I would have been married to my first husband for 21 years today, had the marriage lasted.
Do you have any idea how sad it is to type that sentence?
Don't get me wrong. I love Mike. I adore our marriage. I can't imagine my life any different than it is today.
I'm just sad that ANY marriage has to come to an end, be it by death, divorce, estrangement, or spousal abuse.
I've said it to people before and I will say it until I die: had one sentence in my marriage to my first husband changed, most of you might not know the MommaJ you know today.
If "I'm sure" had been "I'm not sure", if there had been any sign that I should have fought harder and longer and not walked away, I would have stayed.
But, I wouldn't be the person I am today. I wouldn't be in this house, in my current marriage. I wouldn't have three beautiful sons. I might not be on fire for the Lord.
In fact, I might be dead. There were moments where I considered whether life was really worth living at all. And Satan loved those moments; he capitalized on my doubts and fears and encouraged me to act in the reckless ways I choose to dull the pain and deal with my disinegrating marriage.
If I had but today to live, and I could ask one person to forgive me before I died, it would be my ex-husband. Even though I don't think my life after him is a mistake and I pray that he has moved on and, hopefully, remarried like I did, I still think about him sometimes and really hope that he understands that I have a love for him to this day still. I imagine I always will.
It's funny, in a curious way, to think about the paths we take as human-beings, bouncing in and out of relationship with one another. But, it is rarely right that we bounce in and out of partnership with someone with whom we've committed ourselves in marriage. Doing that cuts to the core and leaves scars that are permanent, even two decades later.
So, to you JAD, hugs.
Thank you for being the best person I didn't spend the rest of my life with.