So you’ve taken the big leap and have admitted to yourself that Divorce is imminent. You’ve gone through the motions; talked, fought, reasoned and attempted counseling. The thought of divorce has been brewing for years. After all the non-movement you’ve come to the conclusion that the only motion left is to dissolve your relationship through Divorce.
The decision has been made and now it’s time to take action. But wait, what actions need to be taken? Where to live? Visitation if kids are involved? Assets? Lawyers or Mediation?
These are all the steps we know about. These are all the steps expected from a separation and divorce.
But what about all the other stuff that comes up that you weren’t expecting and no one told you about?
The True Reality of Divorce.
It took me years to admit to myself that my marriage wasn’t working. I denied the reality because it was easier than what I knew ending my relationship meant, or at least what I thought it meant.
When I finally came out of the shadows of my reality and told my husband that our marriage was in danger, it still took 3 years for the big steps to be taken.
In these three years there was a lot of denial from both sides. There was mediocre trying, more denial, trying to avoid hurting each other’s feelings, and a lot of pain and anger towards life and each other. Each day led closer to the inevitable.
It was a very slow process.
And even though I tried, I still knew we were over. We had been over for years. But how does one end something that had been part of what had defined them for most of their life? How does one end it when the other party isn’t willing to let go?
And what do you do when he finally does let go?
It took 3 years for him to let go and in this seemingly overnight release he jumped in the arms of another woman. It was a bolt that hit with the intensity of a speeding train. Even though I encouraged him to let go and move forward the reality of replacement was crushing.
It wasn’t just a fling, it was the immediate attachment to another woman, someone who wasn’t me. I was who he said he’d never be able to replace. All those times he told me I was the only one. We’d been together since we were 14 and I had been told a gazillion times that I was all there was for him. In some way I believed this. It was comforting.
When the new woman came into our lives and yes it was our lives, life changed in ways I never imagined. For him it was someone to finally fulfill his needs and for me it was the reality of being discarded.
The reality of divorce finally set in. The discussions of visitation and assets and money had already been in the works. You would think the reality was already visible. But no, it took his truly moving on that did it.
What came up was the realization that the person I thought would somehow always be in my life was gone. In his new found relationship he truly let go and moved forward without looking back or following through with his commitment to me. I had started this storm and now I was caught in its cyclone of destruction.
My reality of divorce now consisted of being truly alone.
· Who would be my emergency contact?
· Who would I call if I had car trouble?
· Who would help take care of the kids when I was sick?
· Who would take care of me?
· Who could I talk to when I was overwhelmed or sad?
· Who could I trust to always be there when I really needed something?
· Who would appreciate my baby changed body?
· Who would find my quirks endearing?
This became my reality of divorce. It was all those things I never thought of but now had to live.
The reality of divorce is no longer the logistics, it is the feelings, the pain, the hurt, the betrayals and ultimately the beauty that comes from navigating reality and redefining the answers to the questions.
And those questions aren’t easy to answer and even when you think you have the answers you get thrown back into the storm with new realities thrown at you.
The reality of divorce is full of feelings, one’s you never considered. Oftentimes these feelings leave you feeling deceived by your own choices. You reconsider your original decision, not because you want to stay married but because you are just so scared to face the reality of your decision.
The truth is that divorce is so much harder than you could ever imagine. Hearing others stories can only prepare you for so much. Nothing can truly prepare you for what lies ahead but know that you are among the brave warriors who fought with swords but ultimately won with grace.
You will feel things and you will do things you never imagined. They are all the steps you need to take to navigate your way out of the storm. When you finally emerge a little worn and bruised you will have the skin of a true warrior and you will heal. You will be stronger and you will be empowered.
You are a Warrior of Divorce and your scars will be your power.