Not Your Average Divorce Story

I’ll begin with a story that we have all heard before, whether it be in your own life or someone else’s. We all know someone whose parents have divorced. It’s pretty common these days, and while some cases are different, it is pretty unpleasant for everyone. I am no exception to this rule — when I was in 8th grade my parents began the process of separating. My mom and dad would fight all the time, and my sister and I would sit at the top of the stairwell waiting for the noise to subdue. I am unwilling to air my parents’ dirty laundry on the internet, so I’ll merely say that things were messy. Eventually, my dad started staying at a hotel and then transitioned into moving into a new apartment. I remember feeling all types of pain when things started to get real: I was sad for my dad who was leaving his family, I was sad for my mom who got hurt by my dad, and I was sad for me because all I could do was sit back and watch my entire life change. But again, none of this is new. However, what most divorces don’t have is the couple sharing a business together. My parents delayed their divorce for years because the paperwork would be too messy with their shared business, and things would have gotten complicated because they really hated each other. So here we are, a couple still fighting every day, but also still married. Finally, my parents got divorced in my junior year of high school. But really, by that point, I was convinced I was doomed to a life of my parents fighting, and to a life of trust issues in my own life.

Sad heartbreak robotI could never have predicted how things would have changed when I felt hopeless during that long period of separation and arguments. I can’t pinpoint exactly when my parents turned a corner, because I don’t think I even started to notice until it hit me: they were getting along. Slowly but surely, they stopped arguing at work. Then, my dad stopped caring about my mom’s relationships. Then, my dad got into a long-term relationship. And somewhere along the way, things started to become really good. My parents weren’t fighting; they were working together. I could sit down with my mom, my dad, and my sister and feel more normal than I had in years. My mom, my dad, and his girlfriend even stayed in an Airbnb together for parents’ weekend. I spent so much time wishing I had a normal, nuclear family. I wanted the stupid game-nights, the family dinners, and the co-parenting. I know now that no one’s family is perfect. I was chasing a fantasy life and ignoring the chaotic, awesome mess my family was becoming. Though it was a long couple of years, my family is now stronger than it ever has been. I may not have married parents, but I have a really awesome family. My mom is happy with her boyfriend, and my dad is happy with his girlfriend. In their significant others, I have two new friends, who I know really care about me. I now sit back and watch my family expand, rather than break apart. 

Life comes full circle, and I think some higher power knew exactly what they were doing when they sent my family and me on this rollercoaster of a life. I couldn’t feel more lucky for the course my familial life has taken, and I couldn’t be prouder of my parents for the effort and patience they put into their ever-changing relationship dynamic. We will never be normal, but we will never be static. I try to resist ending a lot of my stories and thoughts with the idea that everything happens for a reason because, I know it's cheesy, but the more I go through in life the more I believe it. It may take a few years for the reason to become clear, but when it does, it feels like everything happened the way it was supposed too, and that is a really enlightening feeling.

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