If the man you were going to spend the rest of your life with tells you he no longer loves you, wants a new life because you are the root cause of his unhappiness, it certainly wreaks havoc with your confidence and self-esteem.
My ex-husband decided the pastures were greener on the other side. So, he left. He did everything he could to make it as amicable as possible, least disruptive for the family and doing his best to keep the peace. Did that make the separation easier? Yes. Does it absolve him of his irresponsible actions? Absolutely not.
The ramifications of divorce are very serious and with children involved, it is a lifelong tumultuous affair. It messes with your psyche and has an incredible knack of creeping back in just when you think you have it all worked out. When I read about divorcees being grateful for their divorce, I try not to be cynical but inevitably I remain sceptical and here’s why I’m not grateful for my divorce:
1. Our Broken Vows:
A vow is an articulation of one’s commitment to a lifelong partnership. It is a sacred promise made to one another and in most cases, in the presence of others as a witness. It is not a flippant, romantic notion nor is it just “something we do” when we get married.
It is a solemn pledge of love and companionship under all circumstances. What is there to be grateful about when this vow is broken? It is nothing but a blatant disregard of why we got married in the first place and when he made the decision to go, there was no turning back and no opportunity was given to try and fix it.
2. Our Child Didn’t Get A Choice:
Asking for a divorce is not just leaving the spouse; it is breaking up a family unit. The children suffer and we rip their world apart because of one’s selfishness to pursue happiness. How we handle a life post-divorce certainly makes a difference to their upbringing and whilst I understand co-parenting can work and the children are still very much loved, there will always be issues for children of divorce to deal with.
Apart from dealing with confusion, anger and sadness, we throw in separate houses, future blended families, half and step siblings and not just being able to have one place to call home.
3. It Makes Me a Liar:
The only way to successfully co-parent is to project a united front. I have to pretend I respect her father, I have to mask my anger and disappointment and I have to encourage her to have a relationship with him even though I don’t believe he deserves it.
When she is upset with him I have to play it down and console her, I have to help her understand why he says those things or makes those decisions, all the while knowing the real truth. I am dreading the day she asks me why we are no longer together. In due time, she will expect a mature and adult response.
4. I Feel Guilty All The Time:
Parenting in the 21st century is challenging as we place ridiculous expectations on ourselves to ensure we provide them with the happiness they deserve. Our guilt and self-doubt stems from unrealistic end goals and some have hailed it to be an epidemic. But when your child tells you they don’t want to go to
But when your child tells you they don’t want to go to Daddy’s or are unhappy they have to pack their bags again and again, it is heartbreaking. And yet, we have to be strong and tell them they have no choice in a situation they didn’t create. Try that guilt and I can assure you gratitude is not a word I associate with those scenarios. And this is week in and week out for the next decade of my daughter’s life.
5. Divorce Makes Me Second Guess Myself:
If the man you were going to spend the rest of your life with tells you he no longer loves you, wants a new life because you are the root cause of his unhappiness, it certainly wreaks havoc with your confidence and self-esteem. I am a very strong person but I was rocked to the core and 3 years in it resurfaces now and again. It affects the decisions I make, it causes difficulties in my new relationship and I still think about it now and again.
So no, I am not grateful I got a divorce. We had a responsibility to make it work. This, however, doesn’t mean I am unable to be grateful for the new things I have discovered since my divorce but given the choice, I wish he hadn’t walked away on a whim. The reasons he left were not substantial enough, they were not divorce worthy such as abuse and violence. By comparison, they were first-world “just do it” pursuits of his happiness.
More from DivorcedMoms