It’s been over two years since I officially became a single mother. I never thought I would be in this position, raising my children on my own. The first year my ex and I separated, we parented our children together. He provided financially for his children and never complained about doing it. He also helped me with things that I couldn’t do on my own. We still remained parents and best friends.
We tried our best to make amends in our relationship, but for some reason we couldn’t get past all the ways we had hurt each other over the years. We couldn’t stop pointing fingers at each other. It was always, “You did this to me,” and, “Do you remember when you did this…?”
We both struggled with letting go and moving on. Neither of us knew what that meant. We had never separated in the 16 years we were together. Deep down, we both knew that letting go of what we thought our relationship should look like was what was necessary for our healing. But we hung on for dear life, for some reason afraid that we could not pave new paths alone.
My ex has changed drastically and I will admit, I do not even know who he is anymore. He has made some choices that are questionable. I fear that my daughter will have to bury her father before she is even a teenager. I fear that allowing my ex to have an inconsistent presence in the children’s life is dangerous to their self-image and self-confidence. I fear that, if I step in and protect them, they will hate and blame me for pushing their father away.
My ex has had moments of regret when he has apologized to me for all the mistakes he made. These lucid moments do not last very long; they often take place when he is intoxicated and feeling guilty. I guess the saying “drunk words are sober thoughts” rings very true in this situation.
I guess nothing lasts forever and I still struggle with the idea that my family is broken and will never be the same. I feel anger because I want my children to be raised in a two-parent home, but I know that this will never happen and I am left to sort out all these emotions on my own.
I do miss my ex, because he represented what I thought a family should be. I miss that I knew or I thought I knew what the next few years would look like. I thought it would be him and I against the world.
I have been struggling with the idea that my relationship is over. Maybe it’s because our anniversary of breaking up has come and passed. Maybe it’s the one-year mark, since I had to drag my once caring, supportive, loving partner and father into a courtroom to pay child support.
Maybe it’s because I feel so alone, fearful and apprehensive about what the future holds for my family. My ex should be here with his family and he has chosen not to be. I usually get tired of dealing with so many emotions on my own, so I put them on the doorstep of my friend. I didn’t have to go on and explain to her the relationship ending or how lonely I was feeling. She gets it.
My friend told me that he probably does not have any insight into the depth of the impact his leaving has had on our children and me. She went on to tell me that I was probably a reminder of his own shortcomings. He knew he wasn’t good enough for me and when he looked at me, he was reminded that he was flawed and that I was so much more together than he was. Finally, she said that he found somebody who could look up to him and make him feel better about himself.
What my friend had to say about our relationship made me feel more alone, but at the same time, I understood. It does make a bit of sense, because he was always telling me that I deserved better or I would better off without him. If only this man knew that having a broken family and a broken heart is not better off.