the mirror and have a word. You got this. We are all absofuckinglutely amazing!