Old friends visited this past week, two who go all the way back with me to college, and two who once belonged to our "tennis group" but who divorced five years before me. Of the four, three of us are divorced and one has remarried.
This was a trip down memory lane, which I find so important now that I have no one close to me who can share those special old times. In each instance my friends and I did something we used to do together, such as listen to music or fix a great meal together.
One of the couples who visited was once married, but she left him ten years ago. They arrived together in order to attend parent orientation at a local college. The divorce was acrimonious at first, but because they shared custody of three girls they had to find a way to get along. She has remarried and is as happy as I've ever seen her. But she and her children went on a roller coaster ride before settling down again. The oldest girl, 12 at the time of the divorce, acted out her anger, doing poorly in school, hanging out with the wrong crowd, and running away from home on several occasions. The youngest emerged relatively unscathed, but the middle child chose not to live with her mother and their relationship has never gotten back on track.
One friend, a male, and I had a long discussion about the fact that even if our spouses wanted us back, we had moved so far along that we wouldn't want them. Neither of us thinks we want to marry again, which surprised us, since we were the two who fought hardest to keep our marriages intact.
It was a pleasant week, filled with memories, some going all the way back to 1969. Yes, I miss having that significant other in my life and those cozy dinners at another couples' house. But I am amazed at how far along we four friends have traveled and how strong we have become.