Tag Archives: divorce

Inquiring minds want to know :]

A member of my family sent me a link recently and I thought it was interesting. It was an article containing a list of some of the responses received when the question “what is the most valuable lesson you’ve ever learned from a break up?” was asked on Reddit/HuffPost Divorce’s facebook and twitter. 

Here is the list:

1. “A relationship involves two people. I used to put all the responsibility on myself whenever something would go wrong. When her actions would hurt me, I’d think about myself and what I could have done better. In the end, I stayed in that relationship way too long.”

2. “I learned to always keep my money separate and to have a backup plan.”

3. “Never settle. Love is a verb. People are who they are. Don’t expect them to change.”

4. “Your happiness and validation come from within. Relying on one person in order to feel happy is unhealthy for both parties involved.”

5. “I learned to cultivate me — my interests, my hobbies — and let the hobbies and interests I once shared with my ex fall to the wayside. I learned my own strength.”

6. “I learned that loving someone and loving the idea of being with someone are two very different things.”

7. “It’s a big ocean with many fish. You’ll find someone else. The heart is resilient.”

8. “Once you’ve broken up, cut all ties with that person. Delete them from Facebook, delete their phone number and send their email and text to a spam folder. Stay away from them and you’ll move on quicker.”

9. “Always read the signs and be aware of the red flags. They are there flashing and waving if you just pay attention.”

10. “I am worth more than what I accepted from the person I loved. I can make myself happy.”

11. “Don’t even think about falling in love again if your self-esteem is zapped post-split. Heal and love yourself first, then look for love again.”

12. “Being unattached is way better than being in an unhappy or unfulfilling relationship.”

13. “Get your stuff before you break up.”

14. “Your wellness is more important than the relationship.”

15. “The pain does go away even though it seems so hard to believe in the beginning.

 

Some of these things I knew already (at least cognitively, whether I put them to practical use or not is another story!), some of them I had not thought about before, and several of them I have learned/am currently learning from my divorce. 

I would have to say the major ones my divorce has taught me are:

2. “I learned to always keep my money separate and to have a backup plan.” –I have thanked my lucky stars a million times through this divorce process that my husband and I preferred to keep our money separate, and that we hadn’t been married for very long so our legal lives were not completely entwined yet…it has made things much easier than they could have been! Now I know, and will remember this for all future relationships! Also I always had a backup plan, I guess it’s in my nature; I’m a planner and the type of person who always expects the worst…it came in handy this time and I will not forget it!  

3. “Never settle. Love is a verb. People are who they are. Don’t expect them to change.” — I used to get mad when people told me I was settling, that I deserved better than him, and I still don’t think it’s true…that implies that he is not good enough, or bad, and he is most definitely not those things. “Love is a verb” however, sticks with me. My husband used to say it a hundred times a day, “I love you” “I love you” over and over again…and I loved it! I thought “how sweet! I’m so lucky!” Little did I realize, that it takes more than just saying it…he could say it a million times a day, and it would never make up for his lack of showing it. And seriously, don’t expect them to change. I used to say I didn’t expect him to change who he was, but I was fooling myself. I totally expected him to change. Were they good changes, that he should make for himself anyway? YES. But change is change, and it’s not fair to put that on to someone…they are who they are, love them, ALL of them, or move on. 

9. “Always read the signs and be aware of the red flags. They are there flashing and waving if you just pay attention.” — and DON’T ignore them! I can’t believe, looking back now, how many red flashing warning signs there were…and I KNEW they were there! I saw them! Yet I chose to walk right by them, look the other way, and pretend that they would just go away…because I loved him. But I have learned from this experience, that above all else you have to love yourself more than anyone else, and by ignoring warning signs you are most definitely NOT loving yourself more. You are just setting yourself up for more pain and heartache. 

14. “Your wellness is more important than the relationship.” — again, you have to love yourself above anyone else. Really, really hard for me to do…but I’m trying. 

 

 

So this leaves me wondering…we’ve all had breakups, of some sort, at some point in our lives…what would you add to the list? How would you answer the question? 

“What is the most valuable lesson you’ve ever learned from a break up?”

 

Link to the aforementioned article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/12/breakup-_n_5311650.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

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Off the bandwagon…again…

Ever since my marriage (and world) fell apart, and I essentially moved out of our apartment, going “home” causes quite an array of emotions. Some times when I go home I immediately feel as though I don’t belong there, like I am detached from that life, and am anxious to leave. Other times it hurts so intensely that all I can do is lay down in “our” bed and sob. 

Today I went home for 5 minutes and the resulting emotions were sadness and disappointment. I walked in the room and instantly saw it, the plastic shopping bag full of empty cans sitting in the middle of my bed…He is drinking again, and if he is drinking again that means he is most likely getting high again too…

I don’t know what to say about that, I don’t know what to feel about it. I’m not going to lie, I am surprised he lasted this long (4 months)…but I am also so incredibly sad that he made the choice to start again. As much as I kept telling myself not to, I was holding out just a little bit of hope that losing me and his entire world falling apart would be enough to make him realize that he needs to fix himself. 

I knew better, I knew better, I knew better. 

And yet here I am, disappointed again. I can’t tell you how many times I have felt like this. I’m sick of it. 

I’m sick of being hurt and disappointed. Sick of sitting around waiting for him to screw up again. Sick.

I guess it’s just more proof that I made the right decision; I told myself when I left that just because he was sober then did not mean he would stay that way, and lo and behold, I was right! I did sort of need an “oh yeah, THIS is why I left” reminder this week…I guess I got it…

I love him, and I genuinely want him to make himself better, for HIM. It doesn’t affect me anymore, his life is his own to screw up, but I just really don’t want him to screw it up. 

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YES.

This defines me divorce, right here in one sentence.

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April 19, 2014 · 9:43 pm

NOT a mistake

“One of the most helpful things I heard during my divorce was that the fact that divorce is the right choice now doesn’t mean that getting married was the wrong choice then.”

This statement has been one of the most important I have ever read during this whole divorce process, and I find I have to keep reminding OTHER people of it’s truthfulness. I think it is especially a problem since I have been married for such a short time.

So friends, always keep that in mind, whether it be in reference to me or anyone else you may know who is going through divorce. The divorce process itself is difficult enough and carries enough of a stigma about it that such simple statements as “just chalk it up to a bad decision and walk away” or “we all make mistakes” can be devastating (I have been told both of those and more recently).

I do not regret for a second being with my husband, or marrying him…and you shouldn’t regret it FOR me either.

 

Quote from this article:

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/06/how-to-get-divorced-like-a-grown-up/

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Alone

I’m an introvert, painfully so at times, but I am also a people person (they just have to be the right people!). Sometimes I say that to people and they don’t believe me that I’m actually very introverted, because I don’t seem like it (apparently, so I’ve been told). I need people, a lot. I need to talk, and be around people, and share things. So much so that I guess I seem extroverted, but it’s really only with a small group of people. Between my family and couple of close friends, plus I have been meeting quite a few people on the internet lately, I find it much easier to cope if I can talk to someone. I feel like I annoy people with my incessant need to talk (or listen, or even just be silent together), but the truth is I just want to feel that I am not alone in the world.

I have been trying lately to get better at being ok alone, it’s something I’m going to have to get used to I guess, because it has not been easy.  The only word I know to really describe how I feel is isolated, yet I am really not isolated. I’m around people all the time, I talk to people like my boss, my mom or my grandma or people on the internet quite a bit. I just feel all alone, in life in general I guess.

I feel this almost crushing loneliness a lot of the time. I feel so alone that it is actually painful.

 

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Today I am…

Today I am sad. 

Lately I have felt as though I have been getting looks from people because I talk about my soon-to-be-ex; almost as if I should avoid all mention of him as if he were He Who Shall Not Be Named. I feel like people are uncomfortable speaking about him around me, and don’t understand how I can casually bring his name up in conversation and not be upset. Maybe this is just a coping mechanism for me (some sort of denial maybe?), maybe the anger and the hatred it is buried so deep inside me that I don’t even notice it, but I don’t think so.

I think I am just truly and honestly not angry with him. I don’t hate him, and I don’t think I ever will. I don’t have a problem discussing him, or bringing his name up in casual conversation; it doesn’t make me upset for people to mention him to me. When it comes down to it, he was a major part of my life for almost 5 years. He was my best friend, my other half, my beginning and ending. We did everything together, shared everything, SO many of my memories now involve him. For FIVE FREAKING YEARS. Now I know to some of you that seems like a blink of an eye, but to a 24 year old that is a long time…longer than I have ever given to any other significant other. The fact of it is I care about him, I always have and I always will. I don’t hold against him what happened between us; he has his demons and he tried, I mean really tried, to control them for me. He has lived a kind of life that I will never be able to understand, even though I tried really hard too. When it comes down to it we are just different people, with different goals, priorities and attitudes about life. So I am not angry. 

I am just sad. To think about him makes me sad, to think about how we used to be together makes me sad, to think about how the future will be for both of us makes me sad. Yes, I find new holes in my life every day that he used to fill; and I am crying as I write this. Yes, I bring him up in conversations, sometimes a lot; and yes, sometimes it makes me sad to talk about him…but not all of the time. Sometimes it makes me smile to think of the things we have shared, to remember the laughs and the good times (because there were a lot of them). Sometimes I bring him up in conversation, without even stopping to consider if I “should” be talking about him or not, and I like that. He is a part of me, and he always will be. Even if it makes me sad, I will talk about him, and it is ok for every one else to talk about him too. He is not a bad person, and I am not angry. I would rather remember him and the good things, and sit with the sadness as it is a normal part of this process…than bury him and every memory away somewhere in order to avoid feeling a little sad. 

So this is me giving you permission world, talk about him…it is ok. 

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Healing

I feel like this statement applies to all different areas of my life at the moment.

20140410-161630.jpg

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A case of the Mondays and wishful thinking

So it’s only Monday and already my work week is crazed. I work as a nanny, and yesterday (after working 7 hours at my 2nd job) I got home, sat on the couch, and 5 minutes later my phone rings. It’s my boss saying that his wife hurt her knee and they are headed to the hospital and can I come watch the kids? “Well, I’m herxing and I’ve already worked 7 hours today, but how can I say no to that?” So I jump in the car, and then get a call saying nevermind, she doesn’t want to sit in the ER, they will see a doctor tomorrow (today). As far as today goes, needless to say, work is frustrating when you care for children whose parents are home…so this week just needs to be over already.

But what I’ve been thinking about this afternoon is how awesome my boss has been all day. He took the day off work, cleaned the house, chauffeured his wife to the doctors office, is bringing her ice packs in bed and driving all over town to find her some crutches. All this from a guy who is really a great guy, but ascribes to the “women’s work” attitude and tends to come home from work, pour a drink and sit on the couch while his wife comes home from work, cooks dinner, cleans house, cares for kids, and then repeats every single day.

I’m sure that his change in attitude is simply a reaction to how unusual these circumstances are, and will probably disappear in a few days, but it makes me think…I want a husband who will do those things.

I’ve been sick every single day of my relationship with my soon-to-be-ex-husband, and never has he exhibited the kind of take charge, “it’s all going to be ok” attitude my boss is oozing today. If he helped at all, I had to instruct him in exactly what I needed and how I needed it. Also, due to circumstances outside of his control, he could not drive a car, leaving me to drive MYSELF to the hospital/doctors office on more than one occasion when I really should NOT have been driving. He also lacks, for some reason, the maturity to pick up a phone and make a phone call, or be responsible for any sort of life detail (paying a bill, making an appointment, sorting out an issue with the insurance company, making a decision on which cable company to contract with, the list goes on and on), even though he is 10 years older than I am.

I am so not the kind of girl who sits around waiting for her knight in shining armor to ride up on his white horse and whisk me off into the sunset…but I don’t think it’s too much to wish for a husband who can just handle things sometimes. The kind of husband who will recognize that I am hurting more than usual, and take care of me once in a while, because he cares. The kind of husband who will be my partner in life, not just one more thing I need to handle. The kind of husband that I can rely on.

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Just rip the bandaid off

Today was a really hard day…but that is totally the understatement of the year. 

Today I filed for divorce. I did it. Almost 3 months after I told my husband I wanted a divorce, and almost 2 months after I moved out of the house, I finally did it. 

I woke up this morning and said “I need to just DO it. Just rip the bandaid off and get it over with”. So I got dressed, drove the the courthouse, and sat in the car for a minute just attempting to breathe. As I walked inside I couldn’t help but notice the sadness, it was as if the walls themselves were sad, and all the people working there as well. I guess courthouses just are not generally happy places, but the criminal one I used to work in seemed much less sad than this, civil, one did. Luckily everyone was very nice, and as I handed them my paperwork and the exorbitant amount of money it costs to file for divorce, they instructed me to “have a seat on that bench and wait for your name to be called”. So I sat down, and glanced over at the only other person waiting there, a middle aged blonde woman who had her head tilted back leaning against the wall, and tears mixed with mascara streaming down her face. That was it, any composure I had left was gone, I put my head in my hands and sobbed; and together we sat on the bench of misery and cried until both of our names were called.  

I have no words to explain what that feels like, other than death; like my soul was actively dying as I sat there. As I looked at that other woman it was like looking in a mirror, all of the pain, heartbreak and soul death in her face I knew was written all over mine as well; and I found myself wondering, who is she? What, no doubt horribly painful, circumstances landed her on this sad bench? How will she recover from this? How will I recover from this? 

For the last several weeks I’ve been ok; I’ve been cheerful, and moving forward with my life. I thought, “hey, I’m ok, I’m moving forward, I’m going to survive this”. I even counseled a friend of mine who is going through a similar situation as if I was wizened by all of this, as if I had moved on and learned and grown from this; as if I had a few, not all, of the answers. And then I sat on that sad bench today with my head in my hands and realized “I’ve been fooling myself. I’m so NOT ok”. 

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Rock, Paper, Scissors, Limbo?

“It felt like a winless game, the probabilities working against my progress, holding me in place – neither married nor divorced, neither in love nor healed, neither moved on nor an occupant in my old life. I was in limbo, wanting to be done with the process and the pain yet lacking the skills to get there. I didn’t know when to cut, when to fold and when to stand firm. “

This describes EXACTLY how I have been feeling lately…in limbo. And it’s kind of making me crazy…

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March 24, 2014 · 7:57 pm