Friday, August 19, 2011

Death or Divorce?

I have heard many times that the two hardest things to deal with in life are death and divorce.  In my opinion, divorce has to be the most difficult.  I obviously can only speak for myself and my experiences in life and I don't mean to demean the loss of a loved one, but it is by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do/experience in my life.  I have never really lost someone all that close to me and my faith allows me to know that this life on Earth is not the final step, I will see them again.  I have felt emptiness and I miss them dearly but positive memories help me get through those times.  Due to the nature of most divorces, positive memories have been erased by betrayal and second guessing.  It is difficult to heal from something that is "covered" in misery.   

A little divorce would be considered a very easy divorce in the scope of most divorces.  Especially those we are bombarded with on TV or magazines today.  There were not months of fighting before we decided to divorce, nor were there months of custody battles.  We used the same lawyer, I took legal custody of our 14 month old son without much of an argument and there was a simple 50/50 split of assets (cars, savings account, etc...) with no child support requested.  So why do I still think that divorce is one of the hardest things in life to deal with?  It's simple......we had decided that we no longer wanted to live with or share our life with each other any longer, but if you have a child together, you are still stuck with that person for the rest of your life. I no longer have feelings for my ex, not one shred of them, yet I still have to talk to her almost on a weekly basis and even plan my current family's schedule with her permission or support in that I need to make sure I am considering my son's well being.  Families are difficult enough to manage let alone needing to "consult" someone that one way or another, you don't like anymore.  I have to deal with the same issues for which we divorced in the fact that her narcissism plays out on a regular basis with how she speaks to our child or how she treats my new wife.  Marriage to me is one of, if not the most important relationship we can have.....I didn't simply consider it "breaking up" as many do today.  I took the vows/covenants I made that day VERY seriously.  Once she broke those it was quite damaging to me on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level.  In fact, I still deal with many emotional scars.     

In death, we are left with an empty feeling that for most people can be filled with love, faith and good memories over time.  In divorce, we are left we negative feelings, emptiness and lost love that may or may not have an end. Although I am in a much healthier relationship and am extremely happy, there is an emptiness still from the "failure" that has occurred.  Now I freely admit that I have a conscience that it is a bit more subject to devastating guilt than the rest (I hate to hurt people or feel as if I failed someone), but when there is a child involved, I can't seem to think there is not some sort of emptiness.  The greatest feeling of failure I have is for my son.  I feel as if I failed him.  No matter how well I heal from it, it is something that he has to deal with for the rest of his life and he did nothing to deserve it.   

If my wife was to die today, the loss would be traumatic for me and our children.  I don't mean to imply that it would not be difficult, very difficult.  I take great pride and relief in knowing that I have treated her in such a way that I can feel confident that I have worked my butt off to make this marriage/family a success.  There would be an empty feeling from her loss, of that I am sure.  But I am confident that it can be eased through great memories, happiness and knowledge of life after death.  Not that you ever stop missing someone, but with death, there is a pseudo ending or moving on.  In divorce with children, there is no "end".  I see her weekly, if not more often than that.  This morning, I spent 30 minutes with her on the phone planning the next few months.  I hate it.  I just want it to be over and for us to move on and I never have to see her again.  I am reminded of my "failure" every time I see her.  I have to deal with someone on an intimate level that I do not really like on any level.  There are no two ways about it; it is the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with in my life!!  Fortunately, I love my son enough to do whatever it takes to give him the best life I can.  Even if that means swallowing my tongue when she does something I perceive as stupid and I want to yell, "What were you thinking"?   

What do you think?  I would love to hear your two cents.   

As I write this blog entry, I realize how difficult it is to truly "express" oneself in writing.  Please forgive my "amateur" writing skills.  I hope to get better and have this to be something that educates and entertains you.  

Saturday, July 9, 2011

One-Sided Pancake

When it comes to my divorce, as they say, it completely came from "left field".  Did not expect it at all.  We had never been in a shouting match, nor had we ever even discussed it.  In fact, we had made a rule, not to even say the word "divorce" in our home.  Both our parents were still together and everything we had discussed up to that time pointed to the relationship between a husband and wife as the most important one to cultivate, even greater than the relationship we have with our own children.  We are both from religious homes that hold marriage to be the pinnacle of our existence.  Sure, we didn't always agree on things and I am sure there were things that each of us would have liked to have a little different, but if you would have asked anyone who knew us, they would have quickly stated that "they are happy and have a great relationship".  With hindsight, it is now obvious how much someone can hide things if needed.  I came home from a weekend visiting friends in another state and knew something was wrong.   It felt different than it did 72 hours earlier.  Less than 30 days later, we had split.  It was the weirdest month of my life.     

When all was going downhill, I was standing outside my home speaking with some great friends about how quickly things had changed and how shocked I was to be in the situation I was in at that point of my life (we had a 15 month old) and after trying to explain to them what I knew, one friend said something I will never forget and something that gave me great confidence and reassurance  in a deeply sorrowful time of my life.  He stated, "man, I know they always say there are two sides to every story, but this is truly "a one-sided pancake".  That statement has stuck with me and is the driving force for these blog's title.  Even though I am sure I could have been a better husband in one aspect or another, I had felt up to that time that there was truly only one side to this marital demise.  It was reasurring to me that someone who knew us both well, saw it the same as I did.  Throughout this blog, along with lots of other stuff, I will be sharing the things I have learned over my life, but mostly over the last 7 years through divorce, remarriage, adoption and life sharing a child with someone with whom you have lost all respect.  One day, I want to write a book, maybe the title will be, "Eveything I Need to Know, I Learned in my Divorce". 

I hope these entries can somehow entertain you, educate you and if nothing else, help you understand how important it is to truly put all you have into your marriage.  It is where you can find the greatest happiness.  Unfortunately, like most things in life, where you find the most happiness is also where you can find the deepest sorrows.  It is a balancing act that takes an effort everyday of your life to ensure that the "happy" days far out-number the "sad" ones.           

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

And we wonder why?

We wonder why our society has arrived at its current state?  This article from explains allot.  The fact that he evens begin to think that this is a viable suit to bring or the fact that he has the nerve to ask that taxpayer's money be used to help him fight the suit while he sits in prison on a bank robbery arrest is ridiculous.  It almost appears as if the prison system has simply become an Extended Stay Hotel for the questionable characters rather than a place to help protect the innocent and/or reform the guilty.  Now I don't believe that all inmates need to be in solitary confinement, but I chuckle when I hear the phrase, "cruel and unusual punishment" when referring to no TVs for inmates or the like.  Did the victim(s) of their crimes have the chance to use the same denfense?  Hardly.  We need to make the prison system more of a deterrent, rather than a time where they can simply feed off the backs of the law-abiding, hard working citizens.  Or a time for them to  make "friends" with those that will aid and abet them when they get out early due to over-crowding and/or legal mishap.  Prison needs to be a place that is "unusual" or it will not begin to serve the intended purpose.    

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What have we become?

I don't believe it is hard to look around and not notice that we, as a society, have truly digressed to a people that want to shun all types of accountablility.  "It wasn't me" or "it is my fault" or my personal favorite, "its just the way I am".  Well, if you are an idiot and you know it, then change!  Obviously, none of us want to be  the cause of something terrible, but what happened to good ole integrity and the ability to take responsibility for one's actions?  The courts are full to capacity with lawsuits that are trying to shift responsibility to someone else.  Some are completely justisfied but I would be willing to bet some significant money that most are simply people trying to avoid saying sorry or a simple "mea culpa".  Parents, when it is obvious that their child has done something wrong, expend so much energy within a school or judicial system to free their child of culpability or responsibility.  I know of a family that the parents are currently divorced because the father required the son to turn himself in on a robbery case, where the mother simply wanted him to get away with it.  The father turned him in to the police and the mother left in anger.  "How could you?" she says.  Which is the better lesson?  Too many parents shy away from the opportunity to teach a important life long lesson to avoid their own embarrassement or to avoid the drama that resonsibility might bring.  Until parents step up and claim responsibility themselves, then we are doomed to have generations of "it wasn't me" children who fail to see the power of, "I'm sorry, I accept the consequences of my actions".   What a different world indeed we would have if we learned to, with sincerity, speak that small sentence.    

Saturday, June 25, 2011


So many people blog.  Why not me?  I have read several blog entries and enjoy the opportunity for others to rant and rave as they please.  I have been through a lot of different life experiences and feel that I may have some opinions/pieces of advice to share that may be of benefit for others.  Whether that is to make you laugh, cry or just simply get really mad.  As the title suggests, this is going to be a one-sided look at the world we live in.  Later, I will expound on where I got the idea for the name of this blog.  I hope I enjoy writing it and hope that you enjoy reading it.  If nothing else, it might help to reduce some stress.