Marriage is this beautiful, amazing, loving, caring union … until it’s not. Sure, some marriages last and last, but some crash and burn leaving behind a huge mess and intense heartbreak — no matter if you are the one who asked for a divorce or not.
They say marriage takes a lot of work, and it does, work that can be really rewarding. But divorce takes even more work, especially when there are kids involved. And that kind of work doesn’t come with many rewards.
Sometimes when you are in the midst of fighting and deciding you want to get divorced, far too many things and feelings are forgotten about, not considered, because you are in the heat of the moment, the midst of what you feel is a definite finality in your marriage.
Some of those feelings may deceive you. There are so many things I wish someone told me about divorce before I began the whole process.
- It’s nothing at all like when your husband was away on business and it was nice to have the bed to yourself. That gets old. You get lonely.
- He’s not going to be there. Ever. Never again in the way that he was. He’s gone. For good.
- Don’t rush things unless you are in an abusive situation.
- You may want to hide when you are first going through divorce. You won’t want to talk about it with anyone.
- You will have to remind yourself that you are not a failure. That the relationship simply ran its course, it had an expiration date.
- You may never feel truly sure you made the right decision particularly if you have children together.
- There is going to be an in-law situation and you won’t know how to carry on your relationship with them.
- When your kids are sick, you are the only one home to care for them and he’s not there to ask him for help.
- When you are sick, he is no longer there to care for you.
- You will miss his cooking, even if he isn’t a good cook, but simply because there was someone else there to make meals and it isn’t all on you. And if he was a good cook, it’s going to be even harder.
- You still may call him by the pet name you had for him and it slips out when discussing a matter and it hangs there in the air and hurts.
- If you thought talking about money with your husband was hard, try talking about money with your ex-husband.
- There will be no more “stay here with the kids for an hour so I can run out to do errands.”
- It may feel natural to reach out to hold onto his arm when you go out for coffee to discuss the kids, but you aren’t supposed to hold onto his arm anymore.
- You will miss your wedding ring … feeling it there on your finger and what it represented.
- Your wedding album is like a ghost.
- You won’t know what to do with your wedding dress.
- If you knew what you knew now, you wouldn’t have spent all that money on that wedding dress. Instead you should have banked it to save for couples’ therapy.
- You might have to politely ask your parents to take down your wedding photo they still have hanging on the wall in the living room because it hurts too much to see it.
- It’s not easy. Not even if you are the one who wanted a divorce.
- You’ll wonder if he’s dating someone new and if he’s thinking she’s better than you.
- When he gets serious with another woman, dealing with that woman being around your children is going to be harder than you could ever imagine.
- After all the hurt subsides, you remember all the good things and sort of forget the bad and the hurt starts again but in a different way.
- What if … there will be lots of these.
- You will look at your kids, that are his kids too, and wonder how in the world are you going to be able to make it through all these holidays for the rest of your lives and still figure out how to be a family that is no longer living together.
- You may notice it feels weird to still have the gifts he’s given to you over the years even if it’s something as mundane as a toaster. And you may start having nostalgia about the toaster.
- You might fondle the silverware gifted to you at your bridal shower and feel bad that all your friends and family gave you all these wonderful gifts for a marriage that didn’t last.
- You may worry some of your friends might be thinking about those gifts they gifted you.
- You may lose some friends.
- Some of your family may not understand why you are getting divorced and that can be very challenging to deal with on top of dealing with divorce itself.
- There will be a bit of pain when you refer to him as “Daddy” to your kids, but that’s his name and how he’s addressed, so you must deal.
- You are going to want to confide in your ex because you are so used to doing so, but you have to learn how to stop doing that.
- It may take a long time for you to be ‘friends’ — whatever that means. It may never happen.
- There will be a time when your kids will wonder how the two of you were ever together in the first place. They may never even remember a time when you were together.
- You remember what it was like to fall in love with the man you married and you truly wonder how in the world did it all fall apart.
- The above makes you terrified to ever get married again.
Which ones do you relate to most? What would you add?
This article by Michelle Zipp appeared in The Stir on 13 November 2013. Read the article here