Life After Divorce . . . When Did It Happen?

By Lindy Earl

I’m not sure exactly what went wrong.  We met. We liked one another.  Then we loved one another.  We married.  We had children.  And through all of this, I loved you.  We had problems.  And still I loved you.  Our children caused messes.  And still, we loved them.

We moved.  Our first house was so exciting!  A mortgage.  We were so grown up.  We filled up one room, then another, then another.  The backyard suddenly needed a swing set.  Weekends away gave way to soccer tournaments and dance recitals.  And I loved us!

You were transferred. So we moved. We were a family.  We belonged together.  We left all that was familiar, but we found a new house, and new friends. The kids started at a new school.  They were fine.  We were fine.

Holidays were great fun!  The year we were so poor that I dipped peanuts for you because I could save a couple of dollars.  The year we weren’t so poor and I gave you a leather jacket that every guy in the family had to try on.  The laughter!  The jokes.  The fun.

Summertime was awesome.  It didn’t matter if we were on vacation or chasing kids around the back yard.  Days were full of sunshine and baking and riding bikes and hugs.  Yes, there were scraped knees and trips to the emergency room.  But it was okay.

And you got promoted at work! I was so excited for you! For us! For our family!  And proud.  Oh my, if pride comes before a fall then I should have fallen into the Grand Canyon.

And the kids learned . . . to ride bikes . . . then drive cars.  They left elementary school, then high school.  Their futures suddenly became their present.  We had looked forward to their success for so long.

But, when did it happen that we no longer held hands at events?  And when did it happen that holidays were no longer a priority?  Gifts were easier bought for ourselves, and you can just sign your name on the card.

When did it happen that our bedtime was no longer the same? We used to go to bed together, and cuddle, but . . . when did that stop?  And why did that stop?

When did it happen that my calling you at work became an interruption? That waiting for you at the end of the day became a labor of patience and not a labor of love?

When was the first time that you failed to call, and I didn’t notice, or care?

Looking back, I didn’t see it coming.  We saw it happen to others and promised it would never happen to us.  We would never take one another for granted.  We would listen.  We would communicate.  Sex would remain a priority.  Love was here forever.

We were wrong.  Looking back, I don’t know when things changed.  But they did.  And you’re gone.  And I’m alone.  I don’t know how to move on but I don’t want to stay where I am.  I am frightened.

When did it happen?  If I had seen it for what it was – a gentle tearing way, so soft that it didn’t hurt – if I had recognized what was happening, would I have changed anything? Would I have been kinder? Would I have yelled and demanded attention?  I can’t say.

When did it happen?  I don’t know. But it did.  I can only promise myself that I will never let it happen again.

That’s Dating After Divorce.

            Lindy is a Speaker, Columnist, Author, and Consultant.  Contact her at or find and like her page on Face Book, and join her FB support group, Single Again: From Devastation to Dating. 


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