I am a divorced grandmother. Something I never expected I would be. I am writing about it in the hope that I can offer support and encouragement to others who are on the same journey. It’s a rocky road. Especially if you are an unwilling participant as I was. Many friends and acquaintances told me that time would ease the pain. Oh, how I hated to hear that. But it’s true. In the course of almost four years now I have gone from victim to accepting and more recently to happy (well, most of the time). I encourage you to drop the “victim cloak” as soon as possible. It holds you back. Now that I can look back, I’m grateful that I got very angry and was able to use the anger constructively. It gave me energy to get a lawyer and to do the research I needed to protect myself and my share of the assets. I will talk more about that another day. But first, I’ll tell you some of my story.
On December 29, 2006, my husband D and I had just finished dinner. I thought he had somewhere to go and I was expecting him to tell me that he was leaving. Instead he sat down on the couch and “out of the blue” told me he wanted a divorce. At the time we had been married for 29 years. He had a history of depression and had been pretty remote for some time. I thought he surely didn’t mean it. That he was just depressed. I asked him, “Are you sure about this?” He told me that he was “pretty sure.” Pretty sure? I told him I thought we should think about it a bit. I didn’t want to believe that he really wanted to divorce me. Our youngest daughter S had recently divorced. I reminded him that her three children were still confused and unsettled. What would they think if their grandparents divorced as well. I said to him, “Please, D, don’t do this to our family right now.” He seemed a little unsure of himself and muttered something like, “the children will be fine.”
I asked D whether he had another woman. He answered and I’m quoting exactly because I remember it clearly, “Oh, hell no. That’s the last thing I want. I just don’t want to be married any longer.” I wanted to believe him. Unfortunately, I have a number of girlfriends who have divorced under very similar circumstances. All of their husbands were about the same age as D and every single one of them “just didn’t want to be married any longer.” It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that I don’t want to be married is code for I have another woman. And he did.
I will talk later about how I found out and how I reacted. Some of it I handled well enough. Some of it wasn’t pretty.