So, today would have been my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. I cannot believe that it has been that long. What I also cannot believe that it was two years ago today that I knew my marriage was over.

When my ex filed for divorce in January of 2013, I truly thought I would never be happy again. I thought my life was over. I thought that I wasn’t lovable and couldn’t love again.

That May, he told me he wanted to try to fix things and I thought he was truthful. He went back to his parents house for a week  under the pretense that they were going to have to move soon and they all needed to discuss things with them. He was gone over this week and barely even acknowledged our day. If he had wanted to truly fix our marriage, he would have at least called me, instead of just a text. That was the day I knew that he truly didn’t love or care about me anymore.

At first, I was so angry. The divorce was supposed to be final in April but we put it off. I truly believe that he did that so his parents would be able to stay with us when our kid graduated in May. I was angry that he led me on with false hope. I was angry about all the normal things that people are angry about during divorce; that I had wasted my life, anger that I had given up my Army career to be his wife, anger that I had supported him through so much and had been so proud to be his wife. I was also TERRIFIED. I was terrified on trying to make it on my own. I was terrified to be alone. I was terrified of the financial aspect, taking care of my home, taking care of our last child, the damage that was being done to the kids. I was worried about the kids and I was worried about their future relationship with their father. The oldest was so angry at him and also  told me that she had guilt about the divorce because they had fought so much. I had to tell her many times that it wasn’t her fault.

In the last two years, I have grown so much. I am no longer terrified or angry. For  a long time, I regretted ever marrying him but I don’t any longer. My regret now is that I didn’t leave him much earlier. Maybe things would be better in ways if I had. I do know that I am happier than I have been in at least ten years. I have suffered chronic pain and headaches for many years and am healthier now. The last ten years of our marriage were not good. I quit being me. I let him control everything. Nothing was worth arguing about anymore and my opinions never mattered. I was always told my opinions weren’t right. The kids lived boring childhoods with no adventure. Only vacations they remember are going to a small town in rural Iowa. They hated going as much as I did. The ex was convinced that it was because I didn’t like his family but it more to do with the fact that I wanted a life and a real vacation. I wanted our kids to have memories like I had. Eventually, I told him no more Iowa until I got to a beach. He filed for divorce two years later. By then, my self-worth and image were so bad.

After two years on my own, I no longer feel terrible about myself and I no longer feel unlovable. It has been a long road but I no longer regret marrying him. I have three wonderful kids that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Yes, my life could be easier. I could be more financially stable as I would be if we were still married but today, I am thankful  for the time we had together (the good ones) and I am thankful for the divorce.