Something funny happened while Husband #2 was here over the 4th of July weekend. He told me he was afraid of coming home because he thought he would find us destitute with the cupboards bare and the refrigerator empty. He set very unrealistic expectations on my lack of ability to survive. It was a surprise to him to find me and the family quietly thriving in the wake of his departure.
I have Husband #1 to thank for my resilience in the face of the latest adversity.
Divorce #1 taught me what not to do.
One of the big lessons learned from Divorce #1? Never move for a spouse that isn’t fully invested. You see, I foolishly gave up my home, my employment, my kids’ stability, and my friends to follow Husband #1 to a new city and state. It was a huge sacrifice for the family but not for Husband #1. He had employment. He had something to go to every day that fit into his life plan. We, the remaining family members, were just along to help him flesh out his goals.
Divorce #1 also taught me not to chase after someone who didn’t want me. As hard as it has been to “go dark” as the DivorceBusting people say, it has helped me to detach and not take things so personally when Husband #2 shares a hurtful tidbit of his world’s truth.
I went into Marriage #1 with a boatload of unrealistic expectations and when it fell apart I easily pointed fingers at Husband #1. Now that I’m going through a second divorce, my attitude is different. I’m not pointing fingers. My sentences don’t start with the words, “Well, YOU did this…” My sentences are phrased to my reality:
- I felt invisible
- I was frustrated
- I handled things poorly
- I am learning to do things better
- I am different
By curbing my unrealistic expectations I take the power back for myself. I am responsible for my own actions. And I am fully responsible for my own happiness.