I don’t know how or where to start this post. This will be the hardest, most private and most difficult thing I have ever posted here on my blog. I suppose first I’d like to point out I am not a writer so I am sure this will ramble on at points and be chock full of grammatical errors. But I thought my story was worth sharing so please forgive my mistakes. I know other people have to be struggling so I want to share some of my story in hopes that it will help a few others out there!
The last three-plus years of my personal life have been horrible, literally awful. I am officially divorced as of a few weeks ago and the road to get here was anything but easy. I am so incredibly thankful I didn’t realize what a F’ing hard road it would be to get here. You know the saying ignorance is bliss, well in my case it was very true. I’d like to preface and tell you that now on the other side I am in a very good place. I “made it”! Yes I will still have bad days, and weeks, probably. But I did the work and I know I am through the worst of the separation and divorce.
In the very early months and weeks it was honestly kind of a relief, I didn’t have any idea what I was in for… You see I was in that lovely stage of grief called denial. Awww denial how I miss you. Then the other stages quickly started coming on and this gal was a HOT mess.
One of the most difficult parts of this process for me was sharing with friends and family. OMG I felt like a huge loser, a disappointment, and I was soooo incredibly ashamed that “I” didn’t make my marriage work. You notice I said “I” …. well naturally in the beginning I assumed it was all my fault, I am emotional, I expected too much, I was selfish, I wasn’t a good partner, etc, etc, etc. I didn’t tell almost anyone… I am sure there are still people out there that don’t know. I mean how do freaking tell people you are a loser that is getting a divorce? Ugh, I had no idea. It took me MONTHS and MONTHS and MONTHS of therapy before I could talk about it, really, and before I saw I wasn’t a loser and “I” didn’t end my marriage. “We” ended our marriage. I never in a million years would have thought I’d be divorced.
I live in an ultra conservative neighborhood where almost everyone is happily married, financially successful with their 2.5 kids and Labradoodle. How was I going to go on, not fitting into that perfect little equation anymore? Well folks somehow I made it because here I sit and guess what no one was mean to me, no one judged me (as far as I know and I’ll say it again ignorance is bliss ;)) I am still friends with my friends and I am still me. I was CRAZY uncomfortable getting here I’ll admit. I think the hardest parts of divorce are different for everyone but man this one was tough on me. The only way it happened is just talking to people, little by little and as I was ready. I realized through this process I am a kind of private person. I never was before but that’s cause life had been pretty positive up to this point. But when this happened I struggled immensely with sharing. I am now in a place where I not only can talk about it but I am posting it on my freaking blog….Hello strangers and friends, this gal is DIVORCED.
The absolute hardest part of this has been our kids. We have two teenagers. Making sure they are happy in a good place and their needs are being met. And I’ll admit we have stumbled and fallen quite a few times. The important thing is that we continue to get up and start again and learn from our mistakes….. The number one thing I’d say is communication. We learned this the hard way. In the beginning it’s tough to find that new rhythm and pattern when you’re whole world just got flipped upside down. We finally are in a pretty good place but there are ALWAYS new challenges.
Here are the things we have done right. We go to family therapy, all four of us. This was the best thing we did throughout the process it honestly transformed our family dynamics. I can not recommend this enough and I know we are very, very rare. My therapist tells me that it is almost unheard of that the entire family goes to therapy during and after a divorce. If you are reading this and you are in my situation you NEED to go to family therapy. Seriously. Is it fun, no not really, but it is amazing when you do the hard work. The other thing I think my ex and I do well is we hang out as a family, we eat together sometimes, we go to the same events sometimes, we try to spend holidays together and we even go on vacation together sometimes. It isn’t really about him and me it is about the kids! And we say “We are still a family”. No dad and I aren’t married and we don’t live together. But we are still the parents and you are still our kids and we are still a family that will NEVER change! Someday when one of us meets someone that we want to date seriously they will have to be okay with this setup. It hasn’t happened yet so we will cross that bridge when we get there….. But in the meantime we are in a very good place with our new family dynamic.
Okay so those are the two main things I wanted to share…. There is much more oh sooooooo much more. But that is what I wanted to share with you at this point in time. It has taken me a lot of tears, long walks, Maroon 5, soul searching ,binge T.V. watching, and therapy to get here. But I did it and that feels good. There were many times I didn’t think I could do it… I thought it was going to kill me. But here I sit three-plus years later. At Peace with my new reality.
“You don’t have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt with. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you’re holding and my dear one, you and I have been granted a mighty generous one.”
― Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar