Thursday, March 27, 2014

Divorce: What No One Tells You

spring 2014 

some names have been omitted from this post 


It was a bleary, gray, rainy day… the windshield wipers dragged across the glass before me and swiped away at the minuscule drops of rain falling from the sky. I drove past the University at a snails pace… students began crossing in front of my vehicle and I slowed to a stop so they could safely reach the other side. I glimpsed long blonde ponytails, backpacks and umbrellas... youth in a blur beyond the wipers that dragged… I heard faint laughter amongst the crowds of students and cracked my driver's side window to get some fresh air… cool wind came sailing in and the path was cleared so I could begin my way down that wet street… small burger joints and ice cream shops were soon in my past and before long I approached the curving lanes that led to the higher end district of shopping. Pressing buttons for something on one of the Christian radio stations… yet finding nothing but babble, I select a contemporary station. Switching to the middle lane…  I take the curves… the tall trees passing me in a sweep of majestic evergreen… and then my ears pick up an oddly, subtly familiar tune…

Weep for yourself, my man,
You'll never be what is in your heart
Weep, little lion man,
You're not as brave as you were at the start
Rate yourself and rake yourself
Take all the courage you have left
And waste it on fixing all the problems that you made in your own head

But it was not your fault but mine
And it was your heart on the line
I really messed it up this time
Didn't I, my dear?
Didn't I, my...

Tremble for yourself, my man,
You know that you have seen this all before
Tremble, little lion man,
You'll never settle any of your scores
Your grace is wasted in your face,
Your boldness stands alone among the wreck
Now learn from your mother or else spend your days biting your own neck

But it was not your fault but mine
And it was your heart on the line
I really messed it up this time
Didn't I, my dear?
Didn't I my...

~ Mumford & Sons , Little Lion Man (some lyrics changed due to language) 

….. the wipers swipe back and forth… 
seeing a red light ahead I press the brake and come to a slow stop.

"I really messed it up this time, didn't I my dear?… "

…. the words continue like a loop in my head and 
as I listen to the lyrics a memory comes flooding back… 
a moment I had forgotten… 

Spring 2012 


Walking into the bright master bath I saw him at his vanity combing his dark wet hair before the mirror... that song playing on his iPhone laying on the speckled granite countertop beside the sink. It jangled loud, permeating throughout the bathroom bouncing off the cream walls and bank of windows near the high ceiling creating almost obnoxious noise. I walk past him and say amidst the deafening tune...  "What is that? Why do you keep playing that song? I feel like I'm in a pub." I tell him… not really waiting for answer, I grab what I need from my drawer and leave. 


"I really messed it up this time, didn't I my dear?… didn't I my dear?"

I never really listened to the lyrics of that song.

I never took the time. 

Now I hear the words loud and clear. 

I hear you in there… I hear it all. 

Yes, you messed up. You did. 

Little things like that still 
pop up quite some time later 
in the aftermath of the finalization
 and all of a sudden you're transported back in time… 
wishing these interruptions would come to a stop because
 they resemble disruptive little gnats that won't go away. 

No one tells you that… 

One night you may be medicating with Ben and Jerry's and the next relishing seeing a movie with your friend because you're hitched to no one now… and yes, it's absolutely wonderful. 

That last night while picking up some essentials at the drugstore you saw the cutest little boy toddling along with his mother and joyfully beamed back at him when your eyes met but tonight when you saw a little girl and her mother choosing a craft to do on the craft aisle at Target you watched from a distance with wistfulness… wishing that was your night too because suddenly you really, really wish you could hug your own daughter right now… but you can't because she's at her dad's. The emptiness you suddenly feel is overwhelming and you just want to bawl between the scarves and handbags. 

You get angry that your daughter has zero good male role models in her life… you get tired of hearing her continual hurt and crying when she's telling you: "Daddy ignores me at his house… he only talks to my brother. Girls are invisible"… and yet you still hold out hope that maybe, just maybe one day someone will fill that role of a father… because you value that huge responsibility and know it's importance… and yet it's better to have no one than another negative one. Her dad doesn't attend her school meetings, he doesn't go to her psychology testing appointments and thinks just throwing a bag of chocolate at her suffices as attention. She watches across the cafeteria with sadness while her father continually has lunch with her brother and never with her. 

The past will try to sneak up on you and fill your mind with doubts and whispers of "if you hadn't done this or that, if you had held your tongue, if you had been more patient, if you'd said this or that…" etc and you have to shut those little torpedoes down before they destroy you… you know rationally like anyone you could have done better here or there, that's without a doubt, we all could have… but at the end of the day if someone is not healthy, if someone becomes emotionally abusive… it was a sinking ship regardless of all the admitted coulda, shoulda, woulda's. 

One minute you are undeniably enjoying your freedom… the next you are longing for someone to share it with. There may be feelings that contradict one another. Don't act on any of them; their fickle as the wind. Just stay focused on your kids, your career and re-building your life... everything will fall in place.

It seems the people who are married often want to be single and the singles often want to be with someone. No one needs a man… for sure. No man needs a woman. Yet we are created for…. we are meant for companionship in this life… we are meant for connection and love and mutual care for one another. We are meant for sharing ideas, for intimacy and for communication. We are meant for all these lovely things and someone special to share them with till the end of time.

You may think when you divorce someone they will go away… I mean, divorce is a dividing, not a joining of people… and yet just because you've flung off your ex doesn't mean he will go away quietly or stop infiltrating himself into your life. Suddenly he's friend requesting your Facebook friends, he's having dinner with your father and you're offended. Yes, you have every right to be irritated. It's confusing why some people continue to wreck havoc in your life when they have no place in it… like an attention seeking little boy he must continue to do things even if in a negative light just to gain notice. Some people will continue to do whatever they can to "punish" you and stir the pot… it's really ironic because if they'd put that much energy into the marriage that they've put into irritating the heck out of you in its aftermath maybe it wouldn't have gone to pot… but at the end of the day its a reflection of them not you… move on and ignore them.

Your ex may put only his name, address and phone number in the school directory… he got the form and didn't tell you, leaving you out in the cold. Birthday party invites, etc all now go to his address and you're left wondering why on earth the fellow mothers don't reach out and send them to you. It's moments like this you once again are reminded of his manipulativeness how he does everything possible to keep you out of the circle and himself ingratiated within. This does nothing but create issues and only further cements why you divorced him to begin with.

Fridays, or "exchange days" are always bad. Always. That day… whatever day you exchange your children on is a day of him calling, texting, etc that you "didn't do this or that"… or "you didn't put this or that" in the bag, etc… stuff that doesn't even matter or have significance… just so he can cause stress and tell you that you don't have it "together".

They will mess with your mail. This can be beyond aggravating and putting in a change of address for an entire family versus just an individual is what they love to do to create more chaos. I'd recommend a P.O. Box in the days/weeks leading up to filing for divorce and alert your mail carrier of your situation and change your mail as an individual so it's forwarded to your box. The ex messing with your mail creates all sorts of havoc because then your bills, attorneys statements and copies of documents don't reach you in a timely manner.

You will have to decide whether to keep your married name or not. People are often shocked if you keep your married name if your spouse cheated but the truth is if you have even less than wonderful feelings about your maiden name then you may reluctantly keep your married one. Some people understandably feel its best to keep the same last name as their children… others are more than ready to dump their married name and move… others I'm sure wish there was a third option. Take some time and decide what's best for you.

You've asked him numerous times to please drop off and pick up the kids at the street or end of the driveway. But no, the inept ex who continually has to push the limits, pulls all the way up in the driveway and is on your porch ringing your doorbell, his face in yours. It's best if all exchanges are done at a neutral location like McDonald's.

There may be times you feel alone but you are never ever really alone. God is watching over you as well as family and friends… those who are supporting you are cheering you on.

Just because you are signed up to communicate on the site Our Family Wizard doesn't mean they will communicate with you. They may "view" your messages but ignore 90% of them and not reply. 

One day you may feel pity toward your ex… another day anger and the next just sadness… these feelings may occur all within the same day or same hour…. going through a divorce is a process… and it's a process of emotions too… that continue even in the aftermath of the finalization. Sitting in front of my attorney one day he asked me what I wanted, what my expectations were in my case… that's a good question to ask yourself, too. He told me with a laugh… "I'm an attorney, okay? I'm not an assassin"… going into divorce it's important to have some idea of what exactly you are wanting… you may get a "fair settlement"… but remember, no one ever truly "wins"… least of all the kids.  

© ~ 2014 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing! 

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