When everyone else is celebrating St. Patrick's day on March 17 every year, I find myself counting back how many years I would have been married to my first husband. I don't know WHY I do it, I've never regretted divorcing him, but there's always that "what if" factor. So every March 18, I figure out how many years it's been since 1967 and I say, sometimes just in my head and sometimes to one of the kids, "Today would be our 40th anniversary"!
I just looked it up and it's the "Ruby" anniversary....hmmm, that would have been nice. Ok, here's the kicker. We've been divorced since 1977, he's been remarried for 30 years (I think), has 2 more kids, and for the past 10 years I've been living 10 min. from them (the ex and his wife). I've spent Easter and Christmas at their house, even went to a local Women's Conference with his wife and of course, we all sit together at the grandkids' school plays, etc. I know, you've heard about these kind of divorces, right? I don't know how rare or common they are these days, but I suppose I prefer it this way rather than not ever communicating.
But I still can't help thinking that if I had stayed married to him, our kids wouldn't have had to experience the divorce and all that insued after that. Also, I wouldn't be sitting here in a mobile home, almost 60 years old with no health insurance, looking into the future all by myself. Wow, does THAT sound sad, huh? hahahahah....I'm just being honest because this comes up EVERY March 18!! The reality of it is that I couldn't have stayed married to him because I was not getting what I needed from him emotionally. He just wasn't able to express his feelings or constantly reassure me how much he loved me. He's also an alcoholic and even though he's what you would call a functioning alcoholic, I never would have made it through the years of him falling asleep drunk with beer every night like his current wife has done.
And now that I've been able to see what my life "would" have been, I'm even more certain that it never would have lasted. He's a good man and a good father/provider and all that, but I never was materialistic so even though I sometimes envy what they have now (the cabin up north, the big house on 5 acres, new cars, etc), I know I would not have been happy. That really is good to know at this age! So even though I might sound like I'm regretting the past, I know it would not have been a good trade off. I AM considering asking him if he wants to become a poligamist since I found out he's taking a job that will move them to Hawaii!
Maybe I should concentrate on regretting my second divorce instead! hahahah...I have until November 22 to start thinking about that one! :)
Let me know if you are sorry about the decisions you made "back then".