I started this series about Mama J yesterday when she spoke about the value of independence after divorce. Mama J said she thought learning to be self-sufficient helped her in her second marriage and helped her to be a better mom. And without hesitation, having children, she says is her most significant accomplishment since her divorce. Here’s why.
If I hadn’t have gotten divorced, I would never physically have had my own children. My ex wasn’t able to have children and that had strained our marriage. When I met my current husband, SJ, and realized that may be I had a second chance to have a family, that was huge for me.
I actually met SJ before I got divorced. I had just found out about my ex’s affair and was talking to my co-workers in the hospital lab about it, telling them what had happened. He was repairing some equipment and heard it all. When he’d finished his work, he came over to me and said,
“I couldn’t help but overhear, that you’re going through a divorce and that you’re really upset. I’m sorry for you. My mom’s been married and divorced three times, so I know a little of what it’s like and how frustrating it can be. Can you give me your phone number and if you ever need to talk sometime …?”
I told him no because I had no idea who he was and so then he gave me his phone number instead and left it up to me.
Well, I had just moved to Chicago, I had no friends there, I had no family there so about a week later I did call him,
“OK, I’m calling because I need somebody to talk to and I know I don’t know you, but you seem like a nice enough person.”
SJ suggested dinner and that’s how we got to know each other. That was in December, the divorce was final in March, and that’s when we started dating. I told SJ about how my ex and I hadn’t been able to conceive and at some point while we were dating, he said,
“Before I even ask you to marry me, which I hope to do at some point, I’m going to get a semen analysis and make sure I can have babies.”
I was so excited – that he would do that for me!
When he did propose, he said,
“How about we get married in the summer and start our family in the fall?”
That was OK with me because I knew I wanted at least three children, maybe four and that would take a while. So we got married 14 months after my divorce and then had four children in less than six years! If I hadn’t gone through my divorce, I wouldn’t have them.
No regrets! And that’s not said in a cold-hearted, unfeeling way but as a message of affirmation. When I look at my children and think that they simply would not exist, could not have been created, were it not for my ex and I, then I know I don’t regret my choice of husband. And that’s also why I won’t destroy the wedding photos.