Monday, June 3, 2013

Not for the Faint of Heart

For nearly seven years, I watched as couples reduced their years of marriage to an argument over trivial things like curtains, frying pans, and cordless drills. I watched as years and years of marriage were boiled down until all that remained were bitterness, anger, and sadness. And in the very worst cases, I watched as loving, caring parents resorted to putting the kids in the middle - usually without even knowing it.

I worked in an attorney's office and divorces were common.

I vowed to never get divorced.

Fast forward, and I found myself contemplating the dissolution of my own marriage (of marriage number two). It was really hard to accept that being apart might be the right thing for all of us - him, me, and our two beautiful sons. I am a "fix-it" kind of girl and spent years trying. In defense of him, I think he too was unhappy but chose to avoid it (our marriage) by plunging into online computer games, etc. After years of trying, I made the leap. I asked for a divorce.

It's been two years (in July).

It's not going as I hoped.

I feel like a failure.

And after two years of largely keeping my divorce between me and a couple of very close friends, I have a few things I want to share with you. My hope is that a) you'll have some great advice or b) maybe you're dealing with something similar and it helps you to know you're not alone.

Things I Didn't Expect:

  • I didn't expect to work so hard at convincing my ex I don't hate him. 
  • I didn't expect him to completely forget the person I am. 
  • I didn't expect to pray for my ex daily. 
  • I didn't expect that communication would become so difficult that I'd get an attorney involved. 
  • I didn't expect to second guess my decision often and wonder if I should have just held out until the kids were grown. 
  • I didn't expect that two years later, everything would be a fight. 

Are you thinking to yourself right now, "What did she expect?" You might be thinking I'm an idiot, that I divorced him, and how exactly did I expect him to react.

Well, let me tell you what I thought would happen:

  • I thought we'd go through a period of time (maybe a year) when anger, hurt, and resentment were prominent but that by year two, things would even out. 
  • I thought he'd go on to realize he wasn't happy too and eventually heal from the process. 
  • I thought that if I remained as fair, flexible, and focused on the kids as I could that all would be well. 
  • I thought that we'd get through the transition period and we'd realize that we weren't meant to be and we'd settle into a pattern of co-parenting that was best for the kids. 
  • I thought that I could somehow convey to him that while being married didn't work out, I don't think he's an awful person. 
I was wrong. 

Now I'm trying to set up regular, respectful communication between two people (us) who didn't communicate well to begin with. I'm trying to work with him on co-parenting when we didn't usually agree on how to parent before. I shouldn't be surprised. 

So now, if I have any readers out there who have gone through something similar....

How did you get through it? 
Any advice for me? 

Divorce definitely isn't for the faint of heart. 

No comments:

Post a Comment