It was a great treat to see Stephanie, my first wife, today. She moved to Colorado, and was back in town catching up with people around Cleveland for the first time in a few years. I haven't seen her since some time in 2006, so it has been a very long time.
Obviously we didn't make much of a married couple, since we are not, in fact, married anymore. We were together for about 11 years. That's a really long time to spend with someone. While there was certainly a period of time where we had to figure out what our relationship was going to be, we eventually became friends. In fact, she's one of the very few people that I exchange e-mail "letters" with on a fairly regular basis. You know, the kind people used to put on paper and mail to each other.
I certainly realize that some people exit relationships because they're physically or mentally abusive, and I understand that there's little reason for people in those situations to stay in contact. However, I know a lot of divorced people who harbor these bizarre grudges and vats of toxicity toward each other, for reasons that frankly don't benefit anyone. I can't put into words how thankful I am that I don't have that situation with Stephanie, or anyone I've had a serious relationship with.
Also important, I'm thankful that Diana is OK to be around Steph, or anyone I've previously had a relationship with. In fact, we've spent time socially with them all, many times. It was kind of fun to see the two of them geek out over Diana's new sewing machine. It was a reminder that while they represent two distinct eras of my life, they both have so much to do with who I am. I still feel very fortunate that I've had the opportunities to have the relationships that I've had.