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There’s a strange force-field that surrounds us, almost an aura of swirling past. Hurts and joys collide in the air between us and we dance a wary jig. To an outsider, we appear cordially quaint and kindly to each other.

He and I weathered those moments that define life;  deaths of family and friends, the birth of our daughters. Moments of intense mortality, shared but forgotten in the struggles of everyday life. How can I not see that moment we brought home a tiny human, laid her on our bed and stood back in awe at what we had created? He spoke eloquently at my Dad’s funeral when I had no words. There were dark times of illness and pain, and incidents that became our history when viewed from the space of years.

We began our life together in our late twenties. He moved from Philadelphia to Boston, to be with me. There were lazy Sundays floating on the Charles River in a rented canoe, Fall weekends at the cottage in NH where we dragged the bedding out in front of the fireplace and dreamed of the future, houses bought and sold, homes that grew more grand and rich with animals and kids.

The farm was the pinnacle. The massive home was seldom without guests, the barn chock full of horses and hounds. Our social life included fox-hunting and black-tie balls. The holidays centered around massive meals and entertainment. We worked hard, perhaps too hard, to support and grow the illusion.

Here, ten years since we went our separate ways, I look at him and see the man I was supposed to grow old with. Though we have dated others, neither of us have remarried. Could it be we had found our life partner but were too impatient to stick through the tough times? I joke how strange it is to visit his home and see relics of our life together, just as he must think the same in my house. “I know exactly where that painting hung or when we bought that rug together.” Children bind us and I am humbled that we manage to rise above our own personal disappointments and be together as a family once in a while. It is counterproductive to examine the “what ifs” or search for blame. Nothing will change the fact that we parted and built new lives. No amount of apologies will ease the hurt we suffered upon each other. Better to remember the joy and support we shared and respect each other’s way of dealing with the reality of our divorce.

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13 comments on “A simple twist of fate…

  1. Touring NH says:

    Friendship after divorce is a difficult thing few can achieve. You are both fortunate to have avoided/overcome the bitterness so often found in former life partners. I know several couples who found friendship fit them so much better than marriage. I even know a few who remarried after years of divorce. The girls are also luck to have two loving, parents who continued to share in their lives.

    1. Thank you Laura. I think we are unusual in our ability to put the past in its rightful place and move on. I have no contact with my first husband but there were no children. I think it is very sad that so many couples can’t get past the pain of divorce.

  2. Jim Gann says:

    Send him a copy of your book. He will see it as either his story or yours but I doubt he will share the experience.
    Stay happy and share your joy. If you get sad, continue to share that too.
    A friend wants to be with you when you are unhappy.
    Jim

  3. Divorce is the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. The death of a family. If we can get through it life does get better though, as we’ve both discovered.

    1. So true, Allen. Lessons learned…

  4. Marie Keates says:

    I admire that you manage to remain friends. My ex husband and I did not. It’s been years since I last saw him and I’m thankful for that. We met last at our son’s wedding. He was sugar sweet and talked of letting bygones be bygones but I just wanted to run, even as I smiled back. Luckily for me, I seem to have got it right second time around. Although we have our moments he never makes me want to run away.

    1. You and Commando deserve your happiness. Making a marriage work is never easy but I see the love and respect you two share. I feel very lucky that Jeffrey and I can be friends and show our kids that even though we aren’t “together” we are there for them.

  5. badfish says:

    sometimes reality sucks. but you seem to have come out the other side of your life with a fine sense of reality, and a confirmation that you are on the right path for yourself. I love this line: “There’s a strange force-field that surrounds us, almost an aura of swirling past.” Your writing borders on poetry.

    1. Aw, thank you badfish! None of this living thing is easy but I do try to find the positive in it. Hope you are having wonderful adventures!

      1. badfish says:

        yeah, why do they call it “living” anyways? But you do have a guy living close with a bunch of tools…so there is that!

  6. Nolsie says:

    Very well said Martha, it’s a long and winding road, and sometimes difficult to see it for what it is, and being able to strip it all back and extract and keep the good parts, and accept the bad parts, you are free to enjoy and continue the next chapters. It also gives you plenty to write about!

    1. Living and learning, Mark! Thank you!!

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