As promised, here is Part 2 (although some of you may argue that it’s actually Part 3, to which I reply…*that raspberry sound you make at babies to get them to smile*. I just don’t know how to write it. Suggestions are welcomed). Before I begin however, I would like to note that while I was going through my in-house separation experience I came upon this book. It was a HUGE help to me in getting my head right. Just throwing that out there in case it can be a help to anyone else.
Okay. So today I talk about my divorce. You might think that when he told me a second time he wanted a separation I got crazy, out-of-my-head depressed considering all the work I did during that last separation. Strangely enough, I didn’t react the way I (and you all) thought I would. Yeah I was shocked because I thought things were going well, or at least better than they ever had before. I did fight it for a short while because I believe that marriage is a commitment which to me means…well, a commitment. Not one that ends when it’s no longer convenient because THAT ISN’T A COMMITMENT. But who’s counting. I may have actually thought I could talk sense into him. Ha. Or guilt him into staying…for the children. Nope. So in the end I accepted it because I learned during the last separation that I am not responsible for the decisions he or anyone else makes. Only for my own decisions. AND I knew I had done everything in my power to save the marriage and it didn’t work. Can you guess what happened with that acceptance? I had peace! It was something I don’t remember ever feeling while I was with him. It was AMAZING!! It was time to move on.
Moving on for me looked like getting him out of the house for this separation. Thankfully my dear friends opened their home to him until he could find something else, simply to get him out of my house. It also looked like getting a roommate to help with the loss of a combined income. The roommate position was filled by another dear friend who moved in with her child. It was a good fit and we quickly became an new family. Moving on looked like so many things that became a transformation into a life that fit who I was. A life that I found joy in because I wasn’t trying to please someone I wasn’t ever going to please. A life I would not give up again.
How did you deal with the pain that you MUST HAVE felt? All those dreams you had of growing old together? Of your kids always having their parents together and happy?
The reason I spent so much time on the intermission of my marriage in my last blog is because it was really what helped me get through all of the above. I was given that opportunity to learn about myself as an individual. I hadn’t been able to picture myself without my husband prior to then because he had become such a huge part of my identity. (Mistakenly identifying myself as a wife and mother, rather than a woman with ideas and dreams and talents who also happened to be a wife and mother.) I wasn’t able to separate the two. But the intermission gave me the space to do just that. This time I already knew who I was without him involved. I also knew, or discovered, the tools that were available to me. Tools like counseling and DivorceCare. My friends became key in my healing too. I can safely say I have the BEST group of girlfriends ON THE PLANET!! It’s okay to tell your friends you need their support. It’s also a good idea to disperse your venting rather than dumping it all on one friend. This helps to avoid friendship burnout.
I do want to address having children while going through a separation/divorce. This is where Part 1 of my story really ties in. Because I experienced such an ugly divorce as a child, which had a lasting and damaging effect on me, I knew what I DIDN’T want to put my children through the same ordeal. I had learned through experience, research, and just plain ole common sense, healthy ways to help your child(ren) deal with divorce. Thankfully my husband was on board with me (as we usually are when the kids are concerned). We were sure to tell the kids repeatedly that we love them, that what was happening with Mom and Dad had NOTHING to do with them and there was nothing they could do to make it better, and we did not speak ill of one another in front of them. Those were our rules and so far, almost 3 years later, they’ve stuck. So in a somewhat convoluted way I am thankful that I had the experience of my parent’s divorce to guide me in what not to repeat.
The last and most important key to getting through any hurts you endure at the hands of other people is to practice FORGIVENESS!! I don’t care what your faith is or if you even have one, forgiveness is essential for healing. So many of us think (as I once did) you have to feel it in your heart to forgive. Or that the person who has hurt you needs to ask for forgiveness before you forgive them. This is not true. Forgiveness isn’t for the other person; It is for YOU! You cannot move on free of bitterness until you make a decision to forgive that person. Bitterness becomes a cancer that eats away at you. If you love peace in your life as much as I do please learn to forgive. This book helped me really understand forgiveness.
So the end of Part 2 leads us to the Divorce that changed my life. By the time the divorce finally became official I was more than ready for it to be over with. My EX(smiley face)-husband and I are friends in a very loose definition of the word. We communicate well and mostly only about the children. He is very involved with them and sees them regularly. We are still a parenting team and there are no hard feelings. I am actually grateful that he made the decision to leave since it has opened my life to so many possibilities I didn’t think existed for me. In the end it all worked out!
Disclaimer: I am probably not done with discussing portions of my separations and divorce in future blogs because it’s what started me on my journey to unveil the extraordinary in myself as well as other woman. There’s some really good stuff I learned during these times that I want to share. Hopefully this will not discourage you from continuing to visit my blog. Stay tuned…