Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda….

Life isn’t always pretty but you are strong enough
to handle whatever comes your way.
You are enough!

One of my favourite episodes from Sex and the City.  The whole coulda, woulda, shoulda, hindsight is 20/20 thing is so relevant.  Mark and I both wish that we had of found each other sooner, that we hadn’t of fallen prey to the pressures of society telling you this is the path you must follow.  We both knew that the people we were marrying then were not the right people for us but when you’re young and the expectations are high, you bite the bullet and do what you think is the best thing to do at the time.  Now don’t get me wrong we both have awesome kids from these mistakes that we made so it wasn’t all for nothing but there is a part of me, of both of us, that really wishes we were able to have a child of our own, but a family of 6 is more than enough!

At the start we did contemplate maybe exploring the idea, but Mark had three kids already, he’s 10 years older than me, for him, he was content, but if it was something I really wanted he said he would have done it.  We were really enjoying our “kid free” days and weekends and was that something we really wanted to give up at this stage of the game……h#&l no!!  It didn’t take long for me to realize that that time was far too precious to lose.

Shortly after my ex and I were married I was diagnosed with Endometriosis.  We were told by medical professionals that if we wanted to have children it should be something we do sooner rather than later.  It’s a gynecological disease that can cause intense pain, like I had been experiencing since my first period, and it’s one of the leading causes of infertility.  I was only 21.  I just got married, now you tell me I have to think about starting a family.  Yikes!  Having a baby was always very important to me.  I knew without a doubt we needed to listen and start trying.  I had my first laparoscopy surgery to remove the endometriosis that was there, 5 months after we got married.  The following month we started the fertility journey.  We tried for a year on our own.  No luck.  After that there were other tests performed to make sure that Endometriosis was the only contributing factor to the lack of success.  Some tests were painful and invasive, some were just an annoyance.  Through it all I just kept reminding myself that this was all to help, and it was for the greater good.  After 6 months of this and still no luck and no more answers than when we had first started, I told my ex that’s enough.  I quit.  Maybe it’s just not meant to be. I told him I’d settle for a puppy and that weekend we brought home Nala, a little Jack Russel Terrier mix.  She was a real sweetheart.  I guess she proved to be distraction enough for my mind and that month we were pregnant! How many stories out there that once you give up or distract yourself with other things,that’s when it finally happens!  I was a nervous wreck knowing that the Endometriosis makes pregnancy riskier.  I took every pre-caution. Researched the heck out of what I should and shouldn’t do and thankfully I had a full term,healthy pregnancy and a beautiful, healthy baby girl at the end of it.

Addison really is my pride and joy.  It was a struggle to get her here, but it was worth it.  Unfortunately for her, her Dad and I just weren’t right for each other.  No kid wants divorced parents.  No parent wants to be a single parent, but I was faced with a choice. Do I continue to show my daughter that you stay in a situation where the love isn’t there just for ease and convenience?  No way!  I was laying the ground work for this little girl.  Your parents set the example for what a love relationship looks like and she deserved to see what real love looks like not just some high tension, roommate type partnership.  At 27, I realized enough was enough and I started getting my ducks in a row to be able to leave.

Nothing bad happened between us, the love just wasn’t there and if we were honest with each other it probably never was. He wanted to keep things as they were because to him it was easier and made the most economical sense.  I wanted more out of life and love than just a savings account.  At first, he was on board to do things civilly.  We had a rental house he would go move there and we divide things and split time with Addison accordingly.  Well that lasted for all of 30 seconds.  Once he started informing himself of his “rights” everything fell apart.  Addison was his right, the house was his right, all the money was his right, everything we “owned” was his.  So, I suited up and got myself a lawyer and the battle that I never wanted ensued.

The battle lasted 5 years.  The lawyers got rich, not us.  His focus was money, my focus was protecting Addison the best that I could. At the end of it all, we have a less than stellar agreement, I walked away from a lot, but Addison and I make the best of it.  There was nothing more I could do, I couldn’t fight anymore.  A battle of this nature really takes its toll on you.  The court system is flawed to say the least and going through the ringer of this process is really really hard on you.  I’m pretty sure I shaved a good 5-10 years off of my life from all the stress but like I said my focus was my child and my instinct was to protect her.

I’m not here to lay out every nitty gritty detail of the negative, but I’m happy to share and help, if any of you have gone through or are still going through messy divorces.  You need to surround yourself with people who care, who will listen and help support you through it and I’m happy to do that for you.
I’ve created a handy e-book with tips and helpful information on surviving divorce. You can get your copy here. I know how tough it is. Hang in there. I promise you’ll get through it.

xx Jenn