My parents divorced after 30 years of being together and even now it’s hard to imagine how much has changed since then.
I always thought I had a normal family life like most kids. Granted, it’s rare to have a family that is not divorced. I knew I was lucky because I wanted what my parents had. I wanted someone to hold my hand in the car and still grab my ass in the kitchen 20 years later.
But nothing lasts forever and sadly neither did my parents relationship. Luckily, I never once heard them fight or have a real argument that lasted more than 20 minutes. So when my Mom mentioned divorce and gave vague reasons, I still don’t know how someone can throw almost 30 years away.
My Grandmother says that “Everything can be fixed with a kiss and an ‘I love you’. While I think that might have worked in her generation, today we just do not see it anymore. Regardless of who you end up with, there will always be someone cuter, smarter, and funnier than the person you are with and a lot of us find that aspect difficult to accept and conquer without infidelity.
My dad worked across the country for the last few years before the divorce. My mom started hanging out with a long lost friend and he started attending life events that my dad should have been at. Due to work, Dad would miss things periodically. As time went on, this friend started coming around more and more. And while mom denied any wrong doing, the divorce came shortly after.
Mom seemed to pick up right where she left off but with a new boyfriend in tow. My dad never fully recovered from losing the love of his life.
He fell into a deep depression, contemplated suicide and did not make the best life choices for his future. He has since regained his livelihood and has found happiness again in other areas of life.
I sometimes wonder if the split was worse being an adult versus a child. At least as a child, you fall into this new normal early. As an adult, you go through your entire life knowing one thing to always be stable only to have it crumble suddenly. We heard our parents fight maybe three times our total childhood so to say no one saw this coming but a complete understatement.
When I found out the divorce was actually happening I remember not wanting to tell my sister. Not because she couldn’t handle it but part of our childhood would never look the same now. At this point, you just don’t know what was true and what was a lie? Was our mom always pretending? Did she love my dad like he loved her? Were there other men?
Even today in conversation, when asked when my parents got divorced, people seem shocked that after all that time together, some things just can not be worked out.
And maybe we will never know why some things work out and some things don’t. Why people fall out of love and others make it for 60+ years.
My family together during a yearly camping trip in northern Wisconsin.