Sorry the title’s not more clever.
On Monday, I got divorced.
We all knew this was coming, of course. If you’ve followed me from the beginning, you’re aware of how many different, very legitimate reasons I could have had for leaving him a long time ago, and if you’ve read anything recently you’re very aware of the very valid reason for the divorce and the pain he has caused our little family. You know that Luna was forced to learn things no child should and that she’s a strong little adult in a six year old body now, which just breaks my heart.
Driving to work today, I realized something: I’m a single woman. I don’t have to refer to that man as “my husband” any longer. I don’t have to feel a tinge of guilt if I go on a date with another person. I don’t have to worry about shared property or shared debt. I don’t have him lording over me. I don’t have to share anything with him, especially not the children he so flippantly harmed.
I have full, sole custody of those little angels now, and he has not rights to them at all, not even visitation. He is, however, responsible for state-mandated child support based on state minimum wage. I’ll never get child support payments, but should he come into money after his incarceration the kids could get it, probably with a little help from child support enforcement.
He cannot harm them any longer. Of course, with his 25 year prison sentence and the fact that he must serve about 17 years before anyone can consider paroling him, he’ll probably never be able to consider trying to see them while they’re still children anyway.
We are free. Freedom, of course, being difficult to handle at times.
I posted to Facebook yesterday about taking my eldest to her tumbling class. Initially, I was whining about the experience of taking three children to an hour long class (plus commute time and waiting if we arrived early). I wanted to know if anyone could watch the two younger ones one night a week to make this experience easier.
“I wish I had someone to watch Corvid and Freya on Tuesday nights. I hate sitting in the lobby of Luna’s tumbling class for over and hour with a baby and a preschooler who are both bored.”
I put up a second post saying I was serious about it.
“Seriously, the class runs from 6.15 to 7.15, if anyone wants to watch the two younger ones. Please?”
I had no committed takers. I’m not mad; I get it. If they’re difficult for their own mum to deal with, what chance does an innocent bystander have?
I made a third post:
“Everyone’s cranky tonight. I love that Luna’s in an extracurricular activity that makes her happy, but I hate the hassle of it. I resent people who insist I need a husband, but a real man would come in handy at times like these.”
For some reason, this seemed to make things worse. Suddenly, instead of friends saying,
“Well, I would, but…”
I had friends PMing and texting, very upset. These were guy friends who, for whatever reason, have been friend-zoned by me over the years. They don’t understand. They don’t get it. Aren’t they good enough for me. What do I want? Was I just using them when they did X, Y, and Z for me?
Of course they don’t get it, because a good man would do X, Y, Z, and a slew of other things out of the kindness of his own heart. He wouldn’t care if he got the girl, because that’s not the point. Doing things for people is the right thing to do; selflessness is pleasing to God and puts warm fuzzies in the hearts of good men.
Someone who would expect A, B, and C from a woman for doing X, Y, and Z doesn’t get this. They don’t understand true selflessness and are doing good things for selfish reasons. I don’t need that kind of man in my life. I just got rid of that kind of man. My divorce was finalized right after the court hearing was over and I’m never looking back. I don’t need that kind of man again.
Some men may resent being compared to my ex husband due to the nature of his felony. I’m not saying that every self-absorbed, sex-hungry, whiny male who expects a kickback for doing kind things for me is going to turn out to be a pedophile. I’m just saying that I’m off-put by anyone who even remotely resembles the man I loved for a decade of my life, because any reminder of that chapter is going to leave a filthy taste in my mouth. I’m also saying that offering your time for a woman doesn’t guarantee you a place in her sex life.
Ani DiFranco–Please don’t. Please stop. This is not my obligation. What does my body have to do with my gratitude?