It's funny how people pop up in your life. One of my dear friends, who I swear I'll meet one day, when I make it to her freezing cold (seriously, it is) condo in Iowa, is Sara Frankl, better known as Gitzen Girl. She is amazing. She is in excruciating pain, all the time, she literally cannot leave her house, and yet she is the most cheerful person I know.
She will sit with me and our other friends on the computer late at night, laughing at jokes, making witty comments, clicking through 234 pictures I send her (literally, 234), even though after clicking through half the pictures made her have what looks like pretty darn painful muscle pain all the way up her arm. Still, she refused to stop looking. She laughs loud and long even though she may wince in pain as soon as she's done, as it it's all caught up to her.
But she's still joyful. And she's taught me a lot in the time I've been blessed enough to know her.
She knows a lot of people, too...her influence reaches far beyond the walls of her home. People love Sara, and Sara loves people.
Believe it or not, this post isn't about Sara. I just like bragging on her some. Today, Sara tweeted about a guest post one of her friends made for something called Affair Week on Jenni Clayville's blog. Now Sara sends a lot of tweets, and I don't click on all of them, mainly because I'm a procrastinator. But today I did, because...well, let's be honest, because it was totally a God thing.
Sara's friend Alece posted about her perspective as the person who was left. Her post (read it, for real) has left me feeling torn...like part of me wants to raise my hand in the air and say "Yeah, that, that exactly" to her entire post. And the other part of me wants to be able to stop crying. Maybe I can do both, someday.
My story is not exactly the same as Alece's, except at the core...we both had husbands who chose not to stay. Hers took longer to say he wanted a divorce, left her waiting and wondering for what I'm sure felt like a lifetime, and she talks about how that time in limbo was the worst for her. One of the quotes that resonated with me most was that she "sacrificed me for the sake of us."
It's been over a year, now, since my husband left. But in as many ways as he left quickly, he didn't leave. I can't quite put it into words, yet, how it was. So many times I have sat wondering how it was he got to be on both sides, how it was that all these choices were being forced upon me and I just kept bending, and bending, and bending, trying to prove I could be whoever or whatever he wanted me to be and he kept leaving me these tiny slices of hope that it could all work out after all. I became a martyr, using my sacrifice to prove how much my family meant to me.
It makes moving on a bitch, let me tell you.
I don't know all the right answers, yet. I'm still in the thick of it all, which I only realized recently. We have not found the professional distance that many divorced couples share...that pleasant yet distant manner. My ex-husband and I still bounce wildly back and forth between completely freaking out on each other to making jokes to having involved conversations that I don't think I'll ever see in a divorced parents' how to book.
In many ways I still don't know how to do this, I am still in limbo, and I still struggle. In other ways I am stronger and healthier and altogether more well than I have ever been. I know that God is using this to refine me, although I'd love a break from the fire sometime soon.
But reading Alece's post, steeling myself to read the other posts that are up now for Affair Week, the ones from the other side...other perspectives, those who were the other women, the men who left...it touches me in this strange way. It's both painful and healing to relive it all, but it needs to be written about. It needs to be read. It needs to be shouted from the rooftops.
Divorce is huge and life changing in a way that is rarely positive. Affairs affect more people than you would ever think for much longer than anyone realizes. Neither should be swept under the rug, never, not ever. Even in those situations where divorce is the right choice is should still be undertaken with care and consideration and then, if I may say so, reconsideration.
At least that's what I think.
18 hours ago