Guest Post by: Jennie Lee Hourston
“Yeah – well you damn well better be!” December 27th, 2003. Those were the words that would change my life forever. I met my ex-husband (let’s call him Aiden) in 1997. I was with him for 7 years in total. We married in 2001 and I left in 2004. There were years of emotional, physical, financial and verbal abuse. Despite counselling (court ordered), when we fought, I didn’t feel safe. That particular night, I told him that I was afraid of him. He looked me right in the eye and said “yeah – well you damn well better be.” That was when I decided to leave. I thought if I had to fear the man who was supposed to love and protect me most in the world, there was no point in staying and things would never be better. Most of all, I had 2 children (an 8 year old boy and 2 year old girl) that meant everything to me. I didn’t want my son to grow up feeling he could treat women like that or my baby girl to be treated and suffer the way I had by her future husband.
The process of leaving and getting settled in my own place was not easy. The first year was more difficult than I could have imagined. Aiden and I were still having blow-ups like we did when we lived together. The one that changed it all was in 2005. Police were called and he was removed by 2 officers from my front lawn. The kids were screaming and crying. He called me later that evening to apologize to me. I said “I can’t do this anymore. I loved you enough to marry you and now we can’t stand to be around each other. Look what this is doing to our kids.” Together we decided that we would put our differences aside, find it somewhere in our hearts to forgive the pain we both felt that had been laid upon us in order to move forward. Not just for the children, but for ourselves. It was not easy because we were both jilted and felt grief, rejection, failure, regret and pain. We both agreed - how could we possibly have any kind of happiness if we were so busy trying to make each other miserable and stuck in the past?
It started with baby steps and it wasn’t easy. We would pick up and drop off the kids at a coffee shop in a busy plaza. There was very little communication between us. Little by little, Aiden and I learned to trust each other again. We would discuss school events and I would invite him to school concerts, the kids’ activities and special occasions. Then pick up and drop off would occur at our homes. If he dropped the kids off, I pick them up and vice-versa. We would exchange Christmas presents and he would stay to watch the kids open their gifts and once or twice, even had dinner at my mum’s house with us. We built a friendship that is hard for some people to understand and I am very grateful that we did. My kids know that they have a mom and a dad who love them and will do what is best for them. We talk about and celebrate their accomplishments and help them through the challenges as best we can. The experiences I had with him when we were married does not define who he is as a father or the man he is today. He has been there for them (and for me) in ways I never thought possible. My current boyfriend completely understands and accepts all of it. Aiden lives with his girlfriend and her 2 sons and they have been a huge part of my kid’s life. She is very loving and has always treated my kids as if they were her own. Knowing that my kids love her and her kids so much is a comfort to me – they are extended family.
To anyone going through a horrible divorce or separation, my advice is to have a conversation about what you want for your kids and for your own future. Do you want to have some peace and happiness again? When a marriage falls apart, that does not mean the family ends. It just changes. You decide if it changes for the better – for all parties involved.
Jennie Lee is passionate in improving all areas of the body, mind and spirit. Through Reiki, Axiatonal Re-Alignment and energy coaching, she helps clear blocks that hold you back from living the life you desire. We all have an Energy force in and around us made up of emotional, mental and spiritual particles. Reiki sends positive energy to eliminate blocks that cause illness, stress, and negative thoughts. Ready to take control and let your highest spiritual, emotional and physical being take charge? Receive a consult as my gift to you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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