All the baggage.

When you are 45 and single, you quickly realize that at this point in life, anyone that is single comes with baggage. We are all little damaged. We have all been through some muck. The other thing I am realizing is that it was no ones fault. At least, not most of the men that I have met so far. The blame is always pointed in the other directions. They had no fault in the end of their marriage.

I have taken responsibility for the my part in the failure of my marriage and so has my X. I just wish that everyone would realize, it takes two to make a relationship. It, also, takes two to break a relationship. No one is innocent when a marriage ends.

Now, it’s time for some real talk. A lot of times when a woman leaves a long term relationship, the man’s very first thoughts are “she found someone else”, “how could she do this“, “all these years together“, “she wants a new man” and so much more. What men failed to see were all the times she went to sleep feeling like shit because of his actions or his decisions.

He didn’t see the times she came to bed so tired she wanted to cry because she worked all day, took the kids to sports, made dinner, gave baths, packed lunches and he ask her why she was in a bad mood? Why she was mad at him? She wasn’t in a bad mood. It wasn’t that she didn’t love him. It was that there was nothing left, she was exhausted and needed a little help from him, but he didn’t see it. He didn’t see the times she would hide her tears because he called her a name. He kept saying he would change but never did. Men don’t think about all the times she was there when no one else was. How she prayed to God to help him change. How she prayed to God to save her marriage. How she prayed to God to save her family. To save herself.

They don’t think about how she always put everyone and everything before her own needs. They don’t think about how all her friends and family told her to walk away but still she stayed. She stayed for the children. She stayed hoping to keep her family together. No…all they can think is “how could she do this?” She left because she wanted someone else. She wanted something else. What else could it be? They had done everything right.

Well, let me be the first to say, women don’t just wake up one day and decide to leave. They don’t just randomly decide to breakup their families. A mans actions, his words, the way he makes her feel builds up over time and eventually, it all becomes this weight that she just can’t carry anymore. She can’t hold on. She can’t let it got. She is being crushed.

So, she stops venting. She stops getting on you. She stops fighting. She pretends it is all okay. She stops trying to get you to see things her way. Men are so excited at this point. They think it is because they finally won. They think it is because she is finally starting to see thing their way. They think they are finally getting the wife and the marriage they want. There is less fighting and less bickering. They are happy. Well, she didn’t finally put the past behind her and forget who you are and what you have done. She didn’t let the past go. She just stopped fighting to get it back.

She finally decided she couldn’t deal with it any longer. She decided the fighting was not going to solve anything. The weight was so heavy she no longer had the strength to push back. She no longer wanted to. She was preparing her escape.

She left because she was not happy. She left because as many times as she tried to tell you, you never really heard her. She expressed her concerns. You brushes them away. She lost herself trying to fix the problems. She, finally, realized she couldn’t fix them because you never even saw them. You ignored them. She couldn’t carry them anymore. They were just too heavy.

Women don’t break up their families lightly. They don’t walk away from what they thought was going to be their happily ever after on the hopes that the grass is greener on the other side. They know it will be hard. They know it will be an adjustment. They know it will be lonely. They know it will mean missing moments with their children, but they know that there is hope for happiness. So, “NO,” she didn’t leave you to find someone else. She left you, so she could find herself.

I just don’t get it. I don’t get the drama and the name calling. I don’t get the blame game and the trashing of the X. In most cases, that is the mother or father of your children. I don’t get the court battles and fights and astronomical legal bills. For what? To place blame? To say you won? I am fortunate that the end of my marriage was clean and amiciable. There were no nasty fights and name calling. I know we both wanted to do it at some point, but we didn’t. Their were no legal battles. It wasn’t easy but it wasn’t dirty.

Why? How? We are grown adults. What was done was done and there was one important thing in our mess, a sweet, small boy. He was the only one that was going to suffer from all of that. We put him first and by doing so, it allowed us both to think with our heads and not let our emotions lead the decision or our actions. We didn’t tear each other down.

Why can’t people just realize that it doesn’t help anyone to trash the other? It’s not that hard. Be kind. Show compassion. Make the right choice, not just for you but consider all parties involved and then move on. It is not an attractive quality to sit across the table and attempt to find out about someone and listen to them play the blame game while trashing the women they once loved who is also the mother of their children. Game over. There is more work to do and I am not in the game of fixing someone. I have things to fix in myself.

I am thankful that my X and I played this out with dignity. It has been about 6 months and we are at a point where we can work together. We can parent together. We can be proud of each other and happy for each other as we move forward in this life. We can do so without fighting and yelling and resentment. For this, I am thankful and for this I am blessed. My X is finding his new place in life. He built a beautiful home just a few miles away for my small boy and him and I couldn’t be happier.

We took this picture on Christmas. We may not be together but we are still this small boys family and he deserves to have these memories to look back on. It’s not always perfect and it is not always easy. I try my best to remember that the most important thing is our sweet, small boy. It’s hard to make the right choice and it’s hard to move forward and figure out this next phase. So, no matter how hard or how confusing it is, I will remember, in the midst of chaos, sparkle. Don’t let life dull your shine.

Much Love,

The Manicured Mom

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