Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Marriage and Divorce-- A Much Needed Update

Some of you follow me only on this blog, some on Facebook, some of you are local friends, some of you are long distance friends, some of you I have met, some I have not, some of you are strangers who have happened across this blog by chance, some are of you are curious friends I have directed to this post and a lot of you are more than one if the above.  Some of you are understanding types and some just come here for fuel to feed your fire of dislike for me.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to write for such a varied audience?
       There is so much I want to share with the world right now.  My heart is bursting.  So much has happened the last few months, I hardly know how to catch you up.  And I hardly have the time. (That’s often the case, I find. When I have much to write about, I have little time in which to do so.) 
        This is going to be harder than I thought.  You see, I want to tell you that Bobby and I are divorcing.  You and going to choke on that a little, maybe.  Some of you are going to want to know why.  I can tell you what I told some close friends early on, but I find myself still unwilling to speak directly against Bobby in public (unfortunately he does not feel the need for the same restraint).  No good comes of it.  So, I cannot fully explain to you how we got here.  The reasons are as numerous and varied as those we have for parting ways with religion several months ago.  I can simply tell you that one day in early April I got up the guts to give up on our marriage like he had years ago.  I was so tired of holding everything together by myself.  I had thought for some time that maybe it would be better to cut loose. I was the one holding it all together anyway; our relationship, the household, the finances, the care of the children...  I just couldn't do it anymore.  So stressed, so lonely.  There is no place more lonely than a bad marriage.
         Is that clear enough?  I want to be honest without bad-mouthing Bobby.

The following is part of a letter I wrote to some friends in early May:
Those who have spent much time getting to know my family are generally not very surprised and some very close to me wonder why I waited this long. And there are and will be others, pointing fingers, thinking and even voicing, "See? They don't believe in God any more and now look at them." Oh well. It is what it is. We are no more a broken family now than we have been for 14 years, but now we have a chance to heal. Yes, I have tasted new freedoms from Christ and yes, a whole new world opened up before me and sweet hope for a happy life and yes, it made me more painfully aware of the abuse and neglect going on under my roof and no, I couldn't imagine another year of it, let alone a lifetime. Not for me, not for the kids. This will be a bumpy road and we will always carry scars, but there is sunshine on the other side. I can see it, smell it, taste it. Our past will be the sound of our feet upon the ground as we carry on.
If I had to sum up "why" this is happening I guess I would point to the Serenity Prayer; "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference." It is not a prayer for me, more of a meditation. The thing is, I believe I have gained wisdom about the difference between the things I can change and the things that I can't and every day the courage required to make the necessary changes has grown. I am facing giants. I am terrified, but I am doing it.

       So, here we are a month after sharing that… and I have more news.  Again, I will resort to the borrowing of something I wrote to a friend in early May: 
I would like to share one other bit of news with you, about my hope for the future.  For me, for my kids.  It's a delicate situation.  The timing here is just crazy...  getting free of religion and exploring the world that opened up to me, beginning to consider more frequently and more thoroughly the possibility of leaving Bobby (hard to say me leaving him--he left a long time ago, he just lives here still)...  every week, every day seeing things more clearly... becoming more horrified at living the rest of my life this way, of how the kids would turn out under this kind of stressful relationship (or lack thereof) and Bobby's unrealistic view of the world...  Ah, there was so much going on.  And my new geek friends were becoming very dear to me.  They never pushed, never suggested I leave Bobby, they just listened...  and I grew stronger, more courageous.
      And then there was Denny Henke.  My favorite geek.
      I don't know just when it happened... our friendship grew so gradually.  Looking back I see the signs, but I don't know where I could have drawn the line, where I could have cut it off, or IF I could have.  Never once did he indicate any interest in me beyond what he was offering to everyone else; friendship.  You just have to know him, I guess, but he's that kind of person.  Open.  Engaging.  Connected to the world and the animals and the people around him.  Our geek talks turned into life talks and he had a way of making everything seem okay.  He "got" it.  He "got" me.  He made being human, being a less-than-perfect individual, seem... well... acceptable.  Natural.  It almost became a challenge of mine to throw things at him to see what he would do with them.  He took everything in stride; carefully observing and understanding and communicating.  Always.
      I had met my match in perception, compassion, thoughtfulness, communicability, humor and more.  There really was no stopping this friendship.  We fascinated and inspired one another.  I was so grateful just to call such a person my friend.
      Sometime mid-April things came to a head here at home.  Bobby hadn't been working for two or three weeks, I was trying to juggle everything by myself, as usual... and I realized that I had been carrying our marriage itself, by myself, for too long.  We weren't partners; I was a single mom with 8 kids; 7 adorable ones and a rebellious teenager.  And that day I wondered, what would happen if I stopped caring about the marriage, too?  And that was that.  I let it go. Gone. I was no longer hurt and felt he could do little to hurt me ever again.  I communicated this to him and he soon moved out.
       I am not one to do things half-heartedly.  You may have noticed that I give my all in everything.  Full throttle.  So, when I decided to give up on trying to love a man who could not or would not love me (just how deep the neglect and rejection, I have managed to hide from most people) it freed my heart to love elsewhere.  And love elsewhere I do now, very deeply.  And it is reciprocated, very deeply.  It feels somewhat insane, developing the most amazing, the most satisfying relationship I have ever known while under the stress and pressure of dissolving a 13.5 year marriage.  I suspect it's not altogether uncommon, though.  I have examined it closely for signs that it is only a temporary thing, something to get me through until I get on my feet...          
And I don't believe it is.
Okay, so… those of you who have been reading this blog for any length of time aren’t remotely surprised by any of this, I’m sure.  You’ve seen the lack of Bobby’s involvement as well as my fascination with Denny.  <shrug>  It is what it is.  Maybe you think that plunging right from one relationship into another just smacks of… well, just smacks.  But I ask you to consider that although I have been married, I have not had a relationship with Bobby for a long time, try as I might.   Maybe I should be grieving through this divorce?  No… I had enough pain and sorrow during the marriage.  I am ready to be happy.
         I want to share more about Denny with you, but I think I will save that for another post… or posts.  You will find he is very involved in life on Make-It-Do Farm and so will show up here often.  Let me just say for now that I am the happiest woman in the world.  I used to imagine what true love must be like.  I have memories of my thoughts on love as a young teen, what I wanted, what I thought it should look like, and yet convinced myself that I’d picked up those ideas in fairy tales and that real life doesn’t happen that way.  During my marriage I obviously had to suppress any thoughts of or inclination toward romantic love just to cope, but… I am pleased to tell you that dreams do come true.  Denny and I connect so completely…   Sigh.  Yes.  I think I will have to save it all for another time.  But do this, for now, if you find yourself wanting to know more:  visit  This is the webpage Denny and I set up for our soap and our sewing creations.  Denny got a head start and wrote a lot of the text for me, thinking I would replace it later, but he so perfectly captured everything about life here and our motivation for doing what we do, our enjoyment of it all…   The things he wrote, beautiful in their own right, also serve as evidence of how he “gets it.”  Read it and try to tell me we are not a perfect match.  (The only text I have written for that site so far is the blurb about sewing and a bit about the soap.)
      Stay tuned… there are wonderful goings on here at Make-It-Do Farm.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    You don't know me and I don't know you, but I thought I would comment anyway.
    I found your blog because I saw your article in the Shining Stars Magazine so I hopped on over to check out your blog :)
    I must admit, I WAS shocked to read your most recent post, especially after reading over your article in the Shining Stars Magazine.
    I'm not here to judge you. I just wanted to take the time to let you know that I'll be praying. For you. For your family. For Bobby. For Denny. I'll be praying.