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Can’t Is Not In Your Vocabulary

A Tribute to the Children of Divorced Parents, Who Dare to Love Anyway

woman and man standing together over city skylin

One of the most resounding phrases of my childhood is, “Can’t is not in your vocabulary.” I didn’t realize how much it resonated at the core of my being until “I can’t” was at the epicenter of my family.

I can’t believe this is happening.
I can’t do this anymore.
You can’t do this to us.
We can’t come back from this.

I thought we, as a family, were safe from divorce. I had always figured if it was going to happen, it would have happened in middle school. Isn’t that when it happens to everyone else? Not us! We weathered trauma and tragedy alike.

It’s like I grew up holding my breath. I was ten and we were fine. I was fifteen and we were all crazy, but fine. I was eighteen and MOVING OUT, but we were fine. I was twenty-one and twenty-two. I was twenty-three when I saw the illusion flicker. I was twenty-four when I saw the fault-lines that ran deeper than I could repair. I was twenty-five when we all had to live with the fallout. It felt like I had lived through a nuclear bomb drop… and no one else noticed.

There are party lines that get drawn afterwards.
He said. She insisted. He knows. She suspects. He argues. She demands.
It scared me, soul-deep.
And then J proposed.

I didn’t know you could be elated and terrified all in one moment. I wanted to go dance across the sky and hide under the bed simultaneously.

I said yes. After almost seven years of being together, I said yes.
Because I love him enough to risk it.
Because he holds me when I’m weary and tells me I’m beautiful in the morning.
Because he “can’t imagine going another year where I’m not his wife.”
Because I realize that choosing him is a daily commitment.
Because we are far better together than we could be apart.

But mostly, because I decided: if we live our lives together, choosing each other, loving each other, listening to each other… no matter how long it lasts, we can’t lose.

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