Divorce, Single Parenting, Dating, Sex, & Self-Recovery

Recently Divorced, I Discover that Untethered Joy Is My Natural State

I have a joy about me that I will no longer contain. In the relationship with my ex, there was friction between her and my whimsical and joyous nature. In her universe, the cleanliness of the house could be more important than making love or playing with your children. Not in mine.

So maybe at 49, coming untethered from her two years ago, was the release I needed to transform — through the shit storm of depression and self-doubt and into something even more self-sustaining and full of smiles.

My kids wrote those little love notes to me several weeks ago and their messages still punctuate my every waking hour.

My 11-year-old son’s first line, “You are so happy.”

And my 9-year-old daughter’s poem”

“You are always so cheerful
You are fun
You are funny
You are very loving
You are smart
You are awesome
And I love you”

And looking ahead, in October and November the three of us enter our EVEN years, while their mom will become ODD in a few weeks. And maybe we were just out of sync the entire time.

In my new life, we laugh more than I remember laughing while married to my ex-y. A buoyancy has taken root in our lives during our time together. We sing we roll our eyes at each other, we laugh an awful lot, and our family unit has regained or re-embraced some of the uber-joy I try to create in my life. I think this joyous way is my gift to my children. There is plenty in life that will challenge, hurt, and reset your goals and expectations. But there is nothing quite as important as how you deal with those things.

I can do very little to influence or control my ex-y’s life way. I imagined at some point that my joyous perspective would rub off on her, that WE together would experience a joyous life. And perhaps somewhere along the way, she lost faith in the joy-focused path. She returned to what she knew: calculating, measuring, planning, organizing, and trying to fit emotional variations within the formula of an excel spreadsheet. And observing her father’s behavior and relationship with our kids, it is easy to see where she learned to calculate rather than celebrate.

The friction and the limiting tie-downs have been removed. We, my smaller family unit, is free to move about the universe with a joyous and playful belief in the world. And as my ex makes arrangements to introduce the kids to her new BF in the next few weeks [as early as the parenting contract will allow] I understand that the introduction is not for the kids, it is for and about her and her happiness.

My hope is that she has found someone who lifts her up out of the chores and Excel calculations enough to enjoy some of the fruits of her labor. My understanding is that internal joy and lightness comes from within and not from another. A relationship to another person can influence and join your “way of being” with another person, but it never merges or changes a person’s internal nature. My hope is that whoever he is [he who she started dating in January] that he brings a huge influence of lift and laughter into my kids’ lives. I think the seriousness of divorced time has passed.

And regardless of my ex and her boyfriend’s trajectory, I hope that I can provide the platform of happiness that my children will stand upon when they are facing tough times in their future. And that’s what I owe them. That’s what I owe myself.

You are so always so cheerful.

You are so happy.

I am untethered and full of joy. It is my gift to my children. And perhaps it is my influential effect on my next serious relationship. But the joyousness has to be found and established inside ourselves. There is no BF or GF that is going to make us more happy. We have to find that for ourselves. And honestly, I do not know if my ex is happy. I know that she was ever-more unhappy as time with me moved along. And she has been released back to her natural state.

And I suppose, so have I.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent

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