As I was slicing up a head of red cabbage this past weekend, I had a sudden craving for cabbage slaw. And not just any slaw, but the one my former mother in law used to make (and I used to devour).
Which made me realize that there were certain things I would have done towards the end if I known that my marriage was heading for a (by that time, inevitable) cliff:
1 – I would ask my mother in law for that cabbage recipe. And I would take her out to lunch to get it. And while there, I would thank her for being so kind to me, especially when I had such a rough year during my first term in college. And I would give her a letter to read when she was feeling timid or overwhelmed filled with words of empowerment and encouragement.
2 – I would have backed up our entire iTunes library onto CDs. I lost most of my music with my husband; the password to the account was changed and I no longer had access. It’s still such a tease when I go to play a favorite artist or album only to realize that it is among the lost songs. My dad gifted me some Amazon cards years ago that I used to replace the most important music. That was nice:)
3 – I would have talked to my then-husband’s friends. Two in particular. I would have let them know that I was concerned about him (assuming that I knew enough to be) and asked them to a) call him out on his BS and b) be there for him. He needed a support system. Instead of building it, he systematically disassembled it.
4 – I would have researched divorce laws in my state, especially as it relates to fault vs no fault. Because I really handled that poorly because of a lack of knowledge combined with panic. It’s a deadly combination. And I also would have asked friends for attorney recommendations; it’s not a time when you want to rely on Google.
5 – I would have said goodbye to him at the airport with the knowledge that it really was goodbye. I would have said a little more. Held on a minute longer.
6 – I would have posted the following on my bathroom mirror, on my computer, in my car and basically everywhere I would see it:
Everything is going to be okay. Breathe it. Believe it. And live it.
How about you? If you could do some things differently in those final weeks of your marriage, what would you change?