My divorce was final as of April 15th although I did not receive the paperwork until about a week later. I am deeply saddened by this event and am trying to close this chapter of my life and move painfully on. In a way, I actually believe my being a widow somehow doomed this marriage. I was greatly affected by my first husband's death and it altered how I view the world and life. I have become more concerned with doing what is ethical, moral and just plain right. A year after I was remarried, both of my parents became seriously ill and I chose to delay moving out of state to my new husband's home to take care of them. I don't think he ever forgave me for that decision, but it was what I had to do at the time. In the end, we just didn't hold the same values regarding commitment, family and loyalty. I believe he was in love with me and wanted to be so but wasn't willing to make the effort for all the stuff besides the love - you know, the sacrifices and hardships we sometimes have to endure to remain a couple. Like staying by your husband's side for many long years as his body wastes away from the ravages of cancer. Never in a million years would I ever have considered breaking my marriage vows and deserting my husband in his time of need. My second husband's definition of commitment wasn't as strong as mine. If anything, I find myself valuing commitment even more. I made reconciliation attempts up until the very end and would have forgiven Husband #2 and made every effort to salvage our marriage. And that is despite being very hurt and treated disrespectfully by him.
My husband's death taught me much about love and how I want to love. I came across a passage in a novel I'm reading by Joy Fielding, "Mad River Road." This is a suspense/mystery book, no less. The passage got to me because it is what I believe about love and commitment. "Real love [is] built on a foundation of trust and truth. It [takes] time to develop and [is] based on common goals and interests, respect as well as chemistry. Besides, any idiot can fall in love. It [is] the staying in love that [is] the hard part."
Husband #2 just wanted the bells and whistles - the falling in love part. I want the foundation of trust, truth and respect. I know that is what is important because I had it with my first husband and those aspects of our relationship were strengthened through his illness. Our facing his illness together brought us closer. I still deeply regret that Husband #2 does not realize that the true rainbow comes after the pain and hurt - that it is the getting through the hardship that brings the reward in the end. He ran to avoid the painful stuff. How can you explain to someone that making it to the other side is what brings the gold. It isn't logical to believe that facing hardship can have its rewards but having experienced it, I know that it is true. Now I need to be with a man who understands the hard part of staying in love after falling in love!
Today I am grateful:
1. That I know what real love is.
2. That I am making conscious choices to reflect this love so my current relationships are better.
3. That I am more patient and calm with others because I know the "bigger picture" and what really matters in the grand scheme.
4. For the lessons I realized from both of my husbands.
5. For love - however, whenever and wherever it pops up - I need to grab it and appreciate it more often.