Let me preface this by saying, I have always admired and vastly appreciated the community on this blog, the ability to allow moms/parents to state their opinions freely and without cause for ridicule or strict judgment has always made this space a special one. There are not many communities like us left…communities where we listen to one another, perhaps have opposite viewpoints but are still genuinely respectful to one another. Please know that your maturity, intellect, kindness, and compassion for your fellow man, including myself are much appreciated. Here we CONNECT…it doesn’t matter your religion, political stance, or who your partner is, we’ve reached common, compassionate ground and for that I THANK YOU. Thank you for allowing me to share my story freely. Likewise if ever any one of you wish to share your story please email, email@example.com.
Divorce was never on the table, never an option, or even a consideration when I got married on April 26th, 2003. Being raised in a Catholic family the sacrament of Holy Matrimony wasn’t one that was taken lightly. My grandparents on both sides of the family had a combined 90+ years of marriage and my own parents had been married for 20+ years. So when I met my husband and found out he also shared the same faith as me and his parents had been married for 30+ years I knew divorce wasn’t going to be an option. That was until October 15th, 2021.
In the commotion of my husband and son being picked up to go to a Cleveland Brown football game and my youngest opening the gate to let in friends, the dog seized his opportunity to escape. Which wouldn’t be too much of an issue if it wasn’t for the fact that he is a runner and we do live near the expressway and busy intersections depending on which direction he decides to embark on his adventures. Thankfully my daughters and I sprang to action, grabbed snacks, a leash, hopped in the car, and were on a quick pursuit. Truth be told he’s escaped more times than I’d like to admit so we had the procedure down to an art. We managed to block him off at the expressway and lure him into the car with treats. Which was a good thing because I was anticipating another mom dropping by the house soon. I’m on the PTA board at my children’s local school and was anticipating one of the other board members stopping by to drop off a binder. Thus, when the doorbell rang it didn’t catch me off guard. What did surprise me was the gentleman at the door with what appeared to be a camera hanging around his neck.
It had already been a long week. My grandfather entered hospice, after surviving colorectal cancer and living with a colostomy bag for more than a decade, leaving the home he and his wife raised their 7 children in, entering OakLeaf, and surviving all the “craziness” during COVID (even sharing a garden plot with my daughter- my AMAZING mom went to Oakleaf at 9pm with her headlights on and helped my daughter to arrange the fairies in the garden, plant, weed, and leave little surprises, all so “they”, my grandfather and daughter could finally have the garden they’d been talking about planting together. He would go out and see the progress they had made from 9pm-10:30pm in the morning, all by himself the following day) his body had finally had enough and he had passed away that Wednesday. So, on that Friday I was surprised that this gentleman was at my door and inquiring about my name. I confirmed my name, signed, and I was officially served. I stepped back from the door, closed it, heart pounding, and slowly read the contents of the information I received which sadly were not in an envelope or concealed in any way and my youngest was standing next to me still guarding the dog. She read the information faster than I and ran upstairs to be sick. I had officially been served divorce papers. I just stood there, my mind a whirlwind.
We had just come out of the worst year of ALL of our lives, 2020! My husband had been home, the children as well, and with all the pets, household chores, and me suddenly finding myself having to fulfill SO MANY roles for everyone…I was the teacher, specials teacher, tutor, guidance counselor, lunch lady, the children’s parent, and friend, I was the one risking it all and leaving the house to get supplies…I’d make breakfast and lunch for everyone and deliver them to their designated locations within the house. For the first time EVER we all hand to be EVERYTHING to our loved ones. We NEEDED our spouses to pull double, no, triple duty, to be our ALL…to be our friend, spouse, helpmate with the chores, counselor, etc. And for some, this was never something they’d ever had to do. When you have a stay-at-home partner each partner eventually establishes their role. And after being a SAHM for 16 years my roles were clearly established. If it had anything to do with the inside of the house or the children it was my job and my husband went to work, mowed the lawn, and took out the trash. Our situation was especially intense during 2020 because my husband had grown accustomed to going out of town for work, he’d travel Monday thru Thursday for work, come home late Thursday, go to bed, work Friday, and go to poker Friday evening (which we both agreed was a good stress reliever for him) and then he’d have his weekends to do yard work, watch sports, hang with friends, etc. Meanwhile, I had the kids to care for, the household, laundry, meals, dishes, PTA board, Religious Education (I taught/teach 4th grade Religious Education at our church), blog, and volunteering in the community, I’d just received the letter of acceptance as a substitute teacher (after submitting my transcripts-yes, I entered when you still had to have a degree and go through ALL the “craziness” that was becoming a substitute teacher prior to 2020…now, as of 2022 you just need an HS diploma, YEP- I firmly believe there should be a law called “Wait Until Kat does it”, literally everything in my life seems like so much work, then, after I go through the process it’s mainstreamed, lol! ), etc. But once 2020 hit the routine, the momentum, I suppose, the distractions STOPPED! To say I was exhausted was an understatement. For the first time in my marriage, I needed more than his “roles” kind of support/help. I needed someone more than the provider and individual who took out the trash and cut the lawn, I needed someone to be there for me emotionally, mentally, and spiritually… I needed someone who could be there after I was spent, depleted from giving ALL of myself ALL day. For the first time, I wasn’t able to have those needs fulfilled through other family members, friends, and my community, it was JUST my husband. 2020 puts a significant strain on ALL relationships.
To be continued…
But for the time being, I’m curious, Is divorce on the table in your relationship? Have you had a clear and consistent conversation with your partner regarding divorce? Are you both on the same page? I’ll be honest, I thought we were and then after 19 years of marriage here I am learning the ins and outs of lawyer/divorce jargon…and yes, getting a divorce is like a part-time job in itself!
Also, has anyone found themselves suddenly going through a divorce who never envisioned being “that person”? I’d like to start a community/space for you/us…sadly, there seems to be a lot of us since 2020. Please feel free to share your story below in the comments or via email.