I say it often: I love divorce. This stance comes mostly from my positive personal experience both as a child of divorced parents and an ex-wife. I’ve listened to plenty of conflicting opinions, and I’ve heard lots of horror stories. Still, I love divorce because I know it can be a solution for families in crisis.
It’s not often that I feel emotionally triggered around the topic. I frequently refer to my parents’ divorce and the benefits that came from it. I believe it was one of the best things to happen in my family. I think of myself as a well-adjusted adult who learned a lot from the experiences of my childhood. I never wished my parents would reconcile. I don’t feel damaged. I’m not devastated because my family doesn’t resemble some cookie-cutter image of what I’m supposed to believe a family is supposed to look like.
But, yesterday, I saw this:
And I felt sad. It wasn’t my parents’ divorce, specifically, that precludes me from enjoying this idyllic fantasy. In fact, for several years of my adult life, the above scenario was my reality. I didn’t live at home anymore, but I still had a key. And I didn’t think twice about helping myself to a snack.
Then my mom moved away… and then she got married. She married a man who’d been part of her life, but not mine. They live in a small town I’d never heard of prior to their relationship. My mother’s house has never been my home. When I visit, I knock on the front door, because that’s what guests do.
It seems I hadn’t really thought about it until now. Before reading those words, I’d lived day after day, blissfully ignorant to any sense of loss. But… I guess divorce did, indirectly, leave a void in my life. I no longer have that same sense of home.
This bittersweet nostalgic longing isn’t going to change my opinion of divorce, of course. However, it might have made me a just a little bit softer.