Last Monday the process of my divorce was complete.
I know that this conclusion feels sad for a lot of people.
I understand that hurt and I'm sorry for it.
I know that I still haven't said much about the breakdown of my marriage. My intention is to avoid the discussion of any details that could in any way detract from the relationships between my boys and their mother.
But here's what I can say that might be helpful in understanding my readiness to move on with my life.
When Andrea moved out six months ago, it began the legal process of divorce. But for me it wasn't the beginning of the divorce itself, it was the end of it. It marked the end of many years of hard work to restore the marriage. It marked the end of my fear, and my efforts to avoid that which I dreaded most. And when it all unraveled, I realized that the fear itself was doing me more harm than the object of my fear.
My work in counseling for the last few years was primarily focused on learning to accept and make the best of a hurting relationship, even when it wasn't what I had hoped for - and didn't seem like it would head that way. Learning to let go of my expectations for marriage really prepared me to let go of the marriage in a peaceful way.
In my experience, most people enter into the legal proceedings of divorce with a sense of confusion, rejection, and loss. That's why a divorce can easily bring out the very worst in people, and that's why it usually takes about two years. And that's why it's so difficult (sometimes impossible) for people to find any sense of closure.
So I'm not saying that there was no anger, grief or hurt. And I'm not saying that Andrea and I are now good friends. But we do have a respectful & cooperative relationship. We can coexist and communicate well, and it seems that we are both willing to do what is necessary to help our boys feel safe and loved.
I do regret my shortcomings in marriage, but at the same time I feel good about my efforts toward having a good marriage and growing as a person.
I do regret (and understand) the pain that people I love experience as a result of this divorce, but at the same time I feel very thankful for the peace and joy I am experiencing now.
I do not regret the choice I made more than 10 years ago to marry Andrea. It's been painful at times, but there were good times too. Andrea and I had some different ideas about marriage, and some difficulty working through those differences. But she was kind to me in many ways.
That relationship brought Will and Isaac into my life, and it was a major part of shaping who I am today and the place I find myself now.
And the place in life that I find myself is a very good place to be.
The boys are brilliant, hilarious, loving, growing, and well adjusted.
I have wonderful family and friends.
I'll have a place of my own to live soon.
I'm experiencing some really amazing and meaningful connections that I never expected 6 months ago.
And the new year looks VERY inviting.
I hope that all of you can experience some of the same gratitude and hope.