Top Four Things I Learned From My Ex-Husband: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

divorce

It takes two to destroy a marriage. –Margaret Trudeau

Over the Memorial Day weekend my family celebrated my grandmother’s 90th birthday in true black family style. Soul food, music, laughter, and doing all of this while dressed for the occasion. My ex-husband was kind enough to drive my son all the way from North Carolina so that he could be a part of the celebration as well. In the words of my older cousin Carmelita “our family is like the mafia once you are in there is no getting out”. That is unless you my second ex-husband. But that’s another blog for another day.

My son’s father hung with my family the entire weekend and I must say it was refreshing, fun and eye-opening. This was probably the first time in almost 10 years that we spent that much time together. I learned some new things about myself over that weekend. This blog is dedicated to anyone who has gone through a bad divorce, breakup or separation and felt like you could never learn the other person. We must look past the failures and focus on what we can glean from others; even if it’s someone who may have hurt us. You can learn from anyone. Even those who may have broken your heart.

  1. Some Things Are Just a Matter of Time
  • There is a difference between being healed and being made whole. When something is healed the scar still exists but it is covered. People can tell that something happened in that area although they may not know the specifics. However, when you are made whole there is no scar, no evidence of injury and people can’t tell that anything happened. This weekend taught me that even though I asked God to heal me of past hurt the ability to retell the story of my divorce in all of it’s guts and glory prevented me from coming forth and asking to be made whole.
  1. Put on Your Big Girl Panties and Own Your Part
  • It takes two people to tango, ballroom, cha cha, fox trot, Chicago two-step or perform any other dance you can think of. You need one person to lead and another to follow. Move too quick and you are stumbling over each others feet. Move to slow and you lose count. Being loud, strong and wrong lead me not be the best wife as a young twenty-something. I needed to own that. I knew it in my heart. The original narrative made me feel better when he was the villain and I was the damsel in distress. These big girl panties feel way better than those young girl thongs. Own it. Say it. Forgive it.
  1. Allow People The Opportunity To Grow.
  • Just like seasons change so do people. Like the leaves of a tree some habits die off during certain seasons and new leaves/habits sprout. Allow people the space and grace to grow, change and shape into who they truly are. Most people cannot be judged by one moment in time. No matter how short or long that moment happens to be. People learn new skills, knowledge and techniques to cope daily. Allow them the chance to rise to the occasion. You just might be surprised at the experience.
  1. Help Comes From the Strangest Places.
  • Now, I must be honest and transparent. Having an extra pair of hands to help me was a wonderful feeling. Someone driving most of the time was an awesome feeling. Carrying a gabillion grocery bags in the house becomes annoying and using all of my gas to chauffeur my children around is not my idea of fun. But nevertheless these are all things that a single mother must do. It’s not that I didn’t think my ex-husband would help me; however it was a feeling that I had to get used to. Single mamas have a hard time asking for help and an even tougher time receiving it. I am learning daily that vulnerability does not equal weakness.

My motto in life is that you can learn anything from anyone. People either teach you what to do or what not to do. You determine in each situation whether you are the student or the teacher.

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