This is not a whining post. It is a post written for women who think about getting a divorce. And really, it’s to stop them from doing so.
Granted, there are legitimate reasons to get divorced. If your husband is abusing you and you truly live in hell, by all means: Get out! And take your kids! But if you’re thinking of getting out because “your feelings have changed” or “It’s just not working anymore” or something like that, then I want to implore you: Pull yourself together and remember the vows you have once made. I’m sure you weren’t kidding when you spoke them.
Money can’t buy you love.
Before I got divorced, husband and I lived in marriage hell. We lived in financial heaven, but in marriage hell. Which goes to prove that money doesn’t make you happy. There was no physical abuse, but there was a lot of yelling (on a daily basis), and the occasional throwing things and taking other things away… There were many power struggles and battles of the wills. And there was a lot of built-up anger and suppressed feelings. There was also a lot of pride. It would have been difficult to work things out at that point, but we could have worked it out. And Christopher would have a whole and healthy home today.
We figured it couldn’t be done.
I didn’t want to be married anymore. We got divorced. The moment we told little Christopher and I had to leave him in his confusion and disbelief and drive away, my heart broke. Literally. That moment is when it all started becoming real. When it all came crashing down. When I started realizing I had lost my family.
Even more so, however, this painful truth became more and more clear as I realized how much my life was changing. I had to move in with a room mate. I had no more security. I now had a boyfriend who was so very different from what I’ve always wanted. I was very confused. I was very sad. I was very angry. And I kept making bad choices. But I swallowed it all because I didn’t want to deal with the pain. When Christopher left again after a weekend and I was cleaning up his toys, it felt like he had died and I was mourning. He was taken away from me again weekend after weekend and weekend. And the pain started anew every time. And to this day, I still often mourn after dad picks him up again and I am left to myself.
As they say: “You get used to everything.”
And you do. Not because you want to, but because you have to. Because you no longer have a choice. So I “got used” to it. I adjusted. I learned how to become a robot and go through the motions, while being less and less emotional about it as a self-defense mechanism. Just that I noticed that being a robot really isn’t a great life either. Having no feelings at all is almost worse than feeling bad. Just recently, after I had broken up with my boyfriend, and I realized I now had to deal with this break up AND a divorce I had never processed, I started going to a single parents group to get help. I was ready to acknowledge that I couldn’t do this on my own. I am currently learning how to choose safe and healthy relationships, and how to be a safe, healthy person myself. These ladies in this group give me strength, but also make me think a lot more about what work I have to do to deal with this situation.
More than often, it feels like it can never be done.
It feels like there is no way to ever deal with the loss of your son and your family. There is nothing that can bring this lost time back. Never will I be able to see Christopher through elementary school. Never will I be able to pick him up from school and arrange play dates for these last 2 years. They are gone and who knows how much more time will be lost like this.
My heart is still broken…
… and I don’t think it will ever be whole again living without my family. They say I will find someone else. I can have another child. But nothing will ever be able to replace the family God wanted me to be with. Certainly nothing and no one will ever be able to replace my son.
In the midst of all of this grieving work, everything “hits home.” The kids and I were watching Tangled today. It’s a freakin made up Disney movie, for crying out loud. And when the king and queen finally get their daughter back in the end, I wanted to just bawl. Of course I had 3 little kids sit around me, so I couldn’t just start crying. But it cost me all my strength to hold it in. And this is a kids movie we’re talking about here. Lately, I feel like crying all of the time and ANYthing will trigger it.
I thought nothing could be worse than being married to this husband. Boy, was I wrong.
And stupid. And immature. And now my birthday rolled around. For the third time in a row, I turned 29. Especially on these days, emotions are on high alert… because it’s a special day that’s no longer special… simply because your life is a mess. Well, MY life felt especially like a mess, and I have no family around.
The most awkward thing was that there WAS family around.
It just wasn’t mine anymore. I found myself in the middle of familiar unfamiliarity. Of a place that was once home and comfort and joy. It was still the same place. The people were still the same people. But they were people all looking at me with different eyes.
While a couple are very supportive, most are uncomfortable. And some are flat out nasty and mean. And you can’t get away from them because you are bound to them through your kids. Stay tuned to hear about how family dynamics change after you get divorced. If you are in a place where you contemplate leaving your husband, please read the next part of this.