This one I am writing because I know someone, somewhere happened across this looking for hope, advice, or is wondering what is going to happen to them after, during, or before a divorce. I was once a person who dug up any information I could to help me through the process. For the 100's of things I read, I've decided now it's my turn, over 3.5 years post divorce to put my own 2 cents in for the next struggling person going through that dreaded, frightening experience.
Good news, it's really not the end of the world or your story! It's a whole new beginning! A blank, clean slate to write on it however the hell you want!
(I have a list at the end of this blog if you wanted to skip my story because that's what next.. a quick clip of what went down in my divorce)
When I first heard the words "I want to a divorce" I was devastated. Sick. Confused. Sad. In Denial. I felt like an elephant had sat on my chest. I lIterally felt as if I couldn't breathe, my shirt that day had a belt around my mid-section & I ripped it off (belt loops & all) in a quick attempt to catch my breath.
"Why?!" was the only word I could utter. "I don't love you like I used to, I don't feel the same way," "I want to end things & don't want to try & work it out," "I just can't do this anymore, I want to be alone" "I need to work on myself" "it's not you, it's me" All the sentences he was able to spew back in response, every sentence cutting me like a knife. I looked at my 18 month old daughter in the other room, turned back to him & yelled at him "Are you fucking kidding me?!" It was all surreal, how could someone you've been with 8 years suddenly "not love you anymore."
We had been living in our new home for almost as long as we had our new daughter, barely over a year & a half. Like a ton of bricks had fallen on top of me, my life as I had known it for nearly a decade was over. My future was completely blank. Were all those years a waste??
The next morning I hit the lowest self-pity point I'd ever experienced. I found myself curled up in a ball, laying on the floor of the bathtub with the shower running on me. I WAS on top of the world, now I was scraping myself off the floor. I didn't know how to go on (looking back at myself in that moment, I do see myself as pathetic) All I could think was What the fuck am I going to do now? I had become so dependent on my husband, he was the primary income earner & I was a fresh face in the world of WI real estate & had (coincidentally) recently been hired at the Post Office in the city where my family & friends lived one-hour away. It was only part-time, not enough to make a mortgage payment, daycare, car payment, car insurance, phone bill, student loans, utilities, etc.
I was forced to move out of my home. I packed as many of my personal belongings as I could fit into my 1990 Buick LeSabre & drove myself one hour away to my dad's house to unpack before going back to pack up my daughter & as many as her belongings as I could fit again. That's it. That's what I started my life over with, a car full of belongings.
Once I was moved out, my mission was to save my marriage, single-handedly & I was determined. I scoured the web & read any & all divorce/'save my marriage' type articles, ebooks (I paid $20 for a book of useless advice entitled How to Win Him Back), blogs, & even dating advice. I had already received much friendly divorce advice from people who had been there themselves. I welcomed it all. Though, in my mind, my end result was that I was going to stop the divorce before it's finalization date, six month's time. They warned, "look out for yourself right now, divorce gets ugly fast" They were right. I was thankful I'd taken heed in what they'd offered. It wasn't but a month when I'd learned of another woman who publicly entered my husband's life & my home, only four days after I'd moved out. My first thought "No wonder he 'lost' feelings for me, they were being placed on someone else". I was EXTREMELY angry.
However, that's exactly what I needed to hear. I needed that woman to be in his life in order for me to move on. My marriage wasn't that great anyway. The divorce had caused me to place a lot of self blame. I was being quite self-destructive trying to figure out why it was so easy for him to not love me anymore. The whole "what's wrong with me" thing plagued my brain tirelessly. I had tremendously beaten myself up in the first month. I lost 20 lbs because I spent a great amount of time feeling sick about what was going on, I had no appetite.. whatsoever. I remember my mother-in-law telling me "EAT! If you're not going to EAT! Drink those weight watchers shakes" Which I actually ended up doing, simply for the sake of trying to maintain energy & life.
Hearing of this woman, then learning who she was.. Someone who'd been in my home with me, my daughter, & my husband.. Someone he worked with.. She was someone I felt I could be friends with. Heck we'd even been on double dates with her & her fiance.. So I was in much disbelief about everything, but it was the reality of my circumstances. The moment I learned all this, was the moment I decided "FUCK HIM!" This marriage was truly over & I was the one who needed to "work on myself" I needed to "be alone" I needed to learn how to be a strong independent woman. AND I DID all those things. I also learned that the marriage I had wasn't REAL love, not in the terms of what MATURE love is. We didn't belong together, but all we knew was being together. That's it, staying together because that's how we had survived for 8 years.. It was easier to stay together than to split up.
Here's what I learned in the process (some of it was exactly the friendly advice I had received from friends & family who'd been in my shoes)
I did my sad time, my healing time, my moving on time, my self love time, & my learning time. I put my time in. Eventually, I met someone after I had decided I didn't want or need a man in my life. I was OK with just me & my baby girl in our new life. Somehow a man who is more amazing than I could imagine I deserve entered my life.. in the most random of ways.
I've applied my lessons learned. I treat him right & he treats me even better. I didn't know this kind of love, this kind of man existed. The feeling that I spent too much time with the wrong person being treated the wrong way, makes me want to kick my young self in the ass. I wish I had known my new husband much sooner, but then again, I wouldn't have learned these lessons. These lessons were very important. These lessons have given me a more concrete, loving, doting, solid, caring, complimenting, comforting, & very supportive of one-another marriage today.
In an odd way I've become grateful for the divorce I had to endure & the woman who pushed the process along.. Now if only they'd be more loving & caring of the daughter who was created from marriage #1.. But that my friends, is another blog :)
I'm a mom of two. A wife. I'm a yooper (live in the U.P. of MI) A postal worker. I'm real. I'm me. This is my start.