Friday, April 17, 2015

Unhappily Ever After: Divorce

"The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving. I didn't want to destroy anything or anybody. I just wanted to slip quietly out the back door, without causing any fuss or consequences, and then not stop running until I reached Greenland."
~Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

That book had a profound impact on my life. Especially the bathroom section where she is sure she doesn't want to be married anymore and it becomes a prayer. It is one of a huge list of things that gave me strength.

I had lunch today with a long time friend who I have some things in common with. The first time we met, possibly ten or more years ago, we both admitted we were desperately unhappy in our respective marriages. I've been done for more than six years now and she is finally making the leap.

And like all newly starting the process you believe it will be easy. You'll be nice, he'll be understanding and life will go on happily ever after.

And then you wake up from that dream.

Divorce is the quintessential Gotham villain Two-Face, nice one moment and ready to rip you to shreds the next. It brings out the most horrible attributes in the best of people. It becomes about greed, blame, and control. Throw kids in the mix and you have a lifetime of dealing with such issues.

I've done divorce coaching and I have to say my only advice I give is to be prepared for anything. Know your rights, worth and angles for every circumstance long before you need them. Too often I've heard the words, "It was going so well, I never thought he/she was capable."

Things change, people go a bit off, emotions are never predictable.

As for the kids, I read a column from a pediatrician last year stating how detrimental divorce is to children. My kids would beg to differ. They are much happier with parents that are happy. They are learning what a good marriage looks like and what stability in a family feels like. They no longer deal with the tension and sadness that was any family time together.

No happy marriage ends in divorce. No one ever said, "I love you way too much to make you keep living with me."

Stop beating yourself up if that is the path you are presented. Stop feeling so guilty!

I used to choke on the words, telling people I was in the midst of such a thing. I was only ever met with understanding and support. (Although don't ever say "I'm sorry" to that news. As stated above, usually for the best.)

And in the end you may find what I've found, that person that is exactly what you were missing. That person you never thought you would find let alone deserve.

Don't beat yourself up for happiness. I guarantee the divorce process will take care of that for you.

Happiness is worth it.

"Divorce isn't such a tragedy. The tragedy's staying in an unhappy marriage, teaching your children the wrong things about love. Nobody ever died of divorce."
~Jennifer Wiener, Fly Away Home

"What we wait around a lifetime for with one person, we can find in a moment with someone else."
~Stephanie Klein, Straight Up and Dirty, A Memoir

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