Happy news. Entirely unsolicited by moi, Gale/Greenhaven Press have asked to reprint my August 2005 post A Long Reflection on the "Good Divorce". It will be in an upcoming edition of their Contemporary Issues Companion Series; the volume in which my little piece will appear will be on "Divorce and the Marriage Contract." And they're payin' 10 cents a word, which just might pay for a celebratory dinner. It's the first explicit offer of money, however small, to reprint something I've blogged. Yay.
Here's an excerpt from that piece I wrote nearly a year ago:
We (my third ex-wife and I) began the therapy process with Dr. K hoping the marriage could be saved. But we continued to see him for weeks AFTER we had both agreed to divorce. Our goal in those remaining sessions was not to find a way to stay together; rather, it was to make the separation experience as vital, as cleansing, and as cathartic as possible. It was a great gift that my ex-wife and I gave each other. On the final night of therapy, I walked my ex to her car after we were finished. "I feel elated", she said, "giddy." "I know", I replied, "me too." We hugged tightly for what would be the last time, and just before saying goodbye, we thanked each other once again. The thank you was for all the effort each had put into the marriage, but also all the honesty and forgiveness and grace we had each brought to the divorce experience. I wept as I drove away that night, but I was not in agony; the tears were tears of incredible gratitude for the amazing experience that I had just completed.
As I prepare to get married again, I am filled with genuine confidence that my beloved and I will be able to challenge each other and help each other transform -- all while making the marriage grow and survive...
I am confident of this not only because of the tremendous depth of love I have for my fiancee, but because I feel that we each have a formidable "skill set" of spiritual and psychological tools that we can bring to the table. In my case, I acquired those tools from many sources: from various spiritual communities, wise mentors and pastors, dear friends, and the grace of a loving God. But I also acquired those tools through the immensely painful -- and yet also immensely transformative -- experience of my three divorces. When I stand with my bride-to-be not long from now, I will have thoughts of no one but her in my head. She is my "now", and she is my "tomorrow", and Lord willing, will be my tomorrow for all the tomorrows to come. But I am only truly ready to be hers because of all of my yesterdays, and all that they taught me.