I always rise early during the summer months as soon as dawn breaks I’m wide awake and desperately seeing a large cup of tea.
Perched by the window on my usual seat in front of my large flat screen with my latest box set obsession in my ‘must see the next episode’ mode I reflect on the day ahead.
This morning however as I sipped, watched and stared out of the window in equal measure, I was reflecting instead on the last eight years! July 2008 was the month and year my new had life started. I was stepping out into the unknown as an older single woman. I had a new (much smaller ) house to live in and unlike all the other times I had moved house I did not have a man by my side to help with the decision making.
I had got married in my teens after dating a handful of boys, it was just what we did back then. Children quickly followed as did the marriage breaking down (he turned out to be a womanising violent drunk ) and off I went straight into marriage two. When you have small children to consider playing the field is not an option and to be honest I didn’t have the confidence to go it alone! .
Eighteen years and another child later I found an underwear receipt under the bed (for the full story read my book) and was staring right down the barrel of another very messy divorce. But this time instead of approaching thirty I was nearer fifty. Now that was one very scary prospect. My confidence having been ripped to pieces by the revelation of my husbands five year affair with my friend! and neighbour !.Grrrrrrrr… Whilst I contemplated my lonely future without a man by my side I went through a roller coaster of emotions. Fear, dread, loss, heartbreak and just a small ripple of excitement.
I had played by the book and fulfilled my role as a loyal faithful and very hardworking wife and yet here I was yet again on the receiving end and now to add to my woes I was middle aged. I was so mad at the injustice of it all I couldn’t think of anything else other than revenge.
I plotted and schemed and smacked my rival in the face. The small ripple of excitement I had felt turned into a great big wave of anger! The wave washed away all the hurt and pain and I found myself calmly standing on the shore looking out on a new horizon. So what if both my husbands had been lying cheating scumbags! Who cares that I’m nearly the wrong side of fifty ! Enough was enough! Time for me to try a different recipe with new ingredients and a new pot to cook it all in. I can do this I told myself constantly. But first I had to reinvent myself.
I did all the usual things signed up to a gym, lost weight changed my hair got some new clothes and make-up. The day my ex left me I turned up looking like a million dollars and waved him goodbye. Cracking open a bottle of Champagne I threw a divorce party for all my girlfriends and toasted my new single life . To my surprise I was actually excited and really looking forward to doing just what I bloody well liked!. My kids while firmly still in my camp were mostly grown up and for the first time in my life I was free and single. This time though I wasn’t a gauche teenager with no confidence.
I embraced my new circumstances with gusto and I found that life on the other side of marriage was not only bearable it was actually better. My new home ( two up two down Victorian terrace) was filled with laughter and joy. There was no one complaining about my music, my cooking, or my dancing. I was in full control of the remote, the bathroom and the great big King-Size bed I had bought myself. I could come and go as I pleased and I did. It felt good.
I have dated prolifically and usual much younger men ( a happy side effect of my reinvention) . I have had the best sex of my life in their arms experiencing a joy I didn’t know existed. They have made me feel special and treasured (even if they were on their knees at the time ). I know it’s not all been plain sailing I’d be lying to you if I said it was. Falling in love was not something I expected and knowing it had nowhere to go was hard to face. But I had given my love to both my husbands only to have it thrown back in my face many years and betrayals later. Better to have loved and lost!
I have travelled extensively and experienced many new places and events that the old me wouldn’t have dared try. I have given myself new challenges and have grown as a result . Do I have any regrets ? a few..the one at the top of the list being the five years I wasted in a marriage that had died without telling me. I know you can’t make up for lost time but you can have a ball trying. So for anyone on the edge of divorce and dreading it..don’t! take a leap of faith not only wilł it be ok it could surprise you and be better than you ever imagined!
For the full story of my divorce and beyond buy my book Sex and the Signposts available on Amazon in paperback and kindle.