My ex and I were still living under the same roof, trying to work out the details of our split, while I packed and finalized the details on moving to my new place. It was a miserable time; but, it was necessary for us to coexist just a bit longer while all of our loose ends were tied up. One such loose end was separating our cell phone account so that we would each have our own account and a logical way to begin untangling our finances.
I remember placing the call to the phone company to initiate this process, and was struck when the representative on the line wished me ‘congratulations” for my divorce! She was so pleasant, and seemed to read my mind that my divorce was not the end of my world; but, the breaking of the shackles that prevented me from happiness.
Many people don’t know what they should say when someone they care about tells them they’re getting divorced; but, sometimes, “congratulations” is exactly the right thing to say!
Don’t get me wrong. Divorce is awful. For me, the years leading up to the divorce were just as miserable as the break-up and legal process. The actual “d-word” was the lighting of the fuse that caused everything to explode, but my life was no stranger to dysfunction previously!
Is “congratulations” always the correct thing to say? No, there are many people who find their way to divorce by way of a surprise attack by their ex; therefore, a divorce is a most unwelcome intrusion, and certainly nothing to celebrate. These folks are more likely to appreciate condolences along the lines of “I’m so sorry to hear that” or “is there anything I can do for you?” “Congratulations”, in these circumstances, would be like a slap in the face, and certainly an insult.
We’re more likely to elicit an “it’s about time”, high five, or “congrats” when the marriage has been a long-term struggle. We may be surprised to discover how many people around us were already well aware of how unhappy, mistreated, or unloved we were for quite some time. Sometimes we think we’re doing a better job of concealing our struggles than we really are. We don’t always have to verbally express “my marriage is falling apart” for co-workers, friends, and family to already have a pretty good idea!
Anyone who knows you, or anyone who has survived this experience for themselves, will celebrate with you the fact that you can finally be free to have the love and respect you deserve and able to spread your wings to be the best version of yourself. No one living in a miserable marriage can be truly happy, and a bad marriage can literally suck the life out of a person!
A divorce, in these circumstances, is like receiving a pardon on a life sentence! Chained for life to someone who doesn’t love us or care is a slow and painful death; and, one need not stop breathing to be dead!
I think, that had someone actually searched for my pulse, they would have had great difficulty locating it. I was flat-lining! My physical being was able to go through the motions each day to crawl out of bed, dress myself, take care of my family, and go to work; otherwise, I was the actual corpse bride awaiting a tombstone to finally be placed over my head to end it!
Perhaps it was the beauty of my children actually living life that brought me to the surface for air long enough to realize that I knew I could be more, do more, and have more from my life, and this wasn’t it! They deserved more, I deserved more, and nothing good would come of me rotting away in the solitary confinement my husband locked me into!
Once I was conscious of my desperate state, I became like a caged animal who would do anything to break free! I had already tried to fix my marriage. I had already tried burying my head in the sand to force myself into permanent denial of my predicament; but, the only thing that was going to truly solve my problem was to set us both free from our imprisonment!
“Congratulations” doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the positive things that have come about in my life because of the bold decision to let go! I have been on the side of divorce when “I’m sorry” was more appropriate; but, even then, I found a way to turn that rotten egg into a victory. One way or another, whether the divorce was my idea or not; divorce became the key that opened the lock to emancipate me from life in prison!
“Congratulations” to you if you are now finding your way out of the dark and embarking upon something strange, but beautiful! Fighting for one’s freedom is never an easy task; but, there is no battle more noble or necessary if you ever want to be yourself again.
“Congratulations” if even though your heart may ache, you found your way away from someone who didn’t appreciate or deserve the gift of your heart! Make something meaningful from the wings you’ve been handed. Pursue some dreams, give yourself and your children the peace you deserve, and make this the inspiration for the best chapter of your life!
“Congratulations” if you’re getting a fresh start after years of sadness, neglect, or not being able to be all that you’re meant to be! It’s understandable if this isn’t how you wanted to become a butterfly; but here you are, and now it’s time to take the reins of your life and open yourself up to good things to happen!