Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

Tonight my youngest son was extremely tired and fell asleep at 6:30 p.m.

I stayed up later than usual working on my computer. At around midnight he woke up and I urged him to go right back to bed while I finished watching a show.

I suddenly saw headlights coming up my driveway. I anxiously made my way downstairs. It was obviously far too late for social calls. I grabbed my chocolate lab, Hazel thinking she somehow made me braver as I walked down my driveway approaching a strange man past midnight.

I finally got a look at the truck he was driving. A tow truck. I now realized exactly why he was making a contraband late night visit.

This would be the second time in recent years this has happened. Coincidentally, it occurred as soon as I retained an attorney three years ago and now just before finalizing my divorce I was witnessing it yet again.

The man walked towards me. Hazel’s incessant tail wagging showed she would be no true protector.

I asked why he was here even though moments before I had realized it myself. I told him he would no longer find my husband’s car in this driveway. I then urged him to move on and mentioned I was grateful my youngest son had gone back to sleep.

As soon as these words left my mouth, my son exited the garage and walked towards us. I would now have to live with the fact that two of my children have been traumatized by watching an otherwise successful father and normally ordinary, bill paying man (at least pre-divorce) witness a repo man try and take their father’s car.

Of course, my husband’s car was not here this evening. He no longer lives here though he makes certain we remember his presence in our lives. 

I watched the truck pull out of my driveway.

I yelled to my son as I tried to catch up with him but his pain made his steps rapid. I walked into the house and asked if he was okay. He calmly and unapologetically told me he wanted out of our house. He said he wanted to get as far away from here as possible because then his father couldn’t impact us with this sort of upset and unpredictability.

More than three years later I realize it is time to leave. Whether we find a wonderful place to live or simply leave with the clothes on our back. This was never a situation which could be resolved. It was one person’s anger being exercised. 

I have written about this before. And herein lies the problem…

The attorneys and courts can’t always help you because they aren’t equipped to deal with emotionally and financially punishing spouses. The type of people who demonstrate this behavior do not surround themselves with the type of friends and family who intervene and ask them to do the right thing. Hence, there is zero accountability.

A person who cares a great deal about money and winning rather than doing what is right for their children runs rampant on the divorce playground. They laugh and play. They emotionally exercise their demons and they relish it. Divorce is a game to them. It is their money and no one else shall have it. Even if the money is simply in place for rehabilitative alimony until their spouse can provide well enough for themselves and their children on their own.

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The days I spent being a stay at home mother were by far the grandest years of my life. 

And I hold onto them. I remember the luxury of being sick alongside my three kids as we all hunkered down on the couch with movies. I relish sitting in the car at the bus stop while the water poured down and singing every rainy day song in my repertoire. I treasure the young moments they saw me walk into their school where they believed my mere presence made them somehow more special.

I remember. 

I took none of it for granted. Our life experiences define us. Though unbelievably proud of my working mother, losing her at a young age made me crave the opposite maternal experience. So very afraid I would miss even a minute as I had with my own mother.

Sadly, what a price I paid. Or should I say, what a price my children have paid?

Though my husband and I made a thoroughly joint decision for me to stay home. Despite the fact, that I quit my job before I had children and dedicated ten full years to helping my husband build his own business.

It is no matter. Not in divorce.

The financially dominate spouse rules the roost. They rule the divorce. Your bills are centered around an accumulated lifestyle which you have lived for many years and often, separately is not affordable. 

This would never have happened if I had not made a decision to be a stay at home mother. It hurts me to think, let alone say or type these words. 

Every single woman should be able to decide what is best for her and her children. Be it staying at home or working full-time.

However, the reality is women who never walked away from their careers are not completely relationship powerless.

They took no time off and never gave up financial independence at any time in their relationship. The stay at home mother’s decision to walk away professionally full-time or limit to just part-time makes them vulnerable.

This is the price I paid for being a stay at home mother.

Another person now controls me. In fact, he controls me more in divorce than he ever did while we were together.

I understand why my children have struggled. I understand why we have uncharacteristically fought throughout my divorce and just before. I understand why they have acted out. I understand why I have yelled and said terrible things.

My children can’t figure it out…because even I haven’t been able to figure it all out.

In essence? We can’t FIND A WAY OUT. That’s not fair to say we because I am their mother. I should be able to figure this out for them.

However, sadly, it has turned into ‘we’ because I can’t protect them from a repo man and the other divorce boogeymen their father has sent to haunt me.

Because many years ago, I trusted a man I loved when I sacrificed my professional career to further  his business and then made a joint decision for me to stay home with our children.

I check on my youngest son to see if he is now asleep.

I wonder if he will one day believe the years I chose to stay at home with him were worth the years he paid a price for it.

How I pray he remembers his mother singing “It Never Rains in California” and “Raindrops Keep Fallin on my Head” and joyfully laughing on an otherwise gloomy day…

OVER…

Believing that ultimately, his mother failed to protect him from the reality of a truly rainy day called divorce.

And how she would repo her own life to make it right.

 

(Photos Courtesy of Pexels)

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