I've gone over and over the what ifs of not getting divorced. What would have happened if we'd stayed in Galveston, or if we'd have moved to a different city when we came back to Louisiana...who knows how it all would have gone down.
The most recent things that spin through my mind involve the friends I gained, lost, and rekindled after it all came apart. I found out some true colors on a couple of folks, one fell away due to an idiotic misunderstanding, others have come back to me because they couldn't stand my ex. Another took advantage of what was happening in my life and betrayed my confidences. Ironically, the idiotic misunderstanding person and the betrayal queen are bosom buddies now. At first, that slayed me. It really did. I thought there was something taken from me, then it hit me, I lost nothing of value. Not one thing. The friend who tore me down verbally and threw me out of his house was not a true friend. If I sit and really ponder and try to find what I lost...this is what I come up with:
1. I lost someone who judged me incessantly.
2. I lost someone who believed me beneath him.
3. I lost someone who didn't agree with my child having an active imagination.
4. I lost someone who inherently and deeply hates women.
5. I lost someone who counted every favor and used them as bait.
These things are not qualities of a true friend. They are not things someone seeks out to have in a person in their life. Therefore: I lost nothing of value.
As for the betrayal queen? Well, after I took her into my house and helped take care of her child, she felt it necessary to not only encourage my ex to leave his only daughter but defended all his reasoning. She betrayed confidences that were told to her prior to his leaving and after. All the while assuring me that they weren't that close. Hmmm. OK. (Ex only moved in with and subsequently cheated on her best friend.) There were trysts that came out after the fact, and little truths that leaked out leading up to a confrontation that I in no way regret. Here again, what did I lose?
1. I lost respect for someone who had potential to be a friend.
2. I lost someone I could not put any faith or trust in.
3. I lost someone who had designs on my husband and child.
4. I lost someone who exhibited envy that was incredibly unhealthy.
5. I lost someone who would have taken every advantage of me and any kindness.
Again: I lost nothing of value.
These and several others who would have become a part of my regular circle are still in congress with one another in some form or fashion. Would the morally strict misogynist know the unsavory habits of the betrayal queen, things wouldn't be so rosy. I lost a place in a strange amalgamation of shared partners, men who leave their children for the whim of the current woman, and the cover of "normal" in a narcissistic swimming pool. I'm OK with this. I had fallen down a rabbit hole of behaviors that I wasn't OK with. Looking back over the end of our relationship, I am grateful it's all over now. There are parts of our life I don't ever care to repeat. My life now is much more calm and well put together, I can't imagine living like I did back then.
So, what have I gained in all this.
I've gained back every friend and relative who wouldn't come visit because my Ex was so caustic they didn't want to be around him and didn't want to be disrespectful in my house.
I've gained back self respect and an internal investigation system that helps me deal with things.
I've gained my life back. I am in college with no competition and with a ton of support. I have a man who trusts and loves me so much that there is no reason for me to so much as glance at another person. I come home at night because I know who I have there and how he makes me feel.
I gained a mate that is good, patient, Godly, understanding, and makes me proud to be with.
I've gained a ton of money. How you ask? Well, when you're not funneling your hard earned cash into a joint account that's being sponged off of by a man who has a misdemeanor on his record for bounced checks, you have plenty for bills and shoes! (Ironically I do the books at work, haven't screwed them up yet!)
I've gained a good set of friends who set positive examples for my daughter.
I've found a faith that I hold onto tightly and cultivate daily--without anyone questioning it.
I have discovered that allowing that divorce to happen was the best thing that ever happened to me. With all that I lost, I gained a life. A brand new life. Why I spent so long mourning that moment in time is beyond me. It does break my heart to see him not try with his child. She looks up to him and needs that connection...why someone would be so cavalier with that relationship floors me. Ignoring her and making excuses doesn't get back at me, it just hinders her vision of him. But. That is something that will sort itself out. Because, what did she gain in all this? Stability. One home for 3+ years and a chance to go to high school with the same friends she went to middle school with. The opportunity to have a social life and not feel awkward or afraid walking into a new classroom each year. She also gained a confident mom who is chasing dreams and soaking up proper affection from a good man.
Life is good.