After months of hearing, “I want a divorce” from Husband #2, he’s finally acting on his words. Divorce papers are coming soon, maybe even this weekend if he gets motivated. We’re somewhat lucky. Our divorce is simple…nothing to contest, nothing to divide, nothing to pay going forward. Just two ships that pass in the night moving in different directions.
My clock will start when the final decree is filed. I’ll spend the next two years restructuring my life.
Why 2 years? Because the experts say that’s how long it takes to restructure your life after a major loss and to feel like myself again.
These events take away so much of our safety net, so much of our structure — everything from who we socialize with, who we talk to at the end of the day, to where we buy our coffee in the morning. ~ Elizabeth Bernstein at The Wall Street Journal
First and foremost: No big life changes! It’s not a good time to make major changes, like moving to a new house or new relationships or risky job ventures. This is a time to pull back and assess the things that are working and not working in my life.
I realize there are some items that I can’t ignore indefinitely, like having “our” retirement fund cut drastically as Husband #2 pulls out and heads his own way, taking his share and his pension along with him. Now it’s “my” retirement fund, dented and scratched and not looking as rosy as it did when there were two of us sharing the load. Even with my saver’s mentality, it will take a while to build up my personal funds to where we were at “together” levels. I know saving more and working longer are now variables that have to be considered. It’s just a part of restructuring my life…
I’ll paraphrase a bit from my latest read, Feel the Fear and do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers:
Husband #2 is not my life. If we are meant to be together, we will be. If not, so be it. I trust that God and my inner purpose are creating the right relationship for me. I can let go trusting that everything is happening perfectly. My life is full. My life is rich. There is nothing to fear.
First things first. Continue to follow my recovery plan:
- Ask for help & let help in
- Talk about your grief with others
- Get as much information as you can about the divorce process
- Face each obstacle as it arises
- Let others know when you’re not feeling well
- Allow your feelings to come to the surface
- Allow yourself to feel whatever you feel
- Accept your new reality and move on when it’s appropriate to move on (this doesn’t mean you have to like it!)
- Have trust/faith that things will work out
- Be willing to make mistakes (mistakes are going to happen no matter how well prepared you are – it’s just part of the process
Understanding that it will be difficult for a while but having the certainty this will not last forever is what keeps my chin held high. Restructuring my life will take time but I know I will handle it the best I can.