Dissolution and Absolution

My divorce is finally going to be official. As of last Thursday morning we’re in the 30 day waiting for the decree period.

For the official tally, that’s a divorce that has lasted five and a half times longer than the marriage.

So, now I am sitting and waiting for the paperwork to arrive in the mail that makes it over with.

Dissolution is a funny term. I think it’s a little strange that the official legal term for divorce is a word that means “the act of dissolving.” Marriages don’t dissolve. They don’t slowly melt into a goo. A marriage is something that lives and breathes and the end of a marriage is not the melting of something solid, it is the decay of a dead body, rotting away.

For most marriages, that probably means burying the marriage in a graveyard and never visiting it again the way you might attend the funeral of a work acquaintance. Life won’t be the same without them, but it won’t be shattered either. For some marriages, it probably feels as though one side or the other murdered the marriage on purpose and the death is a rift that will drive them to violence and vengeance.

I think for myself and my ex-wife, our dead marriage is more like a pet that got rabies and had to be put down; so we buried in the back yard. You know the spot because the grass grows a bit greener and thicker there than the rest of the yard.


What I’m saying is: It was incredibly sad, but from that death, new life was able to grow. My ex-wife and I spent a long time feeling too hurt and angry to talk to one another, but once we realized that these things happen, and it wasn’t anyone’s fault, we were able to regrow the friendship that existed before we ever started dating in the first place.

Within the next month, I’m going to be officially divorced and my ex will move on with her new man and their baby. I’m very happy for them, and I think they’ll be able to avoid the stupid minutia that killed my marriage. I think the lessons were taken to heart.

I find myself feeling in a place of piece and nostalgia about the entire thing. Some part of me tells me I should be either depressed or celebrating, but most of me is just ready to move on and accept that I can move on.

I don’t know how I’m going to do that just yet, but I will. I know that I can’t just keep floating through life bitter because things haven’t gone my way, and that this is just a representation of that. I need to grow up a bit more. I need to mature like a fine wine, and I need to just be happy.

I don’t think I’ve let myself be happy for a very long time.

Goodbye, marriage. It was a crazy, bitter 10 months followed by 4 and a half years of self pity and excuses for not moving on in life.

As they say, I’m over that.

8 thoughts on “Dissolution and Absolution

  1. Stereo.* says:

    I think this might be one of my favourite posts of yours ever, Matt. I am glad you’re finding peace in all of this and that moving on from your divorce affords you all the happiness you deserve.

    1. Thanks, now that I’ve accepted that, I need to convince everyone around me that I’m just done with it.

  2. Kim says:

    This is a really good post, and I’m glad GoDaddy is letting me comment on it now.

    I have thought for a while that if I had married either of the people I dated seriously in my twenties I would be divorced by now. I’ve wondered how that would feel. These metaphors are giving me a lot to think about. Peace and nostalgia are a good blend.

    1. In some ways I feel a regret at the loss of something that could have been better if we’d both been more mature or stable. Then, honestly, in other ways it feels like everything about our marriage was purely for the sake of ritual. We got married because people do. We weren’t happy because people aren’t.

      I hate to smish it down into being a right of passage, but there are times when it felt that way.

      There are also times when it felt like the most important thing in the world.

      I suppose it can be both, and I’m okay with that.

  3. I am sincerely happy for you…though, I don’t suppose that happy is the right word. I imagine that there must be many, many mixed feelings with the end of a marriage. But, the triumph that you must now feel, to have come through it, the growth that you have experienced and the person that you have become are worth celebration. I am so glad to know you and to see something positive for you.

    1. Happy probably isn’t the right word, but it’s probably the closest my vocabulary can get. It’s all very relieved.

  4. I’m happy for you, Matt. I think you WILL be able to finally move on with this closure. It’s been a long time coming. I am wondering now – the day after – how you are feeling – if you feel that release – in full yet?

    1. I feel like I have to update all my profiles.

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