I had my two daughters with my first husband who ended up choosing a different road pretty early in the game. But Kyle soon stepped in and began loving us all like he was created to do so.
Our family has walked a bumpy road to find each other; and even though we’ve already made it this far, I don’t imagine the road will smooth out any time soon.
Life is full of bumps in the road.
Just as you think you’ve made it over one bump, you trip over another. Sometimes the bumps are a breeze and sometimes the bumps are more like super deep pits that suck the life out of you. So far I’ve seemed to have caused ALL of my bumps due to some naive decision making. But recognizing my part in it all unlocks the door to clarity and control over each situation.
My Experience Wasn’t Unique
Being a mormon, divorced, single mother of two toddlers, at only 26 years old was strange. My husband’s adultery and abandonment seemed like something only possible in fiction. So for a long time I wasn’t sure what to think of it all. But as more time passed, I realized the events that took place in my life were common all across my social network. Close friends and casual acquaintances, hurting from similar trials, began reaching out for support as the details of my divorce went public.
A Few Stats On Divorce That Are Oddly Comforting
Initially, few things brought me comfort. The first few months after my separation was filled with a lot of sobbing and self pity. I couldn’t leave my house because I cried a.l.l. t.h.e. t.i.m.e.
I started doing a lot of reading. It was the only way to keep my mind from obsessing and combing over every detail of my failing relationship. That’s when I saw how common my situation was. It didn’t fix my crying and it didn’t lighten my depression. But it sparked a determination to overcome everything that was going on.
- Over 50% of US families are remarried or re-coupled.
- 75% of divorced people end up remarrying.
- 50% of the 60 million children under the age of 13 are currently living with one biological parent and that parent’s current partner.
- See More Stats Here
For me, the information I was reading was saying “You can do this. There is a good life waiting for you after you sort through all of this.” I started seeing a therapist the second I moved home. I thought that if ANYONE can get through this, then I can get through this. But I didn’t want to half-ass it. I wanted to do everything I knew was necessary to move on, have a healthy mindset, and to protect myself and my children from unnecessary emotional abuse.
This Wasn’t Going To Be My Story…
This Is What I Wanted My Story To Look Like…
Just When You Think You’re out of The Woods, Dating Happens
A lot of trials happened between our separation and finalizing the divorce. After a year of trying to sort out the details, we finalized in February of 2015. For months I had wondered, sorted, researched, organized, and prepared in every way that I could. But the moment the papers were signed, I could finally breath again. I found my appetite again. I was able to sleep through the night again. I stopped focusing on my divorce and I started focusing on the future. I worked from my parents basement as a hair dresser, re-enrolled in school and finished my associate degree, and I put a major effort into dating again.
The dating app Tinder wasn’t around before I married my first husband. This was a crazy experience that I’m grateful to be done with now that I’m remarried. Tinder was a collection of photos of single men within a hundred mile radius of wherever your phone was. If a man was attractive, you’d swipe right indicating you’d like to talk to him. If he swiped right on you as well, then you’d have the opportunity to chat. Obviously, this app is based on looks. But it provides a lot of dating options available at your fingertips, which for a busy single mother like myself, it was a good resource.
Dating as a mother; as a young mother; as a young divorced woman; as a divorce, young adult, mormon woman is an entirely new, unanticipated experience. Not only did it take time to become comfortable with it all, it took a while to figure out exactly what I wanted in a partner the second time around.
I was dumped a few times. I started to realize that a lot of men weren’t too excited about taking on the entire package that came with me as a partner. Break ups and rejection were more devastating now. My first husband didn’t want me any more. Would that keep happening in every relationship? Would any man find me attractive now that I was covered in the effects of having children? Is there a good man out there that’ll be ready and willing to be with a woman who has to give so much of her time to her small children?
I was lucky, though. I was set up with my husband Kyle through close mutual friends who knew both of us well enough for the recommendation.
Being set up with someone who came with raving reviews helped me immensely. I was so riddled with trust issues I wondered if I’d ever meet someone that I could fully connect with. But over time, Kyle has settled many of my fears.
You Know Better by Now Than to Think You’re in The Clear
So now, Kyle and I are married. We’re navigating life’s current bumps: integrating our new roommate/step dad, juggling jobs, school schedules, bills, toddlers, finding ways to stay healthy, and saving for a house. By now I know better than to assume the worst is over. I’m still fully anticipating trials of all shapes and sizes. But as I gather all that I’ve learned from the last few hardships, I’m fairly confident that there is ALWAYS a sunrise after the dark night. If I’m drowning in life’s stresses, I’m learning that the best floatation device to reach for is Jesus Christ. His atonement is what makes every blessing possible. No matter our mistakes, our trials, our questions, or our wounds, Christ can heal us.