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Monday, March 19, 2012

Don't Beat Yourself - Surviving Divorce

A few years ago (2007 if you must know). Forbes published an article filled with tips for those going through a divorce. I included the link if you would like to read the article yourself. The article is titled :Tips for a Smarter Divorce. I just had a great conversation with a dear friend about divorces, and I just want to go on record saying that I did not do anything that was smart in my divorce. I went into my marriage twitterpated and blinded with love, and that's the same way I went out. No two people love the same or live the same, so don't expect your divorce to go just like the next door neighbors did. The main key to surviving divorce is not to beat yourself up.

If you aren't experiencing an emotional roller coaster, good for you. If you are, that's ok too. It's perfectly acceptable to be cursing about your soon to be ex one minute and then along comes a thought that brings tears to your eyes as you realize how much you are going to miss the way they did something. I received some advice while I was separated from my now ex-husband. Most of the advice came from those who were happily married after 20 plus years...and when I was sad, the advice sounded something like this: "you must still want to be with him", "you don't really want this divorce, do you dear?"

Of course I wanted the divorce and there was no way I wanted to be anywhere near this man I had so erroneously married. In their minds, that meant I shouldn't be sad at all. Now that I've survived the divorce, I can tell you why I was crying. I was crying because I had failed. I didn't care about him or our marriage, but I cared about the dream I had and how it was being shattered. We walked down the isle knowing that the divorce rate was 50% but we vowed to beat those odds and we truly thought we would be together forever. I was crying and teary because of the death of that dream, NOT because I still wanted to be Mrs. _______. In fact, at that point...the only death that would have brought me joy was his. (if your wondering how I could say that, good for you...but at that point, I truly hated my husband and if he didn't want to be my husband I would have preferred him to leave the planet...hopefully some of you can understand).

Well - whatever you're feeling: hate, sorrow, joy, elation, all of the's perfectly acceptable to feel that way. Don't expect your feelings to mirror any one else's and don't be surprised if those feelings change at the drop of a hat. I can tell you that I am a survivor of divorce. My divorce ruined me financially and oddly enough Mr. ______ would say the same thing. We drug our divorce on for so long that not even the Attorneys made any money. We were children and we childishly frittered away time and money in hopes of making the other party more miserable than we were.

Here's the happy ending: We survived, we thrived, and now we are friends. It doesn't work that well for everyone, but for us...we talk fairly regularly and even encourage one another and share pleasantries. It was an experience that helped make us each who we are today, even though all those years ago we thought it was the end of the world, it wasn't - it was simply a chapter of a long book. We can go back and read the chapter and learn from it, but ultimately, that one chapter didn't define the entire reading experience.

May your paths be filled with lemons, sugar, and sunshine!


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