I Couldn’t Do It

Healing from divorce is a process, just as is forgiveness. I take two steps forward, one step back and sometimes it feels like I have to start all over again. It happens. It’s normal.

Over the last several years, I’ve healed. As much as anyone can heal from such a traumatic experience, of course. There will always be a hole in my heart. After 24 years of marriage, sharing hopes, dreams, children and a future, there will always be a small piece of my heart that hurts. It gets better with time, no doubt, but it is impossible to forget the good times, the laughter and the raising of the children. Memories of my boys’ childhood are memories of my married life. The two are inseparable.

Like it or not, my ex and I will ALWAYS share a future together. Our children and our grandchildren are our future. Linked genetically forever into eternity. Hopefully, my ex works toward making their future better as much as I do. I don’t see it, but as I am no longer intimately involved in his life, I can’t be certain he is making sure our children, grandchildren and future grandchildren have a bright future.

I couldn’t do what he has done and continues to do. I couldn’t do any of it. I could never have walked away from our 24 year marriage and also abandoned our children. You may recall my telling you in previous posts how I begged God to allow me to have this precious special time with my kids while they were still in college. It really is a special time and I am thankful that God has allowed me to have it. I’ve taken a few steps back these last few weeks. Last night the sadness hit me again. It saddens me that the boys’ father is not really present in their lives–to the point of great grief.

My youngest son has seen his father a few times over the last 9-10 months when the ex was on a layover in Charlotte. My youngest hasn’t seen his father at all in 8 months and speaks to him on the phone infrequently. This would kill me as a mother. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t walk away and have virtually no contact with my boys.

It’s hard for an absent father to admit that he needs to be around more for his children. Especially a father who feels that his wife and children held him back in his career. Ex always dreamed of being an airline pilot, but it never came to fruition because children and a wife take commitment, effort and time. None of which many airline pilots can afford their wives and children. That’s why there is a known acronym in the airline world. AIDS –Airline Induced Divorce Syndrome. The divorce rate among pilots is extremely high (we knew very few pilots who weren’t at least divorced ONCE). My guess is that it is due to infidelity and being away from their families so frequently, often for long periods. My ex actually said on more than one occasion, “You held me back! If it weren’t for you, I’d be further along in my career!” Well, now he is an airline cargo pilot, jet setting across the world AND he has a harlot to share his life with. It only cost him his family.

I digress, my middle son has an internship this summer and is living at home with me. He’s had some car trouble and last night I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if his father lived close enough to swing by and help!?” Seriously, the ex and I don’t have to get along in order to help our children. Admittedly, he would have to make some changes before it could happen, but, as two parents who love their children, surely….. right. No. Not with a narcissist.

It breaks my heart that my boys don’t have a father in their lives. Yes, other people have it worse, I understand. I’m very thankful that my boys were older when the exhole bolted, but my ex filing for divorce has had an impact on their lives, and certainly not for the better. Yes, they are mostly doing well–we all are–but, like me, I know the pangs of sadness still hit them from time to time. Their father moved out of state and is often out of the country. This week, he’s been in Alaska and will be heading to Japan. He won’t return for a month!

While there is no love-loss between us, I do have pity on the wasband. Why? Because I know how precious this time with my boys really is. Time is something you can never get back. With young men, they go off, get jobs, get married and typically visit the family of their wives more frequently.

The ex has lost almost 3 years of precious time that he will NEVER get back. We don’t get a redo on this thing we call life. My boys and I are making memories that will last a lifetime while the ex is making memories with his paramour instead. He’s also too busy building his new airline career to spend time with his children. Life is about choices and I made the choice to continue to put my children first. It won’t be long until I have an empty nest and then I’ll have plenty of time to work on making my new dreams come true. I don’t want to regret not enjoying this time with my kids for even a nanosecond. Life is too short to have regrets and I’ve never heard a parent say, “Man, I wish I would have spent less time with my kids.”

Like I’ve said many times before, I cannot wrap my head around a man who forsakes his own children for a whore (and a job). I know it happens every day because I’ve met too many families like mine who have been affected by deadbeat dads who skip out.

I often wonder if my ex ever regrets what he’s done —if he even realizes what he’s done. He is a narcissist who still insists that he’s done nothing wrong, so I assume he is still clueless. Sadly.

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