It’s my ex’s birthday tomorrow. When you spend two decades with someone, make children together, build a business and a life together, you can’t help but reserve a generous portion of heart for that person, despite the disintegration of your marriage.
It’s his birthday tomorrow.
My ex is a smart and charming man. It was his wit that initially attracted me to him, the way he made me laugh and giggle, his playful sensitivity. That is what captivated my attention. I wasn’t looking for love at the time, but he came along and swept me away. He was a doting husband, a wonderful father, and a person with courage and determination. For those things, and many more, I fell for him. Unfortunately, those qualities weren’t enough to keep happily ever after. After two decades, we bade our marriage goodbye.
Sometimes love isn’t enough. Sometimes wit and determination aren’t enough. Sometimes people are better apart. It shouldn’t have ended the way it did, but there isn’t a perfect formula for saying goodbye. Although our marriage failed, my respect and admiration for him hasn’t faltered. Because of our children, we are forever connected.
I write this today, because you should know him. I write this because he’s a good person, and deserves recognition. I write this because divorce changes the rules, money changes perception, and separation alters memories. I write this to honor the man who was good to me for over two decades.
Right now we are moments away from signing our divorce papers. It’s been a long haul, and today I want to sign the deed, be done with the battle, move forward, and give him this gift. He’s been patient, sometimes a bother, but overall, he’s a fair player. There were moments this year I wanted to wring his neck, days I wanted to scream in his face. There were evenings I lay on his closet carpet, asking myself, what happened to us. But those days are gone. We both have moved on. He found love, I found a few. He is happier now, and I’m happy, too.
That’s all I wanted – our happiness. Our children to be okay. And for me to be the woman I couldn’t be when I was with him. I thank him for moving on and granting me my space.
This year, I avoided playing his song list. The memories were too fresh, the songs made me fragile.
I’m playing his songs today, and the space in my heart that was reserved for his memory. The door I shut and locked up tight is open. Today I allow myself to breathe in his memory. I’ll allow myself to think of him, of us, of what once was.
Tomorrow he will be with his significant other. He is moving in with her and making new memories, creating a life, I hope, that will be equally, if not marginally better. She is good to him. She makes him smile. I hope she showers him with kindness and kisses. I wish them both a lifetime of joy.
I wondered all week what to give him for his birthday. A card seemed too personal, and what would I write?
Yesterday, while sitting in the doctor’s office, an idea came to me. I was reading, a book by Sun Tsu called The Art of War. It is a book about humanely resolving conflict. It is a guide that teaches benevolence in adversarial situations. A book on relationships, business, and conflict resolution. It hit me. I will buy him a copy of this book for his birthday. He loves business books, and this man isn’t my enemy, he is my friend, my partner. We are partners in making our children better humans.
So, Happy Birthday, M. I hope tomorrow the sun will shine brightly on your face. I hope the wind will blow gently on your skin. And I hope you get showered with love and affection.
You were once my everything, and now you are just my something.
But I am grateful that you were born.
Have your divorce wounds healed?
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