By Elyse C.
I am a 51 year old woman about to be divorced. That, in and of itself, could be depressing. I hear a common lament from women in my age range that they feel like their lives are over and I can certainly sympathize, or, rather empathize with those women. Being in my 50’s and single are not my idea of a great time. Statistically, I probably stand a greater chance of being struck by lightning than of getting remarried. Well, I don’t exactly know if that last statement is true. I don’t have actual numbers to back me up.
But wait a minute! What about me? What about using this divorce as a springboard for self-discovery and personal growth? Yes, the financial reality may be dismal, at least initially. But what an opportunity to start over! To grow, to learn, to change, to simplify, to eliminate the negativity from my life! OK, so maybe there are a few wrinkles, gray hairs, body parts that hurt, body parts that don’t want to work the same as they used to work—-but so what? Life can still be good—-heck, it can be better!
Don’t get me wrong: I’m as nervous as hell about change in my life. I tend to give homage to the status quo. It is certainly easier not to change. To stay in the old, familiar patterns is comfortable. It’s less dangerous, less risky, etc. Nice and safe, just like I like it.
Well, like it or not, my husband came out of the closet, wants out so that he can start his life over and the sooner it happens for him, the better. I could fight it, dig in with both heels. Stall things or bring them to a screeching halt. Hang out for a few more years if I feel like it. But I don’t want to do that. The trouble is, I never saw myself as a divorced person. After 24+ years of marriage, one would think that things wouldn’t change dramatically. But life goes on, whether I agree with the premise or not.
I used to attend church faithfully every week, even several times a week. Lately, I haven’t been going anywhere to church. I intend to remedy that someday. Right now, I’m working on weekends, so it is next to impossible to get to a service. I have wrestled with faith issues since the gay thing entered my life more than 6 years ago.
One thing I remember from my years of growing up in the church is a quote from Hebrews 1:11, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This applies to my life in the here and now. I have such hope for the future. I don’t know what will happen. I don’t know that all of it will be good. I certainly have hope that most of my life will be even better than it has been up until now.
I hope that most of you aren’t groaning and saying to yourselves, “She’s done gone and gotten all religious on us now!” I just have such hope for my future and the futures of all of us here, men and women alike. I can’t help but to focus on women in my age range, since they ARE my own kind. I feel like hope is central to all of our lives. If you are new to this, my message may not be something that you can digest or you may be annoyed with my perspective. That’s OK—we all find our own way, in our time, in the way that is right for us. The important thing is simply to open yourself to change, growth, progress, happiness (and perhaps, sadness), love, all the wonderful things that make us human. I can hardly wait!
The Straight Spouse Network invites the perspectives of various individuals who wish to share their unique experiences. We thank Elyse C for being our Guest Blogger today and permitting us to print her article about her experience.