Friday, July 07, 2006

There are reasons

A good friend of mine, Drew, came down from Sydney today to have lunch. We went to school together and then worked together for a couple of years in a bank before we both went to our respective universities to pursue our respective careers. We even lived in a shared uni house for a while. We have known each other since we were 15 and have had a lot to do with each other's lives. He used to have a crush on me and then I was a bridesmaid at his wedding. The crush continued as an undercurrent of our friendship until one day he told me about it and I felt very awkward about what I was supposed to do with that information. It was just after I had split up with my ex-husband and I still don't know why he chose then to share it with me.

But this story isn't about that. Today, he told me that he has left his wife. They have been married for 15 years and have two boys who are 13 and 10. A huge decision, he tells me, and it all comes down to trust. They have broken up once before and we have all known for a while that their marriage wasn't the most stable. Even still, it was a bit of a shock. I always thought they would just keep at it and they are both incredibly devoted to their sons. It's just been too hard, he told me, and broke down in tears.

He has been out for about 3 weeks now and the thing he most misses are the boys. He doesn't know how he's going to continue without seeing them every day and the tension with his wife makes it very uncomfortable. I could see the pain of his love etched into every line on his face. He ultimately wants it to work out, but I don't think it will. I didn't tell him that, of course, but my intuition was very strong about it.

And this afternoon, I have been reflecting.

There are reasons why I am glad I have waited to have a family. Despite the struggle and pain and heartache of my current failure, I am still glad. I would have had them with my ex and either, we still would have broken up, or we would have stayed together and our marriage would have been miserable. I know he left me (for my best friend!) but I had already worked out that we weren't going to make it. I clung desperately for fear of admitting failure and so he acted.

I watch my sisters sharing custody of their children. One nephew is in Queensland and the other in Thailand with their fathers. My sisters miss them and they always feel like their family is not complete when they're gone. I know it's better for everyone that all of these marriages ended, but the thing I am glad for is that I don't have to cope with that side of things as well. I see how hard it is for others.

I know if I had them I wouldn't be able to even contemplate thinking this way. Once they are there, they are who you are. But having never had them, I have to be glad for the other things. I search for reasons to be happy about some parts of this whole situation.

This time, I know I have found the right one. When (when ... when?) I have them with him, we will never have to share, we will all just 'be'. A child so wanted and a family that loves. We will stay young in heart and mind because they make us that way and I will be glad I waited because I waited for them.


At 5:58 am, Blogger Thalia said...

In the good moments I can feel this way. In the bad ones, I just wish I had had a child earlier. My wish is that I had met my husband earlier, but if not, that some oops baby earlier had decided to come along. I know it's not rational and my life would have been different etc etc, but I can't bear the idea of never having children...

Anyway, I am glad that for you, the waiting was right. I can see that without close experience of what it's like to 'share' a child, I'm probably talking out of my ass (again).

At 11:44 pm, Anonymous Paige said...

Sorry your friend is going through this. It is always sad when a marriage breaks up even if it is the right thing. My best friend is getting a divorce right now too and she has a 5 and 7 year old. I just want to slap her sometimes, but it does make me look at my husband and be glad we have such a strong marriage. If a fairy godmother came and said she could give me a baby right now but my marriage would fall apart I'd keep my marriage (at least that is how I feel on a good day :) ).

I agree. I really think that IF parents are better parents. We have to love our children SO much BEFORE they arrive.

At 12:47 am, Blogger serenity said...

YES!!! I am often very thankful that I waited as long as I did to get married; J is such a wonderful man - he will be a fantastic father when it finally happens for us.

So I agree with you 1000%. And I believe that you and your husband will be unbelievable parents WHEN (not if) you have your children.

At 1:05 am, Blogger Zee said...

Like you, I'm glad I waited. Although, honestly, I really didn't think too much about having kids until meeting VB in my mid-thirties. The guy I was with (for 10 years! Why? Why?) before VB was so damaged emotionally I could never imagine having kids with him. Still, when I get really frustrated with this age-related IF stuff, I sometimes wish VB and I had met earlier -- but since it was actually such a long-shot that we met at all I have to force myself not to dwell on it.

Hey, thanks so much for stopping by the new blog and for your warm welcome. I really appreciate it!


At 9:58 am, Blogger Chee Chee said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Drop by anytime.

I think divorce is just difficult for everyone. My husband and I share custody of his 9 yo son with my husband's ex-wife. It is extremely frustrating for everyone. I strongly believe that she loves her son dearly but I completely disagree with her child raising style. The whole thing makes me feel angry and helpless. I think waiting is absolutely the right thing to do, despite the struggles. I'm sorry about your friend.

At 3:48 pm, Blogger GZ said...

Its always nice to remeber all the good things we have, and all the things were are grateful for. It makes me feel (for a few seconds, at least) less bitter and resentful.


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