This Is My Life 6 Months AFTER the Divorce - Was it like this for you too?
Itâ€™s been over six months since I moved out of the home I shared with my husband after it became apparent that that was my only chance at moving on with my life. I tried you guys. I really, really did. Thatâ€™s the thing that people that havenâ€™t been there donâ€™t understand -- nobody wants to get divorced; sometimes itâ€™s the lesser of two terrible options.
I wonâ€™t get into too my details, because as much as I like to write about my life, heâ€™s still the father of my children, and heâ€™s still a person, and he doesnâ€™t deserve to be slammed to people that donâ€™t know him from Adam. Also something about the high road -- grumble grumble.
I will say that we had very different ideas about marriage -- and Iâ€™ll leave it at that.
So by the time I threw in the towel, I felt a lot like Cartman in South Park, except instead of saying I was going home, I was finally leaving home. And I made a new home -- one that was and is just mine (and the girlsâ€™), free from the miserable drama that had encapsulated me for so long.
And it was awesome. Duh, I had my sad moments, and I cried a lot when I felt like it, but the dark cloud was gone. It was, in a word, liberating. I did things I was never â€śallowedâ€ť to do when I was married, like go skydiving or get a tattoo. I stayed up late, let the kids jump on the bed, and listened to pop music whenever I wanted. I even got my very own full-time job as a staff writer at this very website where Iâ€™ve been freelancing for years. Itâ€™s a good life -- and there's a lot I even like about being single again.
All of that (and more!) is still awesome, but in the last week or two, itâ€™s almost like the euphoria of the escape from the bad marriage has worn off a little, and thereâ€™s a whole lot of holy crap, that actually happened to me setting in.
Divorce is seen as failure in our culture and, more often than not, treated as such, and thereâ€™s a stigma that comes with that. Heck, I was actually ex-communicated from my (non-Catholic) church for the â€śsinâ€ť of filing for divorce. Seriously you guys, that happened.
But even in our secular culture, people who havenâ€™t been through this probably believe I failed -- didnâ€™t try hard enough, didnâ€™t communicate well enough, didnâ€™t forgive enough, etc. I know this because I used to be one of those people, holding onto marriage like it was the Holy Grail, rather than accepting that divorce isnâ€™t failure -- itâ€™s just the end result of a failed marriage.
I donâ€™t regret leaving. Not even an iota. Maybe that comes from too many years of staying because I thought I was making the best of a difficult situation, or maybe it comes from the naivetĂ© of youth and only being six months out.
Nope, I donâ€™t regret, but oh my goodness do I grieve. I grieve for my kids, who wonâ€™t know what itâ€™s like to grow up in a loving, intact home. I grieve for my younger self, who also had a warped view of what marriage should be. I grieve for the people that would judge and condemn me, because I know from experience that theyâ€™re likely struggling too.
So what now? One foot in front of the other, I guess. Move forward with as much dignity and grace as possible, reminding myself that as much as it hurts, itâ€™s in the past. And Iâ€™m pretty sure Rafiki from The Lion King had some great advice in that department: â€śThe past can hurt ... but you either run from it or learn from it.â€ť
Hereâ€™s to learning.
Have you learned any painful life lessons?