This Is How I Do It
I often hear people tell me they don’t know how I do it. How can I sit at the Thanksgiving Table with my estranged husband and my boyfriend? How can I be civil to my husband who decided to stop being in love with me after 38 years?
The answer is through a combination of denial, gratitude, a positive attitude, and wanting what is best for our sons.
I can deny that having my husband move out four years ago was a soul crushing devastating heartbreak. I push away thoughts of wishing the past were different. I can pretend I didn’t feel that if he really loved me, he would have figured out how to make things work in the marriage. I can say I don’t really care that he has found someone new in his life. I tell myself to keep the focus on me and my life and not give much thought to what he is doing. Most of the time, I am successful.
I can’t say this has been easy. It is a daily practice to focus on being grateful for my husband who pays me not to live with him. I still get angry sometimes that we aren’t going to have our “happily ever after”, but that’s a fairy tale.
I can’t deny that I am bitter from disappointment. But, I am able to keep it at bay in order to avoid being swallowed whole by it or letting it eat away slowly at my soul.
Gratitude and a positive attitude are my friends. They keep me from falling into dark pits of depair. If I stay focused on what is good in my life, I don’t get bogged down by what is not quite great. Having a boyfriend who is kind and loves me is something I am thankful for this season.
When my husband said he wanted to have a “family thing” for Thanksgiving this year, I balked at first because I thought it was him having his cake and eating it, too. I thought about it, then decided I should suck it up and let our sons have the benefit of having both of their parents at the table for Thanksgiving.
So it was. I stayed thankful for the bounty in my life. I have a beautiful home, my health, and plenty of material possessions. I felt good when my sons asked if Dad was going to be here on Thanksgiving. I set the table for an odd group. Everything went smoothly. Wine helped.
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