Beware the Ides of March, they say. Yes, I know I’m a couple days off, but stay with me here…
Two of my friends have posted in the last two days about the trials of mid-March. Both found themselves in past years facing a broken marriage, and painful divorce in the middle of March. Both have found a more joyful, satisfying life in the years since. These are both strong, beautiful, successful women who I have known since childhood, and admired for their tenacity, spunk, intelligence and drive. It makes me happy that they have found partnerships where they feel valued and appreciated.
My own marriage came to an end on this day in 2016. My husband agreed to marriage counseling, only so he wouldn’t have to tell me by himself that he didn’t want to be married anymore. He had no interest in working on our marriage. He merely pretended. Afterwards, I went home alone to a corned beef brisket dinner in the crockpot, and started my next chapter.
In the years since, I’ve been through a roller coaster of grief, losing many loved ones and other traumas. I’ve had some very dark days. It’s been ugly, and messy and hard. I didn’t really talk about it for a long time. Why is that we don’t talk about it? Why are we women so hell bent on protecting those who didn’t protect us?
But I’ve also had joy. Moments where I felt fully at peace with my choices and my life. I have learned that life is far too short to stay with what (or who) doesn’t bring you joy. And God has a way of showing you over and over, as many times as you need, that you best be moving along and seeking something better for yourself. Maybe you aren’t sure it is a sign, or a message, or maybe you think things will change for the better. Maybe they will. But how many chances do you give before you honor yourself?
At any rate, St. Patrick’s Day was the day it finally sunk in. He just said it first. My husband wouldn’t change. He didn’t want to. He didn’t care. And I was tired of doing the caring for both of us.
God has been sending me those messages lately. Just as I start to settle back into the routine, there is a jolt. That uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach, just underneath your sternum (at least that’s where it is for me). That place where your body reacts when something just isn’t sitting well in your heart. Sometimes I’m not the best listener. I’m stubborn. I don’t necessarily want to do the work. I’ve been learning to listen to it, knowing that if I don’t, there will be another jolt coming in a few days or a week. That feeling that says, don’t settle in. Don’t get too comfortable. This is no longer for you…
Good changes are coming. I have to work for it and not get complacent.
I just hope that my story, the story of another strong, beautiful and successful woman, will inspire someone the way that others have for me.