You hear the word ‘divorce’ and can almost hear the glass shattering.
Formerly loving, rational people throwing piles of each other’s clothing out of the window.
The kids are hiding in their rooms talking to their stuffed animals and blaring their music to drown out the fighting.
Good divorce? Working things out peacefully? That’s for the Dalai lama. Or maybe that’s why the Dalai lama isn’t married – because it’s seemingly impossible for calm in the middle of divorce.
Perhaps the default image in our minds could change.
“Things could be different,” we think to ourselves.
Granted, there is so much emotion, anger, regrets, guilt and blame going on, the calm fairies left with their pixie dust a long time ago.
But just like clapping brought Tinkerbelle back to life, there are some things you could do to coax some peace back into your home while still going ahead with your divorce.
When I wanted a divorce, it was because my marriage was a religious one arranged by my parents and I never wanted to marry him in the first place. I was 19 at the time and was told that it doesn’t matter if you don’t love him, he’s a good person. So what if he barely speaks English and is from another country.
It took me 9 years to gather the courage and get the help I needed to leave.
The only problem was that he wanted the same things I did from the divorce…
The tax deduction.
And only one of us could have it exactly the way we wanted.
That’s the key word here…wanted
I was freaking out because we were still in the same house living together with our daughter and we were at each other’s throats (not in a good way).
After months of chaos I made a decision that I could be calm in the midst of chaos by checking my ego at the door and realizing that I was not going to get everything I wanted. I decided to start finding things that were in my favor. I was happy that I was going to be divorced after so many tear filled nights of pain and sorrow wondering what it would be like to be in love and not hide my life.
How did I find calm in the middle of the chaos?
I put down my mental armor and stopped arguing, started feeling lucky deep inside that my life would change. It would get very difficult, but it would change and I knew that a good life was possible.
I prepared meals, listened to music, and even invited friends and family over for short visits.
My ex-husband thought we were getting back together! I just kept saying no, we aren’t, but we can get a mediator in addition to divorce lawyers to buffer the fighting and that’s what we did. And it helped.
I focused on what was most important to me, and that was having my child live with me.
That meant I gave up the house.
Gave up the tax deduction and left with my piano and 2 beds.
I gave in to not having my child exactly the times I wanted.
What happened was that I felt better and calmer even amidst the chaos that divorce is always going to be. Instead of fighting him, I fought for a raise at my job and made twice as many phone calls for the apartment I wanted.
I began fighting for my future life!
It wasn’t a piece of cake, but it wasn’t a shootout either and that made all the difference to my soul at the time.
Everyone’s situation is different, and some people are more difficult to work things out with than others, but a shift in feeling that you can find calm and peace in your heart no matter what, makes all the difference.
“I thought the divorce statistics would never apply to me. I was beyond heartbroken when they did. But I got up and got on with it. I also kept my belief in marriage”. Jennifer Garner
It’s more than 10 years past my divorce and I can say that I too ‘got up and got on with it’. Something easy to say when you’re not in the throes of divorce. It’s also a comfort to know that there are people out there that went through such a hard time during divorce and went on to live happy and fulfilling, loving lives.
End the pain now by inviting calm, even if just a little bit. Breathe.
You deserve a good life. So breathe deeply and look out the window at nature and know that you will be ok.