- Gender and Relationships»
After the Affair - the best revenge is living well
I am 40 and in many ways I feel like my life is just beginning. I met my ex-husband when I was only 22 and spent 15 years trying to prove I wasn't a quitter- that I believed in "till death do us part". As I got older and became a Mom, I realized I had others to think about and that they didn't choose or deserve the dysfunction in our household. Until death do us part was no longer an option.
After many years of being controlled, dis-respected, cheated on etc etc, I finally decided I had enough and that it was time to go. I mustered up every ounce of courage I could find, made a plan, picked a leaving date, booked flights for my son and I and when the date arrived, we left. I was decent enough to not blindside my ex, he knew a month in advance of my plans. That in itself was torture, the begging, the pleading, the constant making of promises I had heard so many times before. Once my decision was made, it was like a manipulation shield went up. I was done, there was no wavering in my decision.
It has not been easy, we had a very mean divorce; he is filled with hatred and bitterness. He still refuses to communicate with me after all this time. He has called his son once this entire year. He has cancelled his last 3 visitation times, the last time he visited his child was last Christmas. My son never asks for him, he was used to his absence; even when were were supposedly a family.
The one thing my son always did have was me. I am a devoted Mother, I have given everything I have to my son for the last 10 years. It was my love for him that gave me the courage to leave- he deserved better and I knew that one day we would find a man who saw what a gift he and I were. Like his Mother, my son is kind, thoughtful, giving, loving, caring and has a sense of humor that would make the grumpiest person alive smile. We are both super lovable, my ex didn't appreciate the gift he had been given. But someone else does...
My fiance! He is the kindest, most thoughtful loving man I have ever met. He loves us to death and there is nothing he wouldn't do to make us happy. He is 40 also, never married, no children of his own (yet) but he loves my son like he was his flesh and blood. He gives the gift of his time and attention, he throws balls and Frisbee with him. We have family board game nights and he never plans anything for us as a couple without considering my sons feelings. He even included my son in his marriage proposal...my son held the open box while announcing that he (my bf) had something he wanted to ask me. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life.
We have been together for over a year, have been friends for 5 years, best friends for 2. We don't fight and any disagreements usually end with someone laughing at the others tactics to win the argument. We are playful, respectful and we love each other unconditionally.
Seeing that age isn't on our side, we have done things a little differently. We are currently 10 weeks pregnant. We both wanted to complete our family with another child. I wanted to give my son the sibling he has always asked for. I wanted my partner to experience the awesome love one feels for their own child. We are so happy but it hasn't been easy.
This is our third pregnancy, the first being a very early miscarriage, the second was a loss 3 months in with identical twin boys. It's been emotional but we find strength in each other. This pregnancy has been tough so far... extreme nausea, subchorionic hemorrhage and of course the emotional roller-coaster of "is this the one that's gonna stick". So far, so good. I will be having my 12 week scan on December 5th, which will hopefully confirm that all is well. It's exciting and terrifying to have a baby at this age but I know that this time around is going to be so much different. We are a family, he wants to be a Dad, he wants to be involved and he holds the ones he loves up high; how can this not be a beautiful thing?
Yes, I had it difficult the first time. My son and I have wonderful memories, very few fond ones with his Dad (my ex-husband) but my son still has what he always had- me. He also has been given a second chance, an opportunity to know how it feels to have a Dad. He is blessed to have someone who fills the void, to help build his character and to teach him what a real man is.
Me? I am the same loving, positive, caring and giving person I always was. My ex didn't break me or damage me. He made me believe in me, he made me see all the wonderful gifts I had to give. He made me believe that there was better out there- that there had to be. His bullying, insults, dis-respect, cheating and controlling ways are what caused me to want more. It wasn't easy but it is possible- believe in yourself and your version of you and anything is possible. Love yourself, it will set you free!
My son is happy, he knows he is loved and he is made to feel special every day of his life. I often wonder what he thinks about his Dad's absense and at times the thought of it breaks my heart. He shows no injury, I guess because he is a part of a real family. It is so true, it takes more than just biology to be a father. I thank God everyday for the wonderful man he sent to us. To give us love and my son and I the family unit we always deserved. His biological Dad will be sorry one day but I can't carry his burden... he has created his "reality".
I once read an amazing quote and I apologize as I don't remember who authored it...
"A son's love is given to a father unconditionally and, though loyalty is not earned, it is taught and nurtured by the same. Thus a responsibility weighs on a father's shoulders, for with these two pieces of a boys heart a father will crush or build a man. Either way, a man will eventually be judged for how he has used what his son so freely gave to him."