So what was I so worried about?
Divorce and remarriage was entirely different for me. I worried what people would think of me when they found out I was getting divorced. I am usually free to explain myself, but with my divorce I knew there was no way I could accurately explain myself without causing inexplicable harm to both my former spouse and my children, which is something I could never do. You will never know, dear reader, what I went through in my divorce, because I will never tell you.
When I got remarried so soon after I was divorced (we got married less than 30 days after my divorce was final - but Utah has a 90 day waiting period for divorce, so we had filed for divorce longer than that) I was worried that people would judge me. When I married a red head (my youngest baby, born about 4 months before we filed for divorce, is a red head) I was worried what people might say.
I was worried what people would think of me getting married to someone I hadn't known for very long.
I was worried people would think I was somehow a less faithful Latter-Day Saint for being divorced. There is a part of the movie 17 Miracles that makes me gush tears every time. A mother of two small children is leaving England to emigrate to America to join with the Saints. She receives a blessing in which she is counseled about leaving a spouse. Whether truth or fiction it always touches me and I identify with her character at that moment.
I don't want to make it seem like divorce is a good thing. It isn't. Whenever some trial comes up that is directly related to divorce or indirectly related to divorce through remarriage and our blended family, Justin and I say to each other "Divorce sucks." Because it does.
Divorce is like cutting off your leg. Sometimes amputation is necessary to save the rest of your body, or to keep an infection from spreading. But you would never think of amputating your leg without first trying every thing imaginable to keep it. Amputation should be an absolute last resort, and it should be more desirable than keeping the leg. For example, if you break your leg, you aren't going to cut it off. You'll have a doctor set the bone, put it in a cast, and wait for it to heal. Sure, it may take a long time, and your leg may never work exactly the same, but you will still have your leg. Sometimes you may not have a choice in whether to amputate or not. Maybe your leg gets caught in heavy machinery or someone maliciously cuts your leg off. Whatever the situation, it is always better to have your leg if you can keep it.
Please do not take any part of this blog to be an endorsement of divorce. I don't want to give you the impression that you should get divorced because my happy remarried life looks better than your crappy marriage. If you want to know specifics, or if you feel like you need to talk about divorce or your marriage, feel free to email me. I am not a therapist, and most likely I will encourage you to see a marriage therapist - either with your spouse or by yourself. But if you just need some friendly advice, or even just a listening ear, please reach out.
If you have lost your leg already, please have hope. You can still live a full life as an amputee! And that is the true purpose of me sharing our story with the world - I hope that you can see that, although divorce and remarriage and blended families are not the ideal, your life can be full and amazing anyway!
Are you going through divorce, remarriage, or learning how to blend a family? What questions do you have? Have you been there, done that? What advice do you have for the Andrewleys?