Marriage, divorce and what lasts forever

Relationships: Some are poems (short, gorgeous, carved onto tombstones) and others are novels (long, complex, taught forever).

This morning, Andy and I drove to court together, stood before a judge together, and answered a series of questions we’d rehearsed earlier with our shared attorney.

It felt strange to answer simply “yes” to questions so complex: Are there irreconcilable differences in your marriage? Are you satisfied with the distribution of property? Do you approve of the plan for co-parenting your daughter?

But it was, in ways, a familiar moment.

Ten years ago: Will you be faithful and honest? Will you respect, trust, help and care for one another until death comes between you? Will you forgive as you have been forgiven?

“Yes” was the answer then, too. Or, to be more precise: “I will.”

There was an ironic difference, though, between the morning of our divorce and the evening of our marriage. Today, we left the courthouse and shared a meal – just the two of us – no crowd, no party, but interesting and intimate conversation between two people who have known each other longer than they haven’t.

Our breakfast extended for three hours as we talked about everything from faith and family to March Madness and social media, and we prolonged it by a trip to Lowe’s to buy things for each of our houses. Twice – me at breakfast and him at the hardware store – we saw people we knew that the other did not. How do you introduce your ex-spouse in a culture where “ex” means the end of something rather than a transition to something new?

We talked about that. Are we “Lily’s mom” and “Lily’s dad”? “My friend, Knight” and “my friend, Andy”?

Maybe just Knight and Andy.

In the last few months, Andy and I have grown closer to one another as we’ve dissected ourselves as individuals and focused our energy on our family – regardless of what form it takes. We have concluded it’s fair to say we love each other in many ways, but not all. We have concluded it’s possible for relationships to change but last forever. We have concluded we are special and that our daughter is lucky.

We have, in the midst of divorce, tended to one another with faithfulness and honesty. With respect, trust, help, care. With forgiveness.

Our lives will continue to twist and turn from this point – down some familiar roads and others untraveled. We don’t know what the future holds, but we have faith there is one – for each of us independently, as well as both of us together.

Ours is the novel.

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29 thoughts on “Marriage, divorce and what lasts forever

  1. i just want to share my experience with the world on how i got my lover back and saved my marriage… I was married for 4 years with 3 kids and we lived happily until things started getting ugly and we had a fights and arguments almost every time… it got worse at a point that he filed for divorce… I tried my best to make him change his mind & stay with me cause i loved him with all my heart and didn’t want to loose him but everything just didn’t work out. he moved out of the house and still went ahead to file for divorce… I pleaded and tried everything but still nothing worked until i met Dr Ikhine on internet and i contacted him on agbadado@gmail.com and i also call him on +2347060552255 and i explain everything to him and he help me solve my problem

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  6. Having been through a bad marriage myself, I can attest that there is, indeed, life after divorce. In fact, there were a number of really great years of single life after divorce. And now, remarried with five children, I can say that great marriage can also follow really crappy marriage. I wish that for you, Knight. Blessings on your singleness and future relationships, as well.

    • Thank you, Will. Sounds like you have something very good now. I’ve discovered that if a relationship doesn’t work in one structure, it may indeed work in another. My ex-husband and I are close friends – closer, in fact, now that we aren’t trying to be something different.

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  8. Knight, your ability to process this change in such an elegant way is a testament to your character. If only everyone who goes through this could follow your lead.

    • Thank you, Heather. I think a lot of people want to find a way to friendship, but can’t imagine that it’s possible. Why not try? What have you got to lose at that point? But think of all you have to gain.

  9. This will touch, inspire, and motivate some people to get on with their lives and may change the very idea of who they are. Thanks for being brave enough to share your story.

    • Thank you for the comment, Jeff. I wouldn’t say I’ve changed who I am as much as I’ve clarified who I am. A friend described me as “acoustic”, and that feels right. I couldn’t do it without knowing the people I care about had the same shot at self-awareness, if that’s what they wanted (and they did).

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  11. Beautiful. Congratulations to you both. Life is unpredictable, and often, responding with grace to a changing situation is a wonderful outcome.

    My ex (I’ve always just gone with the obvious there) and I continue to celebrate major events together with our daughter, our spouses and our common family, 10 years after our divorce. He and his wife are my son’s godparents.

    You will never be sorry to look back and see that you treated each other with love, even if that’s not always the easy thing to do. Blessings to your whole family.

  12. Here’s another similarity to August 12, 2000: me waiting for you to get the whole thing started (ended). I appreciate you writing this the way you did – it tells of a great story. If this is in fact a novel, it’s worth writing. Many, many chapters yet to write…

    • It really is too bad Meridee’s doesn’t serve vodka. That would have been another similarity – a nice one. Cheers to the fact that many places around us do! (BTW: I like that you wrapped this up with an ellipses. You know how I love the …)

  13. Knight ~

    I understand completely. And I wish I had had the courage to write this 3 years ago.

    I continue to struggle with the whole what to call each other. I’ve gone the first name route.

    Best in the coming weeks and months as y’all settle into new routines with old and very dear friends.

    Hugs from not that far away,

    cg

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