A friend of mine had to do an interview for one of her classes. She decided to interview me and asked the following questions. She’d waited until the last minute and I was running out the door so I had to answer them without really thinking about the answers too deeply. I asked her if I could use her questions in a post so that I could delve into them and have time to really think about them.
1. What suggestions do you have for building relationships?
This question is something that I’ve spent years considering. In my approach to parenting, my main focus is building relationships with my children. For me, the purpose of discipline is to teach my children. I do not believe that I can effectively teach my children with fear. Fear has no place in any relationship.
I now see the irony in that statement. My relationship with my parents and then with Bubba was defined by fear. I lived in fear of making them all angry. I lived in fear of the punishments they would dole out if I was deemed “bad.” I lived in fear of what Bubba would do to me or the children the next time he let his rage loose.
If you truly want a relationship with someone then you will respect them, listen to them, and really hear their words, care for them, care about them, and treat them as one of God’s beloved children. Take time to talk with them, learn about them, be invested in who they are and what they care about.
2. Do you intend to marry again?
I still wrestle with this. Do I want to be married again. Deep down, I think I do. I want to have someone to come home to every evening. I want someone to curl up with and fall asleep in his arms. I want to love and be loved. Will that take the form of marriage again? Right now I can’t answer that but I’m at least open to the possibility now. Somewhere along the line I’ve once again changed my mind. It is a possibility for the future and not something I devote much time to thinking about right now.
3. Do you regret the marriage?
In many ways I do. I wonder what life would’ve had in store for me had I not married Bubba. I probably would’ve found a local boy and stayed in my Family of Origin (FOO)’s unhealthy, abusive dynamic for the rest of my life without knowing any better. I simply don’t know.
I do know that I will never fully regret the marriage simply because of my children. Without having spent that time with Bubba, I wouldn’t have Serenity, Liam, and Shane now. That thought is horrific to me. They are my life.
4. Are there benefits of the divorce?
There are probably too many to cover. Just this week I was reveling in the fact that my money is MY money. I don’t have to wonder how much I have because I know. I don’t have to wonder, “If I buy this today because we need it, will I overdraw the account?” I don’t have to ask anyone’s permission to buy anything anymore. Even with as little money and as much debt as I have now, I am more financially stable than I ever was when I was married to Bubba.
I no longer live in fear. I come home to my safe little home each night. I don’t sit on the couch anymore in the evenings and dread every set of headlights that come up the road because I’m waiting for Bubba to come home and get mad at me for something new today.
I’m teaching my children health and boundaries and I’m setting them up for success. I’m teaching them a better way. I’m teaching them that they are worthy of love and respect and that no one has a right to hurt them. That is the best benefit that came from the divorce.
The abuse will end with me, it won’t be passed on to another generation.
- Posted in: As Life Continues - My Story Now ♦ First Year Divorced
- Tagged: abuse, abuser, abusive dynamic, abusive marriage, children, control, desire, divorce, emotions, family, Family of Origin, feelings, financial stability, freedom, Hope, insanity, lies, love, marriage, money, parenting, parents, Power and Control Wheel, regret