I’m getting divorced.
[Cue judgmental and shameful looks]
That’s part of the reason my blogging has pretty much been on hiatus since December.
But, I’ve realized that I’ve shared so much of my life and battles with those who take the time to read my blog, how could I not share this painful, yet transformative time in my life?
Anyone who has ever gone through a break up knows it’s hard. Well, divorce is like going through a break up while you’re on fire and being mauled by lions.
It. Is. Hard.
That’s especially true when years have been invested and children are involved.
I won’t go deep into what led us to this point. But I will say it involved years of pain and bad communication on both sides. And I fully acknowledge my own part of the blame.
But now we’re here, so I’m dealing with the current circumstances. Here’s where I’ve struggled most:
Is this going to traumatize my kids?
I think the hardest part of this process has been the fear of damaging my two daughters. I mean, they went from having this stable, routine life, to suddenly being thrust into change and uncertainty.
The first days after my separation were tough. There were tears I couldn’t stop them from crying. There were questions I didn’t know how to answer. I tried to be as honest as possible with them without burdening them with adult drama.
I made a point to let them know that it wasn’t their fault. And that both their dad and I love them very much. (Shout out to some close friends who offered me advice in an area I knew nothing about.)
Things are quieter now. I’m sure there will still be moments when I feel completely lost. But we’re starting to gel into a new routine. And my girls have been phenomenal, strong and understanding. I even find them taking care of me at times – offering hugs or kisses on the forehead. They are really amazing and I’m so proud to be their mom.
A new type of separation anxiety
Something that has been harder than I expected is being away from them when they’re with their dad. Don’t get me wrong, I typically welcome a little me time with open arms. But this feels different from sending them away with a sitter for a weekend.
This actually feels like a separation.
That feeling was further exacerbated this past weekend because only my youngest went with her dad. I’m so used to them either being at home or away in a pair, that having the presence of only one was a constant reminder of how much I missed the other.
SO much unsolicited advice
You know how sometimes you see what someone is going through and you reeeaalllyyy want to offer them your advice – even if they didn’t ask for it?
Seriously. Don’t worry if you didn’t know this. I’m only realizing it now because I’ve recently been on the receiving end of so much unsolicited (yet well-intentioned) golden nuggets of knowledge.
Upon the discovery of my separation, it’s as if people made it their mission to save my failing marriage. I understand and appreciate the concern. But I feel like many people fail to realize this is typically not a decision you come to overnight, nor is it easily made.
So while you may think your kind words can repair what is most likely years of deterioration, they can actually cause even more damage.
I’ve also been inundated by so many opinions of people who think they know what is best for me. Yet, very few have asked ME what is best for me. What a concept.
You may be wondering what you can do instead. Here’s one suggestion: Offer your support. A listening ear. A shoulder to cry on. Offer to cook a meal.
But whatever you do, wait for a person to ask you what they should do before you make it your mission to tell them.
My life is under construction
Getting divorced is turning out to be one of the most difficult experiences of my life. There’s so much uncertainty ahead, and the possibility that things could turn ugly.
But I’ve survived moments in my life when I didn’t think I could make it, so I’m sure I’ll come out of this fine. A little bruised. But fine.
Thanks for listening to (or reading) me ramble on. And thanks for always being so supportive.