Rainbows and Unicorns, My Ass: My Family Post-Divorce.
Opening my heart to honor, love and respect what my family looks like has been an experience of life-altering proportions.
Opening my heart meant welcoming my ex-husband and his partner completely into family celebrations that I had previously shared with my children on my own. The struggle didn’t come so much from loving and respecting my ex-husband and honoring his relationship with our children, it came from welcoming the woman whom he has chosen to spend his life with over me. There, I said it!
He chose to end our marriage, alter the course of his, mine and our children’s lives, and break my heart, all in order to be in a relationship with this person instead of me.
It was a giant mother-fucking pill to swallow, and hard as hell to choke it down.
I want to be all philosophical and Namaste about it, but the truth is, it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns. It took lots of hard work, years of therapy, journaling, failed relationships, casual sex, copious amounts of wine, and never-ending tears to get to this place — with not one rainbow or unicorn in sight.
The wonderful part, the happy ending part, is that all of these things had to happen in order for me to completely learn an inevitable life lesson: I was not the person he was meant to be with.
As I sat in my living room, watching the interaction between my ex-husband and his chosen partner, and their combined interaction with our adult children and their partners, realizations flooded over me faster than my mind could completely process.
The first was that I really liked this woman, I mean, not just that I could tolerate her, I really actually enjoyed her company. The second was that this woman truly loved and accepted my children, and my heart melted knowing that my children had an additional person in their life who loved them to that degree.
The third and probably most profound realization was that this woman thought my ex-husband hung the moon, and that perhaps she loved him more than I ever did. I had to sit and contemplate this last realization at great lengths. It did not resonate well with me, and for good reason.
In order to fully come to terms with this last realization, I had to come to terms with the fact that this was the path my life had to take. To fully embrace that concept, I had to send ego on a road trip, embrace forgiveness, and completely surrender to the fact that I have no control over anything — a giant WTF moment!
I have been touting and professing the power of the Universe for years, and in this naked moment of self-reflection, it became obvious to me that I had not been honestly applying that philosophy to my own life.
What my family looks like post-divorce: my two children and their chosen partners, my ex-husband and his chosen partner, and myself.
They are a part of my immediate family, and I embrace and accept that fact with humble gratitude.
Michelle Miller is a single, divorced Labour Activist and mother of two adult children living in Durham Region, just East of Toronto. She spent the majority of her adult life in Northern Ontario, relocating to Central Ontario post-divorce. Michelle has been personally journaling for years, and has just recently decided to take a leap outside of her comfort zone.