This I Believe

Monica - Lewisberry, Pennsylvania
Entered on March 12, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: family, love

I believe every cloud has a silver lining. Yes, I know that sounds trite but life has turned out that way for me.

When I was 18 I met the man I would ultimately marry and with whom I would have two wonderful children. We were healthy, financially secure with a beautiful family and an enviable home. Although we appeared to be blessed by everyone who knew us, our relationship always had its ups and downs. Mostly downs. He used to joke that our marriage was like a roller coaster and it appeared he thrived on the daily drama.

In 2001 I got the shock of my life when I discovered he had been repeatedly unfaithful. Scared, furious, and humiliated I filed for divorce after a year-long separation and decided it was time to move on with my life. Everything I had believed true of my future was suddenly upended. My financial security was questionable, as well as my ability to spend 100% of my time with my children. Knowing my ex-husband would marry again, I used to stay up late at night and worry about my children. Would I approve of the woman he chose? Would they like her better than me? Would he have more children? Would I die alone, bitter and penniless? Would I ever sleep again???

During my separation I did alot of soul searching and I exposed myself to new things. Yoga, exercise and a rewarding job helped to fill the void that was left whenever my children were visiting their father. I befriended people I might not have ordinarily considered ‘my type’ and I met other people in similar circumstances. In short, I had a glorious time as a single mother! My ex-husband even noticed and repeatedly asked me to reconcile. I had, however, grown too much to return to something so unfulfilling.

Several years after the divorce I met a man who was also divorced and we started a relationship. I was surprised (and thrilled!) to find that all of the things that bothered me about my ex were not present in this new man. He was responsible, dependable and faithful. I enjoyed our time together but worried that he might not consider marriage because of the responsibility of helping me raise my two children. A year later, however, he proposed and we married six months after that. Last year we welcomed a beautiful, healthy baby girl into our family.

Not only is he a great role model for my children, but our relationship has shown me how to always look for the positive side of things. If I had stayed in my previous unhappy marriage, I would never have met him and known the contentment of a ‘normal’ relationship. So much for the roller coaster – I’ll take the merry-go-round any day!

So, yes. Just when life seems to be at its darkest, it eventually turns around. I truly believe this because I lived it. And I continue to live it every day.