Something personal, on break ups, family splits and joining two families together, in holy matrimony…
I’m sure you could recall a number of your friends whose parents have separated. Or perhaps your own parents have. I know that I can count over two hands, the number of friends whose parents are divorced and living with new partners. It is just something that happens so frequently in this era. We are no longer made to feel as though divorce is that hush hush word that should never be muttered, and that the ultimate shame will be brought upon the family if two people decide that they actually weren’t right for each other after all. At the age of twenty, who is to know if you will still love a person 60 years down the line?
As a teenager I found it so difficult to understand how two people could grow apart. It transcended massively through the way in which I viewed relationships in my mid-teen years. For me, a relationship was a bond between two people, that should not be broken. I think that is why I was hit so hard when a number of my first boyfriends cheated, and I realised that I wasn’t as special to them as they had been to me. The thought that they had even touched another person made me physically sick, and it took me a long time to get over the pain and disgust I initially felt.
After a few years, and as I grew older and somewhat wiser, I started to understand why people grow apart, why they veer towards new relationships and stepping stones, and why some relationships do not go the distance.
I know friends and relatives who have been with the same partner all of their life, and perhaps they met the right person at the very right time. I do believe that sometimes fate helps us to meet our soul mates. But there are others who have dated and re-dated, hoping to find someone that suits their personality and that they could really imagine spending their life with, only to realise they haven’t come across the right person yet. For me now, I don’t know if I truly believe anyone should spend their whole life with the same person. There are so many interesting and unique individuals in the world and perhaps there isn’t one special person for another. Perhaps there are so many individuals who could match us perfectly. And spending a few years or a decade with one person, to realise that maybe it is time to move on and find someone else, should not be seen as such an awful and upsetting experience. Your time with that person was incredible, and will never be forgotten, and it shaped who you are today. In turn you have become a new person, who perhaps would be better suited to another. Not that I think this is going to happen to me, as of course, I’m head over heels for my Alex, but I think it can happen for many people and perhaps it’s just a part of the modern day life. Who made it the norm that we live with one person for the majority of our life? I feel it is a very archaic life process that perhaps needs a little updating.
Coming back to topic, this weekend marks the first of the weddings in my wedding season calendar. And even more wonderfully, it is that of my beautiful Mama. It is fifteen years since my mum and dad separated. Of course I can still remember vividly where I was, where everyone was sitting, how the light shone through the window. And how I felt, hearing those words that most children dread to hear.
I was eleven, just starting high school and I had no idea that my family had been falling apart around me. Coincidentally, that tumultuous time also marked the first death in my family, with my Nana passing away during the split and leaving the family in pieces. So to say my eleventh year was a difficult one would be an understatement. But so many young and adult people go through the break up of their parents, and although it is heartbreaking at the time, it is a life experience that truly shapes you, and there really is light at the end of the tunnel.
I have so many unique people reading this blog, spanning from the age of 13 to 63. Within those ages will be those that are married, divorced, remarried, single or searching, with children of their own or without. As well as those who are younger who are potentially going through their parents break up, experiencing their own first relationship or witnessing the remarriage of their parents. Similarly, those in the older age bracket may have experienced the divorce of their parents recently or years previous. Everyone is different and we all have our own stories. Whilst I cannot speak for everyone, my advice for those who are going through a similar experience to mine, and are confused and unsure as to what the future will hold for their family, I would say, if you have a loving and caring family around you, you have nothing to worry about. Your family will only grow larger and happier, and you will still be the most important person in your parents life. Try to be supportive of your parents, as they too are going through heartbreak, sadness, loss, grief and anxiety and they too need a shoulder to cry on. Whilst it’s easy to become so saddened yourself, that everything else becomes a little clouded, try to imagine what the divorce of a long-term marriage, and the separating of a family, is like for your parents.
My parents are now in long term relationships with two new wonderful people, who are so perfectly suited to them, I could not be happier for them. At this age, and with my own experiences behind me, I realise what it is to be truly happy in a relationship, and I would only want that happiness for my family members. My Mum is now married to her partner of 12 years, whilst my dad is engaged to his partner of a similar length of time and I could not be more proud of them and how they have dealt with the whole process from separating, continuing to be a loving and fantastic parent, to finding new love and creating a new life. I wish them all the happiness and love in the world.
And just to finish, a little something from a lady who has gone through a number of bad relationships and tumultuous times.
Good luck to anyone starting their new life! And Congratulations Mama on your new Marriage. I love you.