Guest Blogger Kate Meyers: Californian Mallory W. was 20 the first time she got married. That marriage lasted less than four years. She and her second husband lived all around the world, eventually settling in Boulder, Colorado. They were married for 23 years before divorcing and have two sons, ages 20 and 19.
Kate Meyers: Why did you get divorced the first time?
Mallory W.: I loved his family, so I stayed in the marriage longer than I should have. I realized that we just weren't on the same page in a variety of areas. He was into hanging with his buddies and partying and not all that interested in work.
KM: What about the second time?
MW: My second marriage, the divorce was a long time coming. I just felt like he was unable show up on various levels, and I just couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't hold every element together. There was a realization early on that I could do everything, and all he needed to do was bring home the money so I could facilitate the special needs of my children. I reasoned that in my mind. I had papers ready to file over 12 years ago, and when it came down to it, I reasoned that I could still make this work if he brought home the money. In the last eight years we were together, he was doing business deals that never came to fruition, and pacifying me with answers. Then finally I couldn't buy into the illusion anymore. The financial support stopped coming -- to the detriment of the kids' college educations and housing. We went from having multi-millions of dollars to having to sell the house and our assets.
KM: What was the hardest thing about your second divorce?
MW: Seeing the kids suffer. Even though they were older, one of our sons truly still wants us to be together and have a traditional family structure. The other understands the politics of what went down, but they both have suffered, because the choices for their future have changed now that we don't have financial stability. I had to move out-of-state and in with family so that my oldest son could get the support he needs to stay in a special-needs program. The other son is only looking at the military as his option of structure and support.
KM: What did you learn from this experience?
MW: So many things. I learned that I had to let go and not save everyone. We have all built character through this experience, and on some level, we'll all survive. I remember writing to one of my friends, "I may lose everything, but I may be in the best place I've ever been for a long time." I learned to let go of the illusion of my old identity and let go of trying to control how everything worked.
KM: When did you know you would be OK?
MW: I think I've always felt, on some level, that I would be OK. It's me trusting that all the work that I've done throughout the years and through my education will help me, and having the faith that things are going to be fine. I'm not in an oasis mentality, but I believe that through all of this -- the growth and the letting go -- my kids and I are going to come out more grounded and self-directed and fuller in our lives.
KM: What do you think is the best thing to come out of this?
MW: I feel like I'm 22 instead of 48. There's more celebration. For so long, I knew where things were headed, and to finally be living more of the truth of where things are ... I just feel like there's more light at the end of the tunnel than there's been in a long, long time. There's more to look forward to beyond just surviving. This new opening has allowed me to step into a fuller purpose of my life.