A lot of conversations I’ve had with friends or clients lately have been about that ‘D’ word…
We don’t like to talk about it, or think about it. And we don’t, or should I sadly say most of us don’t, actually ‘plan’ for it to happen. But since it has come up so very often lately in my personal conversations, giving advice, being a listener and being able to relate on certain things and could possibly help a friend make it through, I thought I should write a little bit about it. So my recent friends who need a lift, here’s to you. I’m not here to bash people or put people down in any way, as some people, I know, are just not meant to be together. But unfortunately, it is still a part of life and everyone, going through this or not, could use a positive pick me up, a hug, or some uplifting thoughts for their future during certain situations. If you don’t like the idea of this, please don’t read it. It doesn’t bother me at all that you don’t care, but there are a few main points that have come across in conversations over and over again and having experienced this situation myself, I figured it could just help someone else if they need to hear it. Each relationship is different, so it is very broad, but I am hoping to help a friend or two out there somewhere.
I remember the last time he kissed me, the heart tugging and hurtful words he said to me right after, the last time my heart did truly feel happy with us together and I remember the moment I knew it was no longer my dream to be there anymore. Marriage counseling wasn’t in it for us, as he refused it the three times that I asked and there was nothing more that I felt that I could do on my end to make our home, that I thought existed, our happy place again. Apparently he had checked himself out long before I realized or was told so. I remember the awkwardness, the silent dinners, the tension, the shorter phone calls and the one line, or even one word text responses. I remember the nights he would take his time coming home from work, the extra days he would sub for tournaments or play ball more evenings, or even just find something to do so it seemed we didn’t need to be around each other as much. I remember trying to cuddle while watching a movie together and it no longer felt like cuddling. That moment when all you could think about is what’s happening between the both of you rather than enjoying the movie you’re watching. There were red flags before that I should have I guess noticed, but chose not to. One week you may have tried together and found things to be happy and then a random day would come along that ruined it and took your mind right back to where you actually are. You then had to start that ‘try harder’ feeling all over again. You may get the idea.
There is a point when you just give up. After all of the emotions, tears, frustration, exhaustion, after thinking so hard on what you did wrong, what you can still do to make things better and after realizing that it has to be the both of you working for it or you’re not going to get anywhere at all, there is a point when you do just give up. But don’t give up on you just yet. Don’t you dare. Because I promise you, your road is leading you to the place you are supposed to be. I absolutely know that it doesn’t seem like that now, nor do you even have to or want to listen to me, but I’m just throwing it out there, as a friend, it’s true. All of the different kinds of love you’ve gotten to experience thus far in life, each person you fell in love with, they are all different. You will never have the same kind of love for one person as you did the last or will for another in the future. They each teach you a lesson and you learn something from each relationship that hopefully you can stick in your pocket to help you in your next.
Don’t be afraid.
It’s definitely alright to feel a bit scared. But I’m here to encourage you to NOT be afraid.
Please don’t be afraid of letting go or having to start over. Don’t be afraid of the unknown, although it may seem absolutely terrifying. Don’t keep that scary feeling that you are failing yourself or your children. Don’t be afraid of being alone. Don’t be afraid of being judged or not feeling good enough. If either of these happen from a person in your life, they shouldn’t be in your life anyway. Don’t be afraid to admit that it has happened and don’t be afraid to ask for help or guidance. But most of all, don’t be afraid to love again. Because we are all human, unfortunate things happen, and we still have to move on. It’s a part of life and everyone deserves to be loved. Period.
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
There will be a time when you are thinking, ‘why me? What did I do wrong? What can I do? Why did this happen? Did I do something? Was I not worth it? How can everything we’ve had just be thrown away so fast? Was what we had a complete lie? I slowly saw it coming, I don’t know why I assumed it would be okay…’
It is okay, though. It is. And it will be again someday. You have to realize and may have to accept the fact that you may never get answers, an apology or closure. You should, even though you may not want to, forgive, it will put your heart in a better place for your future. But all the ‘I, I, I, and why me, me, me…’ Go a little easier on yourself. This was a party for two, after all. You are a good person. There is someone waiting for you. Take it as you just learned a great lesson and you are becoming even stronger as a person because of it. Keep your chin up my friend. You got this.
Keep an open heart and mind.
I’ll start this one off with children, if you have them. We can’t be afraid of everything in life. I mean, we can, but if we do, we won’t succeed, accomplish or really get anywhere because we will be so scared of what may happen. Most risks in life can lead to an amazing outcome if you just trust and allow it to. That being said, keep an open heart and open mind in meeting someone new and eventually allowing them to come around your children. I’m not saying it will or should be the very next person you meet, but it may just be. If they are connecting with you, relating to you, have the same goals and wants in life as you and they are accepting to your life with having babes, maybe you should think about taking a risk. It may just turn out to be better than you expected or imagined your life to be in the first place. A child could always use more love, no matter what. This absolutely does not mean the other parent is being replaced, it just helps to give the child another perspective on happiness and may help them realize that they can be loved in many different ways. You also may feel that you are not able to be in control of them and how they are going to live. This is normal when you have to co parent. That woman or man is not their mom or dad, you are. I’m absolutely not saying this part is going to be easy, as again I experience this myself, but as long as they are safe, you have to accept it to be able to move on through life. You may miss the idea of what you had, but not necessarily what you had. The first kiss, the butterflies, the places he/she took you for your favorite dates, the way they held your hand or hugged you after a rough day at work, the way they tucked your hair behind your ear or kissed your forehead. Their smile. Their laugh. The way they made you laugh. Your mannerisms that you shared together as a couple every day. It’s what you had. It’s not necessarily what you actually do have. It’s the completely harsh thought of losing everything your past consisted of, although, what’s happening right now or in your future may not contain any of these things.
It is okay to feel every emotion possible.
This one is so important to know, I feel. You may be extremely hurt, heartbroken, lost, angry. You may feel lonely, confused, irritated, exhausted, frustrated, and anxious. You’ll feel emotions you have never felt before and you may become a person that you never knew existed inside of you. You may feel afraid that you can’t do it on your own or raise your children on your own. I remember being so scared of wondering where my son and I were going to live, to be able to keep our daily routines and yet, still make it seem ‘normal’ for him with both of us not around at the same time or doing things together. Once I thought more into it, I got more hopeful. Oh, and I almost forgot an important one…It’s okay to cry. Seriously, cry. A good cry (or five) will help a lot. It’s completely normal and as aggressive as all of these may be, in time it will all slowly go away. Do not allow the hurt and anger to control you and turn you into somebody you do not wish to be, but rather push through these feelings and allow your inner self to shine through.
Don’t hold everything in.
Here comes your amazing support system! Find a friend or two to lean on. And within them, make sure it is someone you can trust to be able to vent to. They need to be a good listener and be okay with you updating them with your situation so you can just talk it out and not necessarily feel the need to always give advice back. Trust in God, your heart, and trust that when people offer their support, they are being true, so accept it. But do NOT hold everything in. It’s not healthy and it will not make you feel any better. It does not make you come of as a stronger person, no matter how strong you think you are for it and it will not just go away. I don’t recommend social media for this. Not everyone needs to be a part of what is happening nor do you want them to! Opinions from all different angles will cause confusion, frustration, you may lose friends (which is not another thing you need to worry about right now) and from a lawyer’s standpoint, they can use anything against you. Just don’t do it. I recommend a journal. It worked for me and it works for a lot of others. The feeling of just writing your feelings out on paper so that you aren’t carrying the weight of them through your mind all day is just fab-u-lous. Multiple pages done in one vent sesh was always exciting to see. Make it an every night date with yourself or something. You may even sleep a little better!
Don’t stay together just for the kids.
This is a very opinionated topic, and to each their own. But I lean more this way, so I’ll just throw it out there. Is this an easier route to go? Maybe. But is it realistic, worth it, or the happier route? Not necessarily. I understand completely on the idea of staying together for the kids but I guess, that again depends on the situation or the circumstances you are personally going through. I’ll maybe give you a few things to think about when it comes to this one. Do you want your kids to see you arguing more often than not? Do you want them to feel your tension? Do you want them to hear things they don’t need to at their age accidentally from your verbal arguments in the future? For some of you, your children may be too young to even understand or young enough to where the change is something they’ll be able to adapt to easier than you think. That’s a long road ahead for the both of you to be unhappy for the main reason of just staying together for your two year old. Other than photos you may have together to show them when they are older, they will adapt to know that one parent lives here and the other lives there. When your kids grow up and are on their own, will you be happier as a couple then if you have chosen to stay together? Will they be happier when they are older knowing that you stayed together just ‘for them’ even though you were clearly unhappy? Some people may use their children’s activities or schedules as more of an excuse to try to keep themselves extra busy so that they can help block out what’s actually happening in their relationship. Once they are grown and gone, will you even remember how to communicate to one another? These are just a few things to think about.
My parents actually got divorced when all three of us were grown and could clearly understand what was going on. They never fought in front of us growing up and we never saw ‘the D word’ coming. However, knowing that very happy home that we grew up in and being loved by each of them everyday compared to what we see of our parents now, would we still want them together as of today? No. Because they weren’t happy. And seeing where they are now makes so much sense on where they were supposed to be.
Do you still know who you are? What do you enjoy? This one won’t be for everyone but it’s a very important one! If you can answer this wholeheartedly and completely, than you’re lucky. If you can’t answer this question, then it’s time. This could go for just about everyone, getting a divorce or not. If you don’t know who you are, well, how are you supposed to convince the next person you meet that you are the ‘real’ you, however you would portray that to be? Get off that booty and just GO. Go figure out who you are again! It can be fun! Embrace change. Discover your talents. Find extracurricular activities that will keep you busy and keep your mind occupied. Enjoy your friends and spend time with more people who will lift you up, raise your spirits and help calm you. Take a little trip somewhere, become a more healthier you. Purchase a new outfit you feel fabulous in. Spend some extra time with your kids. Laugh a lot more, smile. Breathe. Take your time and find a new home, decorate it the way that you want it to look, make it yours. Do things or go places that makes your soul happy. Look forward to simply becoming happy. Positive thoughts lead to a positive outcome.
We get this one life, my friends.
This is it.
And it is worth it every day to be happy.