I am a divorced mother of three who tries to do way too much with what I have. I have learned a lot through this tumultuous journey called life. I hope to make you laugh, cry and not take things too seriously.Come along for the ride, and don't be afraid to let me know what you think!
Monday, June 27, 2016
Forgiveness: Rebuilding a Family
Most people who know me know that I have been divorced from my
children’s father for about five years now. Most who know me also know that we
have been back together, working on picking up the pieces, for the last
two.And the truth is, sometimes I don’t
know which is harder.
It would be easy to say that infidelity tore my family
apart. That’s the obvious answer. But it’s the not-so-obvious things that
probably started the tear. Nothing big or unique, but small rocks being thrown
at our glass house. Ask any married woman and, if they’re honest, they will
tell you that raising a family, being a wife, working and continuing to be the
woman their husband fell in love with is nearly impossible.
In my case, we had three children under the age of six. All
of my time was spent taking care of them. Not complaining. That’s what I’m
supposed to do. I’m a parent and chose to have each one of them. Well, the last
one may have been the result of a little too much wine and not enough hobbies,
but loved and wanted nonetheless.
The Jackson trio
Looking back, there was a lot going on. Who has time to be crazy,
sexy, cool? The attire of the day, or everyday for that matter, was sweat pants?
And if they were clean, it was a really good day. I had one nursing, one still on
the bottle and I usually couldn’t find the other one. Needless to say, it
wasn’t a glamorous time in the Jackson household. There wasn’t time for
anything, especially my spouse.
I know what you’re thinking…. that I’m making an excuse for my
ex’s bad behavior.I’m not. I still
think he was an idiot and, most days, he would agree. But that doesn’t detract
from the truth. We didn’t spend the time needed to nurture our relationship. I
didn’t spend the time needed to nurture him.
When we first separated and subsequently divorced, things
were pretty rocky. There was a lot of crying, cussing and arguing. Every time
we got together, the tension could have killed an elephant. But after the
initial pain subsided, we both decided that we wanted our kids to grow up with
both of their parents…mainly because we didn’t. Both of us were raised by
family members, not our parents, and neither of our fathers were integral parts
of our lives. It was important to us that our kids had a relationship with both
That led to us indirectly spending a lot of time together at
their various functions. I think I saw more of him then, being divorced, than I
did when we were married. The familiarity of our relationship and the demise of
his “extracurricular activities” got the better of us. He said he wanted to
work it out. I told him to take a lap. He persisted.
So, we decided to fight for it. I use the term fight because
that’s what it is. Every day, we make a conscious decision to fight off the doubt,
the naysayers, and the not-so-fond memories to make things work for our family.
The gang's all here. Back
And why not? Isn’t family worth fighting for? We have no
trouble fighting for a promotion. Hell, some of us will fight anyone who cracks
a mean “yo-mama” joke. Why is there so much scorn and judgment for people
wanting to save their families…especially in the face of infidelity? Wouldn’t
you work to save an investment? We’ve invested years in this relationship, building
a family and a life together. After going back and forth with others and with myself,
I came to realize that I wanted this. Despite what it looked like to others, I
wanted my family to work. That began with forgiveness.
I’m not going lie. Forgiveness is hard, on both of our
parts… me forgiving him and him forgiving himself. He’s had to not only
reconcile with me, but with everyone he’s hurt and disappointed. It can’t feel
good, but he’s doing it for us. We’re doing it for us.
There are days when we both say that quitting and going our
separate ways would be so much easier. Yet, reconciliation is where the real reward
lies. Working to restore a marriage should never be considered a waste of time.
It’s to be applauded. Anyone can run. It takes real strength and courage to
fight for your family… even if it’s against seemingly impossible odds.