In this new chapter of my life, I’ve learned a number of things. I now know how to put a new bag in the kitchen trash can. And how to open a can of olive oil. And that I can keep afloat financially while paying my mortgage and taxes and springing for the annual Cape Cod adventure solo. I am truly independent and for that I am sincerely appreciative.
I can’t say that my life is easier than it was when I was married, but I feel happier and more satisfied in many ways. There was a couple my husband and I were friends with for many years that split up a few years prior to our separating. She explained to me that she no longer wanted to be responsible for her husband’s happiness. At the time, I didn’t really get what she was saying, but I eventually understood exactly what she meant.
Over the years at various times, I mentally ran numbers in my head. Could I afford to maintain the lifestyle the boys and I had enjoyed if I were single? Their father and I had talked over the years about the extreme challenge so many men faced following a divorce – how in the world can a man be expected to continue to support his family’s residence while forging his own new path with accompanying expenses? How is that even possible? Or fair?
When my marriage exploded in a shower of colorful sparks to rival any fireworks display, I came to truly understand the different expenses involved in a long term relationship. The cost of not being emotionally or spiritually satisfied and the internal price we each pay for the choices we make. And, yes, the expense of being responsible for another’s happiness.
Being independent isn’t necessarily synonymous with being alone. It just means I have the freedom to choose the life I want, a freedom that I will never view as anything less than revolutionary.