As a divorced person, I often times refer back to my experience with the implosion of my marriage, and use that in helping others who find themselves in the same shoes I stood in when I found myself staring down the barrel of D-I-V-O-R-C-E.
Many years later, myself and my fellow Divorcées we kindly welcome new members in with open arms and sympathetic head tilts because if there’s one club that understands the pain the member went through to get there, it’s the Divorcee’s club.
I’ll never forget when I was going through it, there was a couple guys from my class in school who I ran into at the bar (Rustic) one night, and they said “Welcome to the Club” and they smiled wholeheartedly when they heard about my plight; and I remember thinking to myself, THANK GOD for these guys, because it was like the one and only thing that made me feel “ok” about the fact that I was getting divorced only six years after getting married. Granted my ex and myself were only seeing each other for about six weeks when we got married, but hey, we are all crazy and impulsive when we’re young right?! *laughs*
Getting divorced before you’re thirty is tough because you’re one of the first to do it. When I went through it, all of my friends were either just getting married, still in the honeymoon phase or just starting to have babies…so I didn’t have a slew of friends rushing to my side who could truly understand what it’s like to go through something so god awful. Lucky for me, my friends make up for in awesome, what they lacked in divorce experience.
I’ve been divorced now for going on six years, and I have to tell you, it’s not too awful of a club or company to be in. Good people get divorced all the time. I remember thinking that being divorced at 28 would be like being branded with the scarlet letter of “D” for the rest of my lowly days, but it just doesn’t have to be something that defines you. That much I promise you.
I know this seems like a puff piece about how great divorce is, and that’s not my intention, but I guess that I wanted to put this out there for anyone who’s on the verge of having life as they know it torn to virtual shreds, if someone is scared to death that there is no life that will ever be as good to follow…I just wanted to say “you know what…there is. You just have to make it to the other shore before you can begin again”
Don’t beat yourself up over the fact that you couldn’t save your sinking ship. Saving a ship is more than a solo effort. So if you were out there signaling SOS, inflating life preservers, putting women and children in a safety boat, and your husband or wife was the one putting holes in your vessel, no sense in taking the blame for that. Own your part of the failed relationship, and let the rest sink with the ship. Life is hard enough without carrying around all that blame and baggage. Especially when there’s usually enough to go around, so don’t carry it all alone.
There’s a lot of emotions that go along with getting a divorce. There’s the feeling where you are like dead inside. Then there’s the shock when it sinks in that this is actually happening, and you go and look at your wedding album and you wonder how on earth things went so wrong. You’ll cry, and then ten minutes later you’re hateful and feel like your head is going to rocket off your shoulders and burst into flames. You experience jealousy, and over stupid things….like how quickly someone else seems “fine”, be it your spouse, or your co-worker, and you wonder if they are made of tougher stuff than you. You can’t watch Romantic Comedies for a while…and suddenly you find yourself home alone under a blanket, watching things like “Last House on the Left” and “Paranormal Activity” and “Straw Dogs” for enjoyment instead of “You’ve got mail”, “Pretty Woman” and “How to lose a guy in 10 days”. Which just saying, that Movie title is misleading, if you didn’t know what it was about one might think it was a divorce how-to for a speedy dissolution! Ah, TEN DAYS, wouldn’t that be wonderful if you could get divorced in ten days?!?!
My parents, when they got divorced, it was like “The Dark Ages” in our family. For FOUR grueling, miserable, horrifying years, the saga drug on, and on, and onnnnnnn! It’s bad enough surviving your OWN divorce, let alone surviving your parents’ too. Talk about total upheaval of one’s life and point of reference.
But back to movies, once your desire for slasher films and action movies subsides and you find yourself feeling not so bleak inside, might I suggest “When Harry Met Sally”, “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “Sleeping with the Enemy”….all of those will help balance out the good with the bad….and Billy Chrystal’s portrayal of what it’s like to go through divorce is pretty good in my opinion. So when you’re all alone, and you’re crying and need something to drown out the sounds of your sobs, just pop one of these babies in and feel a little less alone.
Some marriages just aren’t written in the stars…some spouses can’t be faithful and think the grass is greener on the other side; others don’t know what it is to truly love someone and can’t help but to screw things up beyond repair. While others, simply just grow apart. Couples inevitably do one of two things, you grow together, or you grow apart.
So if Divorce is something that’s happening to you, know that you WILL get through it, the misery eventually WILL cease and there will come a day, when you realize that you’re feeling more like “yourself” than you’ve ever felt in your life…and there’s nothing keeping you from it, or keeping you from feeling good about being YOU anymore.
If you truly want to come out of Divorce a winner, do not allow yourself to:
#1) worry what people will think of you. What other people think, is none of your business, don’t make their issues, your issues.
#2) If you ex has a history of telling you that they broke up with the person they were dating before you because they are/were “crazy”…be prepared for them to make you into the same “crazy person” they claimed their last ex was. DO NOT LET THEM. Nothing will make you feel better than to know that they tried to make YOU look bad, and wound up just making THEMSELVES look like they crazy one when their claims show again and again to be unfounded.
#3) Be good to yourself. As hard as it may seem, get yourself some sleep at night…no sense staying up all night worrying over things that you really don’t have control of right now. That’s what you pay lawyers for, let them worry for you. Worry rarely ever affects the outcome of a law suit. What will be, will be….worry or not.
#4) Try very very hard not to lose your shit the first time you see your ex with someone new. It is NOT like seeing an ex-BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND with someone new it’s much stranger than that, when you see some other woman/man with your HUSBAND OR WIFE, it’s just almost shocking. It can stir up some primal responses in you that will have you not sure if you want to run over there and pee on your ex’s leg and say, MINE! Or pull out your fangs and rip both of their throats out. Prepare yourself for any lingering resentment/anger/rage etc. to surface if this happens. Especially if you no sooner found out you’re getting a divorce, only to find them ALREADY dating someone before papers are even filed. If you think your spouse won’t do this to you….just prepare for it, because it happens so very often.
#5) Take this opportunity to find out who you really are, and what you’re made of. If you’re a sweetie pie normally, and your divorce makes you feel rage like you’ve never known, find out if you’ve always had it, or if it suits you. Some people can really harness anger and put it to good use. If you’ve been a doormat for the whole time you’re married, find out what that’s about…did they make you that way, or did you lay down so they could walk on you? A hefty attorney bill, ruined credit and bitterness doesn’t have to be all you take away from the experience.
Through pain can come the most profound clarity.
Chalk it up to experience!
We all get it one way or another.
~Heather "Divorced" Lynn~