It’s true that divorce is sticky and messy and different for everyone. And, while I’ve never pretended to know everything about how a divorce would effect me, there are still some things that have totally surprised me.
1. I don’t miss my ex husband. You really would think that after spending half of my life with him I would miss him… but I don’t. I feel a little nostalgic about our years of raising the kids and playing happy family, but I don’t miss him as my spouse. I suppose this goes back to the idea that he wasn’t really my ‘other half’ anymore. I don’t feel like half of me is missing or any of that romantic crap. I haven’t had any dreams of us being back together, don’t accidentally use his name or have any regrets about leaving. I’ve read a lot of blogs and articles about missing your ex and feeling torn about your decision, but that isn’t my experience at all.
2. I don’t feel divorced. I still kind of feel like ‘divorced’ is a word used to describe other people. After a lifetime of being programmed to believe that divorce is evil, wrong and inexcusable I find I can’t quite connect myself to it. Reason being… I am not evil and I’ve done nothing wrong. Divorce happens to good people, to people who love with their whole heart, to people who know what commitment is but simply find themselves in an unfixable situation. I’m not the bitter, bitchy ‘divorced’ person I’ve always stereotyped. I’m just me.
3. Two of my kids are still angry with me. One of them won’t talk to me at all and the other offers limited communication. I’ve always been Mom with a capital M… the queen who can do no wrong. I naively thought they would be sad about their parents separating but that they would support me and remain devoted to me. Hello, real life! The youngest has worked through hurts but hasn’t turned her back on me for one second, but the two older ones went through spells where they were so angry they wouldn’t even look at me, much less talk things through. I still have hope that they will find forgiveness in their hearts for the areas in which I’ve apologized for my behavior, and that they will come to understand that life is messy and no one is immune. Not even mommy.
4. I’ve lost my friends. They weren’t even my ex’s friends, but my very best friends. When I would hear about people losing friendships I would think, “Thank God I have such awesome friends that would never walk away from me.” Turns out that leaving my husband was just the first domino in a long line that came crashing down more swiftly than I could have ever imagined. Because our separation was quite a scandal in our church, I stopped attending. My best friends attend this church, and I stopped being a part of their church events and gatherings. In no time at all I was floating around the outside of the circle, hurt and over-sensitive. Out of my hurt I began to push away their attempts to contact me, till they stopped trying altogether.
5. I can do things. I can research for and hire a lawyer on my own. I can get a job. I can make tough decisions without someone else’s input. I lived pretty much my whole life thinking I needed other people just to navigate life, and really thought that left to my own devices I would fall flat on my face. Well, surprise world… I’m doing it! Don’t believe for a second that Google hasn’t become my new best friend, but there has never been anything like the feeling I got when I not only ordered my internet, but INSTALLED THE WIRELESS THINGY completely without assistance. I seriously wanted to tell everyone I saw what I accomplished. #idid
If you’re reading this, odds are you’re living a divorced life or are in the process of one. Do any of these ring true with you? What has surprised you? Talk to me in the comments and I’ll reply as soon as I can.