It’s been roughly 2 years since I began this new journey I’m currently on. Looking back on the way things unfolded, it’s difficult to comprehend and happened so fast. I suppose I should start where it all began. I was attending university in a small town in rural Idaho. So far from my family and friends in what is, compared to Rexburg, Idaho, the booming metropolis of Louisville, Kentucky, sprawling in beautiful greens and perfect weather year round. After a year of suffering through torturous winters and constantly unbearable wind, I found the woman I would call my wife for the next 3 and a half years. My marriage was wonderful. We played together, we read books in bed to each other, we cried together, we ate with each other, we made love together. And about a year into what I fully expected to be an eternity together, we had a beautiful baby boy. He was our everything. And so our love for each other and our newborn son grew. During this time, we were both struggling through school. I had since convinced my wife we should move back to Kentucky and she continued school online. I was amazed by her ability to complete her schooling online, and raise a little boy so well. A year and a half later, our beautiful baby girl came into the world. We were living in Nashville for the summer while I did door-to-door sales, the most difficult job I’ve had to date. It was hard, but I wanted everything for my family, and worked to provide for them in every way I could. Finally, I graduated undergrad with my Social Studies Education degree and we decided it was time for a change. To this day I wonder if moving to Texas was the right thing to do, or if all that followed could have been avoided had we stayed put in Kentucky. However, I knew that my wife wanted something different, and with her parents being in Texas, we decided to take a chance. I quickly found after sending out 40+ resumes and cover letters and reaching out to potential employers, that school was a cakewalk compared to the stress I felt from searching for a job. And so, to help ease this burden, my wife took a position at a large hotel. I could tell right away she loved working, and I started to feel a little jealous that we didn’t have her around more. Then after a few weeks, I finally landed a job teaching 7th grade Texas History. It wasn’t ideal, and I knew absolutely nothing about Texas, but I was relieved to finally have a job. And that is when things began to change. My wife was taking on more shifts, and coming home later. We rarely had any time together with her going to work as soon as I got off. Then one day she told me she was going out with some friends she worked with at the hotel. I told her I really didn’t want her to go, but that it was up to her. That night, she didn’t arrive home until 4 in the morning. I was hurt, but more than anything I was confused. Something was changing in her, and I didn’t know why. So I finally decided to approach the issue with her, and after many long nights of arguing she finally told me she needed a break. This hit me like a ton of bricks. I had no idea there were any serious problems in our marriage and never would have imagined this would happen to me. We were a happily married couple. We both had wonderful families that supported us. We loved each other, and I never questioned that. I am a very religious person, and felt like I was living my life right with God, and that He was a part of our marriage. So how could He let it fail? Things spiraled down from that point. Eventually she told me she no longer felt anything for me, and couldn’t feel anything for the kids either. I didn’t understand. I begged her to seek help. We went to marriage counseling, but by that point she had already made up her mind. So I left my teaching job I had worked so hard for and the kids I adored teaching, and moved myself and the kids back to Kentucky where family support awaited. The plan was she would spend the next 3 months finding herself, and then come back and we would be a family again. 3 months turned into 6, and 6 into 10. Seven of those first months she made no attempt at contact with the kids. I went through emotions I had never experienced before in my life, from true sorrow to real hate. Divorce was eminent. She finally made sporadic attempts at engagement in the children’s lives, but they were few and far between. She flew to Kentucky to see them one more time before divorce was finalized. I made one last ditch effort to fix our family. I had decided it was okay if she didn’t love me, I would live with that. But I couldn’t get it out of my head that divorce would ruin my children’s lives. I had heard all the statistics, I knew that children in a complete family faired far better than those in broken ones. I told myself and her that I could live with her living her life however she wanted, as long as the kids had a mother and father with them loving them, that’s all that mattered to me. I offered to move wherever she wanted and start over. Looking back, I’m glad she declined that offer, as it would have only prolonged the inevitable and most likely made things worse. After almost a year of separation, our divorce was finalized. It was at this point she informed me she suffered from borderline personality disorder and severe anxiety. If you’re feeling adventurous, look it up. It helped explain so much of what had been going on with her and the sudden change in her emotional connection with me and the kids. I wish that I could say this helped subside the anger and resentment I held against her. There are additional factors that play a part in those emotions, however I did feel a sense of understanding and acceptance from this manifestation. I was given full physical custody of the children, which was all I really cared about. Their mother has improved in her involvement in the children’s lives, and I hope it continues to improve. It has been roughly 2 years since the divorce took place. I’ve naturally had my ups and downs, but I am generally happy with my life and constantly aware of the immense blessings I have in my two children. I asked my church leader when everything first started happening, why God would lead me to this woman to marry, knowing that I would have to suffer through this. I’ll never forget his response, “I can think of two wonderful reasons.” I love my children the most with all my heart. They keep me happy everyday, and make being a single father so easy and fulfilling. I don’t know why we must go through difficult things in life. Maybe one day I’ll be able to look back and realize the blessings that came from this experience. I won’t pretend that my life is always easy, or blissful. Being a single dad has its fair share of difficulties. I feel lonely at times, inadequate often, and empty occasionally. But I am a generally happy person, normally aware of the many wonderful things in my life. I look forward to sharing all of these things with you, and hope you enjoy the journey my life takes you on.
“No pain we suffer, no trial that we experience, is wasted.” -Orson F. Whitney