Although I enjoy a good relationship with my ex today and am living proof that divorce does not equal death, the past three years weren’t exactly brined chicken & roses.
In the beginning, there was so much hurt, regret, bitterness, anger and what felt like pure hatred. There were big fat lies and there were moments of jarring brutal honesty. There was humiliation, judgement, lost friendships and an all-encompassing feeling of failure.
There were days so dark that I literally couldn’t get out of bed and I thought that I was going to die. Knowing that my kids needed me to be present and healthy, I took control of my mental health and got help, relying on family and friends, an amazing therapist and some seriously great meds to get me through the dark days. There may have also been some wine.
A dear friend who had gone through a nasty divorce several years earlier told me something that gave me hope for one day having a civil & dignified relationship with my ex. It is something that I now tell friends experiencing their own of version of “War of the Roses:”
“It’s two years of shit, and then it just…gets better.”
She didn’t know why two years was the sweet spot, and neither do I, but in many cases (not all, I know) it is the period of time we need to heal, forgive one another and prepare for the challenges and the joys of co-parenting.
Because trust me: it does get better.