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Welcome to my Love Story.
There really is an "And they lived happily ever after".
Here is my story...
This is a love story about two people entering the prime of their lives who each suffered the loss of a love. They never imagined finding another with whom they could share the rest of their lives. The two people are my husband and myself. Our story is being told in order to give hope to others who have gone through a divorce or the death of a spouse at mid-life. It is being told so that you will know that you can find happiness again.
It's a long story, so grab a cup of coffee and settle in.
A Little Bit Of Background...
Part I - End of a Marriage
When my marriage of over twenty-eight and a half years ended at the age of fifty, I felt that my life was over. I hadn't wanted the divorce, but my husband no longer wanted to be married to me or married Period. He was going through mid-life crisis and had job problems. He had been working away from home for nearly four years on temporary assignments. He decided that he didn't want the responsibilities of marriage and a family and griped all of the time about routine things. He told me that he had stopped loving me. Furthermore, he said that he hadn't love me for a very long time. Although it was small comfort, I came to realize that this happens quite often to couples who have been married about this length of time. Usually, when it happens, one person in the marriage least expects it.
When a woman my age is left by her husband, it is much harder to recover than it is for a younger woman. More of our lives have been invested in the marriage, and if you make it that far, you tend to think it will last forever, especially if you believe in the sanctity of marriage.
A few years before he dropped the bomb, he began treating me rather badly. He would pick fights and making cutting remarks. No matter what I did, it wasn't the right thing. I could not please him. Everything that went wrong, according to him, was my fault. I could not understand what was going on. Had I not trusted him, and thought we were just going through a bad period in our marriage, I might have realized something was going on. I just didn't suspect anything. I felt like I was the bad person, the person who was doing everything wrong. I felt like I was a failure.
When he left, I was devastated. I believed that if he didn't want me and no longer loved me, I wasn't worth being loved by anyone. This was reinforced by the fact that he told me I was hard to live with, hard to get along with, and not loving and giving enough. He even insinuated that I would never find anyone else who would love me because I was hard to get along with.
Bedsides buying into the things he said about me, I felt that I was too old to ever be wanted by anyone else. Feeling terribly rejected, my self-esteem hit rock bottom. I believed that I no longer had a purpose in life. My oldest child was on her own in Europe for a year, and lived permanently in Texas at the time, and my youngest son was off in college. I was virtually alone, and I thought that I would be alone for the rest of my life. It was a terrible, horrible time in my life.
I went though all of the stages of grief: shock, denial, depression,
anger, and bargaining, but the depression lasted the longest. I vacillated between hating men and feeling I could never trust another man to longing desperately for someone to love and who would love me. I was terribly lonely, especially with the children gone. I not only had to deal with the ending of a marriage, but the "empty nest syndrome", which in itself is a hard adjustment, even when a marriage is intact.
Three really bad years followed his leaving. The fourth year I started to recover a bit, and after that things got better. The things that got me through the worst of the times were my faith, my tenacity to never give up, therapy, good friends who gave me support, and two divorce and grief groups affiliated with churches that I attended and later worked with as a facilitator.
(Postscript - I now believe that all of this was meant to happen, and that there was a purpose for my life that only going through this would prepare me for.)
Through a lot of hard work, time, prayers, many tears and faith that God would take care of me, I began to heal. The final stages of acceptance, forgiveness and letting go came later. Almost four years after my marriage ended, I was able to begin the forgiveness process, to stop loving my ex-husband,and to start letting go and start moving on with my life. The memories are still there, and sometimes a pang of anger surfaces at the way I was treated, or a tinge of sadness for the pain I went thorough. Every so often, feelings of extreme sadness sometimes momentarily flood over me whenever something triggers a memory.
Still, there are good memories of that youthful marriage. Our marriage was the right thing to do at that time in my life, and in his, and I realize that I learned and grew from the things I experienced that helped prepare me for the next phase of my life. I have two wonderful, beautiful children whom I wouldn't trade for anything. I was meant to be in that marriage for a time in order to learn and grow and become the person I was meant to become.
When your grief has healed, you realize that you have to learn to make a life for yourself and not depend upon a spouse to give you happiness and fulfillment. The poem, "Comes the Dawn", helped me to see that. When you realize you are responsible for your own life and happiness, you are ready to begin a new life.
And so I did. I began making a life for myself. I had done the singles club bit, hating every minute of it. I went to some dance clubs with single friends who said they enjoyed it in order to try to meet someone, or just went for something to do so I wouldn't be home alone. I was miserable, and those experiences made me feel even worse about my situation. I'm hot a drinker or a smoker, and those places are depressing. You will never find someone who is right for you when you go to places where people are desperate to find someone. Now there are the dating match-ups on the Internet. I firmly believe (although a lot of couples meet on the Internet) that most of the time, those hookups do not work for a lasting marriage.
I quit doing the "going out" thing, and then found myself looking through the "Singles Ads"in the local newspaper, wondering if I could meet someone that way. I even answered a few, but never placed an ad myself. The two experiences of meeting a man for coffee were nerve-wracking and humiliating. One expressed an interest in wanting a sexual partner, and the other was a pompous jerk. Both asked me to call them, but I never did. I just felt like raw meat from the experience; besides, I wanted real love, not be a sexual outlet for some man who needed sex.
Believe me, it is not a good experience. In those ridiculous ads, all men want a much younger, slim woman who loves moonlight walks on the beach. To meet you they don't even ask you out for dinner. You go for an "interview" and to be judged and scrutinized to see if you live up to their "young, thin and promiscuous" requirements. Usually, they don't want commitment, and basically, they aren't the right kind of man for anyone.
Answering ads and joining a dating service are not the place to find "Mr. Right" People lie about their appearance, and everyone loves moonlight walks along the beach. The men, who are bald and have fat bellies always want young, slender women. Just reading them make a normal women feel inadequate. I decided I was not that desperate. I realized that I would have to stop feeling lonely and start filling my life with things that interested me and kept me busy. I needed to stop trying to fill my loneliness with the company of a man. I took up tennis and started working on several books. I also had my job as a school media specialist which kept me busy during the school year.
I stopped feeling desperate to find someone to give me what I needed to give myself. One bad relationship during my fifth single year taught me not to settle for anything that wasn't right. It was fun having someone to do things with, but I found myself in the same position I was in my marriage - trying to keep things going and make it work. He was a "pull-me-in - push-me-away person. For about eight or nine months I tried to have a relationship with a man I thought was honest and had the same values as I did. It turns out that he was just a big talker who was lonely and who still had a thing for his ex wife. He also wasn't honest about his drinking, and as time went by, I figured out that he was an alcoholic.
Having no man in my life was better than a man who didn't meet my values and standards, and who didn't make me feel good to be around. After two selfish, dysfunctional men, I didn't care to deal with another one. I figured that there wouldn't be anyone to come along who would meet the criteria I had inevitably set for a man I could trust and love.
I settled into single life as best I could, and decided to avoid men for a few years. By that time, I figured I would be too old for romance, so why not just be satisfied with Me? It turns out that this is just what I needed to do. Stop looking.
Most single people find finances difficult to manage, so to help make ends meet I took a second job in a framing shop. Turns out I must have been guided to this job, because I worked with a young girl whose father had been divorced. He had later remarried and was very happy. I asked her how he met someone who was obviously so good for him, and she related to me the story of how how they met that I never forgot. It seems that her stepmother was once their next-door neighbor. This lady's husband had died, and after a while, she and her dad (who was divorced) began to converse with each other over their back yard fences. They graduated to having coffee together each morning. Eventually they fell in love and got married. To me, that sounded like something that happens only in a fairy tale. The romantic in me longed for something like that to happen to me, but I figured it never would because I had no backdoor neighbor whose wife had died. It seemed like something that could happen only once in a million years or indeed, in a fairy tale.
I had heard so many stories of second marriages ending in divorce, and that fact alone scared me. Besides, where would I meet anyone? I had given up the singles scene -- it just made me miserable. I hadn't met anyone I would want at the divorce workshops I worked with, so the possibility of meeting the right man seemed impossible. I saw no possible way of meeting a future mate. Maybe I was too hard to please. Besides, I was still buying into the old "nobody will ever love you because you are too (all of the things my ex told me).
I gave up looking and hoping, but I was still lonely. Each night I prayed to God,"Dear God, help me to not be so lonely. If it be Your will, bring me someone who is right for me... someone who will love and cherish me as I really am, and someone I can love and trust. But if you don't have someone who is right for me, I don't want the wrong person again. Only You know who would be good for me. And if it is your will that I remain alone, help me to be happy and find fulfillment as a single person."
You see, I really did, and do, feel that we are not meant to be alone. God created man and woman, and I believe that he meant for us to share our lives with someone to love us and be with us. I prayed this prayer for a long time.
I used to say, "If God has a man for me, He is going to have to bring him to my front door." I knew that wouldn't happen. Where would he come from???
My faith wasn't strong enough back then.
I tell you all of this because if I hadn't gone through the pain that I went through, and if I hadn't learned a lot of hard lessons as the result of my divorce, and had I not grown tremendously both emotionally and spiritually, I would never be where I am today. This love story would never have happened.
Part II - The Lady and the Psychic
I visited my daughter in December, four years after the end of my marriage. By then she had moved to Phoenix. She was excited by her recent visit to a psychic who had read Tarot cards for her, and suggested that I go see her because this lady had given her a very accurate reading. So, I decided, "What the heck", and just for fun made an appointment with her. I met this woman in the courtyard of a small but elegant shopping center. We sat in the sun at a little table with those little misters cooling the air, and we talked for over an hour. She read my cards, and we discussed my life, sometimes with tears flowing. Being a skeptic, and having the personality that I have, I questioned her over and over about my future. Her reading was for the most part very positive, although not exactly accurate in every case. It turned out to be quite on the nose about the end result of my life even if small things weren't exactly accurate.
Mainly, she told me that I would eventually meet someone who would be right for me. She said that I should continue writing and that I would get my book published; that I would have an increase in earnings, and that I should continue working on myself. I have not been thin since having children, and although I wasn't hugely fat, I am a large, tall person. I felt that my weight would keep a man from being interested in me. After all, in the singles ads, every man wanted a slim, attractive woman. (Never mind that they all lie about their age, weight, amount of hair, income and personality in their ads). Bedsides, I had been traumatized by what my first husband had told me about being hard to live with and that I would never find anyone to put up with me. I felt I was doomed to be alone forever. This psychic told me that I would eventually meet someone who would love me for who I am, and that I didn't have to kill myself by dieting in order to attract a man. But she said I would not meet this man for about five years, so I should learn to be content until then by living my life to the fullest and not worry about men. Once he came into my life, she assured me of a long life together.
Thus, I came back home determined to forget about men and get on with my life.
As I continue, you will see how her predictions turned out.
Part III - Our Love Story
They say that when you are content to be alone, and when you have stopped searching, you will find someone.
Thus, almost five years after my marriage ended, I was determined to make it on my own. I was deeply involved with DRW (the Divorce Recovery Workshop at my church) and BE (Beginning Experience), the two support groups I worked with. I wanted to give back to people the help and support that was given me when I was hurting so badly. I was doing fine. Then I got a phone call that was to change my life, although things didn't begin to happen until two months later. It was in the same year after I saw the psychic in April, in November of 1995, when my son called me from Arizona where he was attending college. He wanted me to get for him the addresses of some of his friends and classmates so he could send them Christmas Cards.
One of the friends lived four doors down the street and around the corner from us. I knew her fairly well, and had met her parents once briefly when our children were in high school. When I called, Kim was still living at home going to college. We had a long talk, my filling her in on what my son had been doing, and her filling me in on nursing school and her boyfriend. I also got her address to send to my son. Towards the end of the conversation, she said, "You know my mom died in October." No, I hadn't heard, since I hadn't seen Kim in a while. The summer before I would run into her and her dad walking in the neighborhood where I walked. She and I would speak and talk a few minutes, but her dad was a rather stern looking military man who looked at me like I was invisible, or that he was annoyed that we were interrupting their walk, so I had a rather indifferent-to-bad impression of him. I later found out that he had the impression that I was a rather cold, stuck-up, unfriendly person.
Since I was working with the Divorce and Grief Recovery Program at my church, I asked her if her dad might be interested in attending the grief program, which dealt with the death of a loved one. It had helped so many people, and I told her that I thought he might benefit. Because Kim wanted her father to get out of the house, she talked him into going. The program didn't begin again until February, so I told her I would call then to see if he still wanted to go. I almost forgot about it. I was busy working and writing my books.
A day before the DRW session was to begin, I called Kim again to ask if her father still planned to attend, and to remind her to remind him. She said that he was still going to go. I offered to pick him up and take him that first time because sometimes people are hesitant to go alone. (I had dreaded going by myself the first time I went to the divorce workshop). Even so, I wondered what on earth we would talk about. He hadn't impressed me as a very friendly man, but I thought that I could cope that one time for the good of the cause. Remember - I had given up on men and was waiting for those five years top pass, according to the psychic, for Mr. Right. I had seen the Psychic just a few months before.
That is how our story began. When I went by his house to pick him up, we started talking about our kids. I was surprised when I found we related to each other rather well. We talked all the way there and all the way back. We continued riding together each week since we lived so close to each other and it didn't make sense to take two cars to drive to the next city. We never lacked for anything to talk about. We talked about our marriages, the pain that we experienced, my divorce, his wife's death, and our feelings about our lives. Knowing that house repairs are hard for a woman, he offered to help with anything I needed done. I didn't really have things I needed him to do, but it felt so good that he offered. We became a support group of our own. He was new in his grief - his wife died only four months earlier, so we just became friends. His daughter stayed busy, and he was alone a lot, so he was glad to have an adult to talk to.
As a DRW facilitator, I wasn't supposed to date participants, so when he asked if I would like to eat Mexican on the way to the meeting a few weeks later, I was hesitant, but he said it would be nice just to have a friend to do things with, so I went. We remained friends and enjoyed each other's company. Before long, we started walking together, and our friendship developed further as we continued to talk about our lives, our grief and pain, and about things in general. I found that I genuinely liked this man, and enjoyed being around him. He seemed to like me, too. Yet, I had nearly five years to go, if you remember what the psychic said.
Neither of us know how it happened, but a close friendship began to evolve. We found a lot to talk about that first night, mostly about our children. We began driving together to DRW and Grief Recovery, me working and him attending.
Eventually, a mutual attraction seemed to develop, and before long feelings began to develop. He seemed to make excuses to see me, and I knew I liked to be around him. I knew it was too soon for him to even think about another woman so soon after his wife's death so I was very cautious about letting things get serious. From my training as a facilitator, and from my own sessions in DRW, I know that a person has to have time to grieve and move through all of the phases of grief until they have acceptance and enough time has passed that they aren't just lonely and needy. Nobody is supposed to get involved with another person soon after a death or divorce.
I finally had a talk with him, saying I shouldn't be seeing him other than at DRW and Grief Recovery. He went to great lengths to convince me that he was a grown man who knew what he was doing, and no rules were going to dictate who he could see and not see. He saw nothing wrong with our friendship and doing things together. He also told me that his wife had been ill for a very long time, and he knew she would eventually die. He said that he had done a lot of his grieving before she died. He said that he and Kim talked a lot about that as they walked. We decided again that it was foolish to take two cars to the meetings, that we were grownups, and that if we enjoyed each other's company, we should continue seeing each other.
He wasn't the dashing, romantic type, and I have always been shy, so our feelings remained hidden for a while. Yet he wasn't the harsh, unfriendly military man of my earlier impressions. When I was about to leave for a week's stay in Arizona for my daughter's wedding, things changed. He had hinted a little about his feelings, but never come out with anything obvious. He later said that he was afraid of being rejected, but he had decided that he wasn't going to let me leave without letting me know how he felt. So after our walk the night before I left, he walked me to my door, said he was going to go home and would come back for a few minutes. I hadn't even packed for the trip, since he normally just walked me home and went on home, so I thought I had time to pack.
When he returned, he had a bottle of champagne and two Enya CD's he knew I liked. I asked him how much I owed him for them, and he said, "Mmmm, about 100 Yankee dimes." I asked what that meant, and he couldn't believe I didn't know. Turns out a Yankee dime is a kiss, so I reached up to kiss him on the cheek (still not willing to assume anything more than friendship). Well, he said that just wouldn't do, and promptly took me in his arms for a real kiss. And, a few more after that.
I must tell you this: God worked in my life throughout my divorce and struggles. He knew that I dreaded going to my daughter's wedding and seeing my ex-husband, knowing that he was happy living with his "other person" (I'm using a nice term). I really had anxieties of being able to carry things off without feeling like miserable cast-off. So, having someone who had declared feelings for me before I went made a world of difference in my attitude). I must have looked radiant, because my ex commented on how good I looked.
After that, things just seemed to progress. It felt right from the beginning. Never did I see anything in him that I didn't admire. He had all of the qualities I liked and wanted in a man, and no bad virtues. We got along really well together, and from the beginning we felt comfortable with each other.
As time went on, our relationship grew, as did our love for each other. He still had a lot of healing to do, and he worked on his issues as I had mine. It helped for him to have someone to talk to, and he credits me with a lot of his healing. All I did was listen and understand the pain. A loss is a loss, no matter if it is through death or divorce. With either, you have to go through the same stages of grief.
Vern was asked to become a Grief facilitator, and he worked with people dealing with death like I worked with those dealing with divorce. This also helped him heal. He also attended Beginning Experiences and worked with that group for nearly a year. By that time, I had already worked with BE for two and a half years, so I was ready to move on, and I left the group.
There comes a time when you know you are no longer needy, and you know that you have healed enough that you can move on with your life.
I have to believe that our working with recovery groups helped us to become better people as well as helping us heal our losses. We were allowed to grow spiritually while we worked on the issues we needed to in order to overcome our grief. It gave us a common bond, and allowed us to learn what is important in a relationship.
Because we both suffered a great loss, we are able to appreciate each other so much more than we appreciated our first spouses. And we learned what to do and what not to do in a relationship.
Eventually he told me that he didn't want to live without me, and without an official proposal, we began to talk about a life together. By that time, we knew we wanted to be together. In fact, we felt we were meant for each other.
Part IV - The Fairy Tale Came True
It was amazing that the fairy tale came true for me. I had said that I didn't have a next door neighbor like my coworker's dad had, and would never meet my future husband over my back fence like it happened to them. I had thought that so romantic and rare. Although Vern lived five houses away, he did live behind my house, and that's close enough for me. It was hard to believe, except for the fact that God works in strange ways His wonders to perform.
Love is Grand at Any Age
Know that it is possible to two people of our age (Vern is four years older than I am) to fall head over heels in love, and feel all of the giddy feelings that anyone younger feels. Only it's better because we can appreciate it more and not take life for granted.
I'll admit that we had our share of problems. Not with us, but problems with some of his family thinking it was too soon for him to have found someone else. That was understandable because it did happen rather soon after his being widowed, but we did proceed cautiously.
His daughter, who had even told him once before we ever got together that it would be good for him to do things with me, felt differently when it happened. Some of his sisters-in-law started ugly rumors saying we were having an affair before his wife died, and said I was a gold digger and turned his daughter against me. Even though what they said was lies and nasty gossip, it caused me no end of heartache. It took years for his daughter to begin to treat me decently. The family didn't seem to blame him for dating too soon, just me.
But because we were as old as we were, and because we had gone though what we had gone through, and because we were two educated, intelligent people who discussed everything thoroughly, we knew what we were doing. I knew I had waited long enough and was ready for a relationship. It had been five years for me before meeting him, and he finally convinced me that he was ready, too. We both did a lot of healing even after we had declared our love. I learned that it is possible for final healing to take place in a safe, loving relationship.
Was the psychic right? Not literally. He came into my life five years after the divorce, not five years after my reading. But she was right in that he accepted me as I was, and he fell in love with the inner me.
We waited over a year to get married. We wanted his daughter, who was married in March, to have her wedding and be the center of attention first. We didn't want to take any joy from her by getting married before she did. Besides, we wanted to wait to really get to know each other even better. In DRW, we learned that you need to at least go through all of the seasons and holidays with a person before marriage.
Our feelings continued to grow stronger and stronger.
We were married in June. We had a small church wedding and a nice reception, and invited all of our friends and relatives. All three of our children took part in the ceremony. Sandy, my daughter, was my matron of honor, and my son, Davy, walked me down the aisle. Kim, along with Davy, lit the candles. Vern would have settled for a justice of the peace and just the two of us, but he wanted me to be happy, so he supported me with the wedding. I insisted that he help me plan, but he just said, "Anything that makes you happy," and went along with all of my plans. I even had a harpist to play for the ceremony, which made everything perfect!
And that's why I love him. He is so good to me and for me! I now look back on my first marriage and, although I loved my first husband very much (and I know he loved me for a time - who knows when he stopped), I realize that things were not this good between us. As the years passed, we had too much conflict. Life was too difficult, and I couldn't see it until it was all over and I could compare it with the a good relationship I have with Vern.
As part of our wedding ceremony, a friend read "On His Plan for Our Life", which epitomizes the story of our love. It was very moving, and will be truly meaningful to anyone who has walked in my shoes. After you read it, you will understand why I know that Vern is the answer to my very personal prayers. Although Vern said he never thought about remarrying after his wife died, he is glad God answered my prayers. I told him that he hadn't been single long enough to get truly lonely, especially when Kim still lived at home. And, because he had a happy marriage, he didn't have the fears that I once had about rejection, or getting married again. So, after he fell in love with me, he didn't want to live without me. Besides, you always hear about men getting married soon after their wives die. If they were happily married, they want to experience that again. It happens a lot.
Fairy tales and dreams can come true. I never thought I could be as happy as I am with Vern. He has the calm strength that I need to balance my insecurities, and the laid back personality to balance my being up tight about things that upset me. He doesn't worry about the little things that I worry about, and he is so accepting of my bad and well as my good qualities. His sense of humor adds something my first marriage never had. He loves me unconditionally; I didn't have that before. He supports me wholeheartedly. He laughs at me when I stew about little things, and lets me be me. He is happy that I allow him to be who he is. He says I give him what he needs, too. I no longer feel that I have to try to be perfect.
We have a fantastic mutual admiration society!
We both cherish each other and our love. Before this, I used to think that those "good" marriages in books and movies were too good to be true - that there was really no such thing. Now I know that it is possible to have a really good and supportive marriage - one in which both people are happy and there is no strife. Good relationships are based on mutual trust, respect, common interests and values, acceptance, wonder, appreciation, and a true, abiding love. Ours has those ingredients.
There is no doubt in my mind that we will live "Happily Ever After." Life is good. We feel God meant us for each other, and we just had to wait for the right time, when we were both ready, for God to put us together.
Another thing - I never did feel that my first husband was my Soul Mate I thought about it, but knew he wasn't. That kind of magic wasn't there, even in the beginning. It was as if something was missing. In this marriage we both feel like we are each other's Soul Mate
About Those Psychic Predictions
Do I believe in psychics, card readers, palm readers and horoscopes? I don't know. I don't not believe, but I wouldn't base my every action on them. I know that God created the universe, including the stars and the moon, on which some people base their readings. I believe that there is a relationship in His creation and the stars and planets and seasons, so I tend to respect astrology and people who can read Tarot My psychic certainly served her purpose. She cane into my life at a time that I needed her. I believe that things happen in our lives for a reason. I was led to her for a reason. I believe that God was always looking out for me and working in my life. Looking back, I can see what her purpose was. She gave me hope. She let me feel better about myself. She gave me a carrot to dangle in front of my nose, letting me relax and not worry about being alone for the rest of my life. She let me know that there would be someone to love me for myself... me, the way I was then and am now. I didn't have to change to please anyone. I had spent my entire married life trying to please a critical, self-centered husband. She said that someone would come into my life in five years who would love me unconditionally. While she wasn't accurate in that I would have to wait for five years, he did come into my life one month short of the five years after my husband had left me. She also told me that I would live a long and happy life and that my next marriage would last a very long time. Those predictions seem to have come true. Only time will tell about the long life, but the marriage will last as long as we are alive, this I know.
Did I write that book? No, net yet, but I became a freelance journalist/photographer several years into our marriage for our local Knight-Ridder newspaper and earned money from that. I also did some freelance work for a magazine. I have written some web pages on divorce that seem to have helped a number of people, based on my e-mail. I guess you could say I'm published on the web, although I don't make money from it.
Before the psychic, as with many divorced women, I had been extremely worried about being able to make it on my salary alone, The psychic had urged me to write and become involved in making myself content, and she assured me that my income would improve even by the end of the year. It didn't, but it slowly increased each year with contract raises, and now I am comfortable enough financially that even that prediction has come true in a way. I earn extra money from my newspaper articles and photos, and I sell and license my photography. Who knows? I may still write that book. I feel that it is needed. I want it to be a book on recovering from divorce in mid-life. I just seem to stay busy with my art and photography and enjoying life, so it's going to take a concerted effort to finish it.
Postscript (A history Thereof)
After Five Years
Vern and I have celebrated our 5th anniversary.
We continue to feel blessed that we are so happy together. We have such a comfortable relationship... one that is free from strife. It is full of appreciation for each other. We now have a grandchild whom we both adore, and have entered into a new phase of life.
Oh, we have a few disagreements now and then, and each of us has to accept little idiosyncrasies from the other, but basically we have a good, strong marriage. We hope that God will allow us to spend many more years together.
After Eight Years
Vern and I have now celebrated our 8th anniversary. We are now both retired, and are both involved in the arts - I paint and do photography, and he has taken up pottery and is getting quite good. We have a grandson from his daughter, and delight in him.
Life is good.
You may wonder how the relationship is now between my ex-husband and me. For many years I wished that we could be civil and in contact for the sake of the children. You know, like it is in the movies when divorced people can smile at each other and discuss the children, or at least when they can depend on each other for support where the children were concerned. To not remain good friends, but not have bad feelings that last forever. It was not to happen. You would think he would be happy and able to forgive once he got away from the root of all of his problems and unhappiness. Not him. He still holds grudges against me, is completely distant, and I learned not to try to contact him when the children had problems or crises. He would just say, "What do you think I can do about it?", still not wanting the responsibility. He still holds vast resentments against me, as if he still blames me for everything in his life that a real man would have accepted responsibility for. Boy, I must be a very powerful person for him to still resent and blame me this many years later. From what my daughter has told me, he has even made up blatant lies about me that still blame me for things that are totally ludicrous. I guess he is still trying to justify his behaviors towards me. It's really sad.
My best revenge is living a happy life and I can honestly say that I am 100 times happier than I would have ever been living with the first husband.
After Twelve Years
How has the time flown by so fast? We've often said that we wish we had met each other much earlier in life so that we could have more years together, but the truth is that if we had met earlier, we wouldn't have been right for each other or ready for each other. Finding each other is, to me, a reward for all of our hardships and the result of our first walking different paths that finally brought us together at the right time. We are truly blessed.
If you were divorced or widowed at mid-life, don't be discouraged. Work hard at overcoming your grief. Attend a good support group and work through the pain. Get therapy if you are depressed, or if you have issues you need to work through. Many times childhood issues or family of origin issues surface when you are going through a divorce. Work on yourself and become the person you would like to be. Become like the person you would like to marry, for we tend to attract people of similar emotional healthiness. Make a good life for yourself. Surround yourself with good, supportive friends. Then let God be in charge of finding the right one for you.
He will when the time is right. Just don't rush.
Below are some links which may be of help and comfort to those of you who have gone through a death or a divorce. Please feel free to read them and pass the information on to anyone you think it might help.
Back to the Divorce Recovery Main Page
Main index for grief recovery.
My Wedding Pictures
Share our joy.
The Grief Process
Necessary After A Loss
"The Stages of Grief"
Discusses the 5 Stages of Grief
"His Plan For Your Life"
Hope for a new life with the right person.
Why We Have to Go Through Pain
"Prayers for Serenity and Peace"
Prayers For When You Feel Lost and Alone
"The Garden of Serenity and Peace"
3 Pages of Uplifting Affirmations and Verses
"Comes the Dawn"
A Poem of Survival
The Plan For Our Lives
"Can I Save My Marriage?"
A Look At Realism In Divorce
"A Reason, A Season or a Lifetime"
Why marriages sometimes don't last a lifetime
"B. E. (The Beginning Experience)"
A weekend retreat that will help you heal from your loss
What happens in real life isn't what we expect
"Things to Ponder"
Some "tidbits" to make you think about your life.
Why and How it ends.
Back to "Divorce Recovery"
This page was created December 28, 1997, and updated January 10, 2003.
Updated August 21, 2005 and 5/1/10/.
With the exception of the graphics, this story is mine, and was created entirely by me,
and may not be copied or reproduced without written permission.
Copyright 1997 and 2010 by Linda S. Nix - All Rights Reserved
Graphics & page design by
Bimsan's Web Graphics II
Copyright © 1997