My second son was recently married. People have asked me whether there were any ‘awkward moments’ due to the divorce. I would be lying if I said, ‘No’. However, I am pleased to say that most of the awkward moments were in my head. I did not let thoughts in my head control my actions. I paused and thought through anything before responding or, more importantly, not responding. I also noticed a difference to what I actually did think and experience compared to what I had been anticipating that I may experience.
When a mutual friend’s daughter married two years ago, I was raw inside. The vows spoken at the church made me cry and cry. As they spoke their vows, I thought about my own wedding and what I felt as the breaking of those vows. This wedding of my son was different. Those same thoughts did not enter my head when my son and his soon-to-be-wife spoke their vows. That same sadness did not surface. When they said their vows, I thought only of them. I thought only of their love for each other and the wonderful life they were to have together.
The ‘awkward’ moments came at different times, prior to the wedding ceremony itself; and afterwards at the reception.
As described in an earlier post, the wedding was six days at a resort on the Cook Islands, so there was six days of togetherness with family and friends, six days of happy times with others. Yet, in those happy times, there was that edge for me of being alone within myself, of not having that soul-mate to look out for me and, although I am beginning to revel in my independence and am quite capable of looking out for myself, seeing the togetherness of other couples looking out for each other stung me a little. My children having to spend separate times with each of us, stung me a little. The speech given by the father of my new daughter-in-law, speaking with pride of his wife and soul-mate of 40 years and their life of sharing and living out their promises to each other, stung me a little.
I had anticipated awkward moments with my ex-husband, even though he had decided to come ‘alone’ which made it easier for all of us.
Due to my mother’s health crisis in the weeks before the wedding, I had not had time to have “the conversation” with him, that of: ‘Please do not come up to me and insist that we should be friends. Please do not hug me in front of other people, as if nothing has happened between us. Please do not ask me to dance with you after the bridal waltz’.
So the conversation had not happened and the awkward moments did happen and, surprisingly, I did not care. I was able to act with grace and dignity, smile, shrug those moments off, quickly move aside to other people, and put it all behind me.
However, those moments were defining moments for me. They were the first one-on-one, face-to-face contact I had had with him on a personal level in over a year. What I came to understand in those moments was that I have reached a place of emotional detachment from the man who left me. When he came up to me at the wedding, I no longer saw him as the man I had married 40 years ago. For three years I have felt pain whenever I thought of being abandoned by the man I had been married to. In those moments at the wedding, I realized that person no longer exists. He is not the same person as the man who left me. In those moments, I felt no pain regarding being left by the man who my husband had become. I felt no emotion for that man, I felt nothing for him, for the man who left me.
You are such a beautiful heart and soul. Hugs
Thanks for your support. I really appreciate it
I could feel this post in my bones.
Thanks for sharing that with me. I really appreciate it.
Such courage to face what makes you vulnerable…
Such strength to pull you through those awkward moments…
Being present through it all is awesome Elizabeth.
I expect there would be an emotional letting go afterwards too. Keep being gentle with yourself and give yourself major kudos for coming through with grace 🙂
Yes, very much an emotional letting go afterwards.
Thanks for your care, in the words of comfort that you send to me 🙂
Wonderful insights you have discovered about yourself Elizabeth, discovering the beautiful brave you underneath your pain and past. You inspire many!
Thanks for your encouragement. I really appreciate it 🙂
I’m happy for you Elizabeth! There must be some new sense of freedom in this discovery?
Yes, much freedom in the discovery that I can deal with the person in person; now to tackle the person in my head. 🙂
How far you have come; an amazing amount of healing has taken place. Elizabeth, I am so inspired by your vulnerability and your strength – somehow the two are one. ❤
Vulnerability and strength as the one and the same?
That has given me great comfort today. Thanks 🙂
yes. what do you think? Your post has made me think this. 😀
It is hard but I see the changes in your personal outlook. When you have blossomed as I have seen, I cannot picture you going back into the place you were before. I have appreciated how open you have been, along the way, too. Elizabeth, your story could give many lots of inspiration. I would hope someday you may publish it in a book.
As far as the ex-husband goes, maybe it is different since many years have passed, but we can joke about college together. We can laugh over the silly grandchildren and his wife and I hug. Maybe this sounds unreal, but I cried with real emotion when I heard his mother, father, sister and brother have all passed away. Each time he called me, we were only 18 when we met, 22 when we married. We had our rocky times, quarreling over the children, despite their being mainly my responsibility, he liked to give his opinions! Believe it or not, I am envious of the length of time you shared with him, the ‘body’ of work you put into this marriage. I bet, if I played ‘devil’s advocate,’ you would not have done what I did, leave him while young, knowing he was not meant to be with you in the future. (Our marriage counselor felt his distance and his indifference to raising children together with me, even though he was never unfaithful, I never felt truly cherished…) xo Robin
I have so admired the way you made your decision to raise your children free of the issues that your ex-husband had. That must have taken so much courage and I know from what you said, often times it was tough going. I am sure the children benefited from your focus on their welfare as being # 1 in your life.
With my marriage ending, I never ever thought I would ever again think of those 37 years as having the same deep value that I previously had. I felt I had to write it all off. Your words here today, that the work I had put into my marriage could be looked at favorably, has lifted me today, It has made me feel that those 37 years were not all in vain. Thank you for making me feel that way today about my previous life, about my marriage.
As for the feeling cherished, I too fell that I was never ever truly cherished as much as I could have been. If I had been, things would have worked out differently.
Thanks for your friendship and support.
Pleased for you that it all went so well, and for your insights. Upward and onward xx
The wedding was a very happy time, and touched a place in my heart that I had not been in some time.
Thanks for liking my blog!
After my divorce ( although I left him) it took a long time to get over the anger and regret- but there is a light in the tunnel! I’m now in a very happy relationship- but I’m not the same person as I was. Much more self-aware and more caring of myself and, yes, my needs. Actually that’s a huge deal. Also good therapy helped a lot. I wish you the same.
Hello. I actually started following your blog because of the type 2 … not that I am .. I am trying to avoid it. (more of that in future posts). I am sorry that you too have experienced the pain of divorce and I am glad that you are now in a happy place.
Thanks for your good wishes for me and happy new year.