But It Was A Process...
A divorce is a tearing away of two souls that were joined together at some point. Even if you view marriage as a business contract, there is still a tearing period that has to occur. It can be a weird place to be in initially, always having to explain the nonexistent ring. But you get through it and you come out stronger than you were.
I've been divorced almost 7 years now. The story that we tell our daughter is that we were young and immature. And although there is some level of truth to that, it wasn't the only reason why we decided to pursue the divorce. We knew what marriage was and the implications if it didn't work out. We knew what we weren't suppose to do and we had an understanding of what we needed to be doing. On the outside to many, it looked like a perfect love story. And when I was around others it would really feel that way. But there is an interesting thing that happens when you get inside the confines of 4 walls that you call home. It was far from a love story but not quite a horror story. So we rode that thin line between the two. It was an uncomfortable place to be in--where we became more like roommates. The love had no pulse and we withdrew all of the "reserve love" that was saved up. In my eyes, divorce was imminent!
Before I tell you why the divorce was my happily ever after, let me share the process I went through.
One of the most important processes I've experienced during the divorce was the healing process. For me, it consisted of 2 major steps: Cleansing and Preparing. Healing is one of those things that you won't quite know you need until you are faced with a situation that draws out those emotions from the past. "Where did that come from?" So from experience, I'm telling you it's something you need. Here's why:
Cleansing your heart from all of the hurt and pain is very important. Even though you may think that you're unbothered, the truth is, you are in fact bothered. No one walks down the aisle to be wedded to their spouse while planning a divorce. No! You walk down the aisle thinking about forever with that person. You vowed in front of friends and family to go through thick and thin with them. So yes, you have every right to be bothered. This is why you need to cleanse and purge your heart from this situation. Deal with the pain and be honest about it. Then when you are done, wash away the impurities and get yourself together. It's no different from cleaning a wound--you make sure that the wound is completely cleaned before putting the stitches on. Otherwise you can risk getting an infection. Look at this step in the healing process in the same manner. Lastly, forgive yourself....and then forgive that other person as well. Forgiveness isn't an option in divorce, it is a necessity.
Preparing for any major life event is never easy and a divorce is nothing shy of that. Have you thought about the ways in which you have to prepare? I'm not just talking about the division of material things, I am talking about the nameless stuff:
- Preparing to be alone again.
- Preparing to co-parent or in some cases, preparing to be a single parent.
- Preparing to answer the millions of questions that family and friends are going to ask.
- Preparing to be OK with saying "Yes, we're or I'm divorced."
- Preparing to see them with another person
- Preparing to cook dinner for one less person
- Preparing to hear the wedding song you all danced to on the radio
How will you know you're healed from this situation? In some ways I think the healing is continuous; you're healed, yet you're mindful of that time in your life. But there are lots of ways to know you are over the hump and on the road of success. For me, it was that unexplainable peace on the inside. The one where you can truly, with a honest heart, say "I'm happy...for them and for me." You will come to a point when you can say that. Trust me! When you can wish that other person well and truly mean it, when you find yourself laughing again, when you are able to live again...
I am who I am today because of that divorce. I'm Strong, Intelligent, Loving, Caring, Thoughtful, Patient, Understanding and Compassionate...I know who Kim is. That's my happily ever after! A lot of what contributed to the strain on that marriage was the fact that I was young and didn't quite know who I was or what I wanted in life. The one comment that I heard after running into an old friend was "Wow, you look so happy...so confident." And I responded by saying "I am!"
Don't let your divorce break you. Fight for your new life and fight for your happily ever after.
Here are some common questions I was asked after my divorce, along with my responses.
Was it all bad? No! But anything that isn't properly taken care of matures into something really ugly.
Do I regret it? No! My divorce needed to happen.
How did I know? The phrase "When a person is fed up, there is nothing you can do to change their mind" is very true and relevant. When I hit that point, I was done! It was a friendship that went too far. That simple!
Was it all him? No! No situation is one-sided. Many people hate the idea of sharing the responsibility in a divorce. But the reality is, I share 50% of why that marriage didn't work out.
Will I ever get married again? Absolutely! I love marriage and what it stands for; covenant. It's unfortunate that I wasn't able to successfully uphold that marriage. But that doesn't mean I can't try again. I was 20 then and I'm in my 30's now. A lot of growth has taken place within that time and I know who I am now.