Divorce – recovery?


The other day someone asked me if I had recovered from my divorce. I hesitated before answering because, although my divorce took place 17 years ago, I have never thought about it in terms of “recovery”. Divorce can be a bit like a bereavement in that you don’t get over it, but it does change you. You find a way to live with the destruction of your plans for the future.
I liked being a married woman; I just didn’t much like living with the man I married. We spent most of our engagement having rows and not surprisingly rows erupted frequently during our short marriage. Four and a half years. I still call myself by my married name and status. I took off my wedding ring when I began to think I should dip my toe in the dating scene.
There are highs and lows of divorce. It was wonderful to come home to a flat which is not permeated with disapproval and high dudgeon. I found I could buy what I liked from the supermarket instead of avoiding things my spouse wouldn’t eat. It was a relief to be able to go to bed early with a book and sandwiches. And bliss when Sunday afternoons were no longer dominated by Scotsport.
I missed having another adult around the place. I plunged into clinical depression which took years to overcome. I agonised over the weekends when my daughter went to stay with her father as she usually came home overexcited and sometimes disappointed. I found it difficult to believe that anyone could look after her as well as I could. I was occasionally right about that.
Eventually I found the right medication for my depression and made a new life for myself as a writer. My daughter has grown into a beautiful, intelligent, caring woman. My ex-husband died a few years ago. We managed a kind of rapprochement during his illness, going out for dinner, supporting him as best we could in hospital and keeping vigil at the hospice.
So far I have not found another relationship, so in that sense I have not recovered. I am, however, mostly content with my life. Moving on is perhaps more important than recovery.

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