Today, I’m starting a new series and would like to introduce you to a special lady, Kristi. Kristi blogs at Divorce To Happiness and also has a large following on her Facebook page. There’s more about her blog and website coming but let’s start with a little background. Kristi was officially married for married 18 years although she and her husband were separated for two years before then. She has three children, a son who’s 15 and two daughters, one who’s 13 and one who’s nine.
When I meet people who have ended long-term marriages, I’m always curious if the marriage had been difficult all the time and whether something in particular had triggered the end. In some cases, the problems surface with the arrival of babies. Here’s Kristi:
I knew right after my son was born. I just didn’t listen to that little voice in my head. Divorce was not how I was raised. I was taught you just stay put and you stay in it. And I did that for a long time.
Before I left, we’d tried to make it work for like four years and the last six months I slept in a different bedroom. I was laying in bed one night and I heard this crash coming from our bedroom where my husband was. I had this big picture of my sisters on the wall opposite our bed. He had thrown something at that picture and it broke into a million pieces. That was the instant I knew I had to leave. That was my family and he hated my sisters, he had for years and he knew that I had been talking to them a lot. I don’t even know to this day what it was he threw but I went into town the next day and I rented a place.
I can remember people saying to me,
“Why in the world? What are you thinking? You have everything. Why did you leave that marriage? You have the house, you have the business, you have the cars, you have money, you can do anything you want, go anywhere you want, buy yourself anything, great kids, blah, blah, blah.”
I say, “Try living 18 years with somebody that doesn’t love you.”
I’ll be honest. My marriage was years of suffering, years of unhappiness. But, I have three awesome kids from my marriage and I can’t look at these three incredible kids and ever think the marriage was a waste. Even if I would think that for just a moment, I wouldn’t give up these kids for anything in the world. If I’d have left when I first knew, I wouldn’t have my girls.
I don’t think Kristi’s situation is uncommon. I was raised the same way as Kristi – marriage was for life and it is hard and you have to work at it. And like Kristi, there were difficulties in my marriage from very early on, that we never resolved. There often seems to be a single event that triggers the end. I look at as the signal that you’re ready to change. You’re ready to face the challenges that ending a marriage brings. You’re ready to say, “Yes, I want to be happy.” Was there a single event for you that brought it all into focus?