It was the day my divorce was finalized. I left the lawyer’s office and I felt conflicting emotions. On the one hand, this was what I wanted, what I needed. I felt — not happy — more like; oh, how can I say it: contentedly relieved? I knew it was the right thing to do, and it represented the last official step on one difficult journey, so I was satisfied it was signed, sealed and delivered. Done.
On the other hand, it really was an ending. I knew that ending my marriage had been the right thing to do, but still: I couldn’t help feeling I’d lost something – lost my chance to live the dream of a happy family, the dream of growing old with someone, of sharing grandchildren together. Which, I guess, is normal. I had to shake myself and say, “this could not have happened between you. Had you stayed together, you would not have had that lifetime of togetherness and happiness. It would have been a lifetime of acrimony and blame.”
Still. I felt the contentment, the relief and still a sense of melancholy and even maybe loss.
When I got home and faced the prospect of an empty, quiet house (it was Dad’s weekend with the kids), I had the time and opportunity to reflect on my conflicting emotions. Had I really given up hope growing old together with someone I loved? I know several couples who have married in middle-age or later, after divorce, who are intensely happy. They share the experience of marrying off their children and step-children, and welcome the grandchildren and step-grandchildren together and equally. They are traveling together, sharing life’s milestones together, and making this life that I felt I had lost.
So, on impulse, I grabbed the computer and typed in:
I took the plunge, set up a profile and browsed the hundreds of possible matches. It was…fun. I felt a sense of possibility open up before me. I thought, “this many men are out there, looking for a relationship too?” You don’t get much information about people on match, but in some cases it was just enough to titillate my interest. Just enough to spark the thought, “I wonder…”
I decided to follow through and finish my own profile. It was fun! The questions forced me to think about what I would like in a match, which was something I hadn’t thought about at all in the past two plus years. In a way, it brought me back to the years of marital therapy my ex and I had attended. What are my core values? My goals? My dreams? But instead of feeling like the floor had just been torn out from underneath my at the realization that my mate did not share those values, goals and dreams, I felt a sense of possibility opening up in front of me. I can find someone who values the same things as I do. I can find someone who dreams similar dreams. It was — no matter how corny it sounds — nothing short of inspiring.
And the best thing, was that while I was still online browsing men (what a hilarious concept!) someone “poked” me. And within the next day I had received two emails from possible matches. Wow! People are interested in ME!
Now I just have to get up the gumption to pay for a subscription so I can actually read the emails and see who sent them to me…
Ah well. Baby steps, right?
Thanks Tracey, Chantel and Alice.
Sara, yes the whole process is a bit exhausting, but fun. I still haven’t managed to drum up the chutzpah to pay for the membership and find out who emailed me or what they said. But, as I said…baby steps.
Didn’t you find the match.com thing exhausting though? On a whim I filled out a profile but it took forever – and then I realized that the ‘check out your matches for free’ weekend didn’t include pictures! Boo. I can’t wait to hear what you think of the process though. I’m not ready to commit $$ to a dating site yet so i’m scouring the free ones… good luck!!!!
I understand in an outside kind of way about that mix of acceptance and loss. When I was 30, my parents finally finalized their divorce after some 10 years of everyone knowing it was going that way. It was amicable enough, and quite the right thing for everyone involved, but still, I sobbed. It was just that finality that did it – I had never really harboured any secret wish that they get back together, but to know my family really was OVER was big.
I’m glad you are seeing this as an opportunity to find something wonderful for yourself – good for you!
Ha That does sound like fun! I hope it works out for you:)
Good for you!!