By the Way, I Filed for Divorce Yesterday. ~ Jamie Squires

Via elephant journal
on Jan 20, 2012
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I learned I was going to be divorced as my husband prepared to leave on a business trip.

We sat talking in our bedroom like we always do before he leaves, grabbing a few more moments alone before he departs. He was finishing up last minute additions to his suitcase and I was sitting on the bed enjoying a few moments with him before he left. He nonchalantly turned to me and said:

“Oh, by the way, I filed for divorce yesterday.”

(say read that again?)

My brain didn’t register the words but my heart must have because my breath stopped in my chest. With my mouth slightly open, no words coming out and eyes popping open, I am certain I looked like a storybook fish. One fish two fish red fish blue fish. I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth. I sat staring in disbelief as my husband went back to brushing his teeth. Finally, after what seemed to be an eternity, I managed one word “What?” The word came out in an half choke half cry and I sounded like a dying animal.

So much for having composure in the face of adversity.

He turned picked up his bag and simply explained, “Like I said, I filed for divorce yesterday.” It wasn’t said cold or callously, it was in the same tone he would say hey, remember to grab milk at the store. Which is what really threw me off. He was void of emotion.

He started to walk toward the door and I forced myself to create a sentence: “You filed for divorce and didn’t tell me? You waited until you were going out of town to tell me this five minutes before you leave?” I didn’t scream or rant or even cry. I didn’t understand until that moment, in a state of total shock, your voice is pretty much monotone.

He turned to me and nodded saying, “It seems better this way, no time for a long drawn out talk or emotions getting involved. This way you can take time to adjust.” He kissed me on the forehead and walked off. Time to adjust? He was only leaving for two days.

I didn’t call him while he was gone and he didn’t call me.

When he came home I wasn’t sure how to interact with him. We are both still living in our home. The only difference is now we are acting like strangers. I don’t trust him to talk to him about anything I am feeling, he isn’t the person I should be sharing my emotions with right now.

The one person in the world I shared everything with is suddenly the one person I can’t talk to.

I realized that beyond the outward appearance of a great marriage and even while I was thinking we were this wonderful happy couple, my husband was obviously miserable. To retain an attorney and file for divorce without my knowledge is a huge sign something is wrong, terribly wrong. That he was beyond attempting to fix the problems he saw. He was ready to move on.

I don’t want to date. I want to be married. To my husband. Is that pathetic?

I don’t want to think that the man I chose to spend my life with could so easily walk away.  At this point the why doesn’t really matter.He has made his choice to go forward in his life without me as his partner and wife. I cannot take that choice away from him. Allowing myself to dwell on the why is counterproductive, I may never know.

I am hurt. I am devastated. I am heartbroken.

I am not angry.

To be angry I would have to be angry at his choice. I do not agree with his choice and obviously it isn’t my choice, but I have to support his decision. To him it is the right choice. For him this is the path he must follow.

Having forgiven his decision, I can’t hold onto the negative way his choice was making me feel. Doing so will cause me more anguish. I am not willing to lose any of myself to his choice. If I stay angry it will eat at my soul. It is a risk I am not willing to take.

I will let go, fall into the unknown with the knowledge that I will land and get up.

I hope he finds the happiness he is so desperately seeking. If he finds out he made the wrong choice for himself, that is a road he will travel alone because I will let go. Once the divorce is final, the road we shared is no longer on the map.

Some moments pass quickly without our ever knowing we had a chance to learn anything. I have been living a life of these moments. Now I choose to step into a place where I can learn and grow every day.

Decisions made every moment can affect the people we love, our lives and our futures. Some may seem so small when they are actually the biggest choices we make. I have some pretty big decisions to make. I can lay back and let the future be dictated to me or I can grab life by the horns and ride it. I am choosing to take control.

Going through the motions on a daily basis as if I am not getting a divorce is not a good way of thinking. I have said on numerous occasions to my husband that I do not want this divorce. He says he hears my words but his needs are greater. He has found himself in a place of dire unhappiness and the best way for him to find himself joy is by cutting things from his life. Beginning with me. I am of another school of thought, simply that if you are unhappy the first place to look is within not outwardly. Regardless I need to start living my life thinking that this divorce is real.

To properly start down the path to myself I must develop boundaries. We are still living in the same house. As odd as it sounds, it really isn’t uncomfortable. Yet. But there are changes that I will be making starting tonight.

The one question I will ask myself when dealing with my husband in every sense of the present and the future is, What would I do if I were divorced today? Having given this some thought, I have made a large choice to think about small things on a daily basis. Because we still live together, this means making some large changes in regards to some very basic things.

Would I take his clothes to the dry cleaner? No.
Would I make sure he has a fabulous meal on the table? No.
Would I go to lunch with him and the kids? Sure.
Would I expect affection? No.
Would I openly share my personal thoughts? No.
Would I respond to every text, email and voicemail if a personal nature? No.
Would I respond to texts about kids? Absolutely.
Would I become upset if he made plans without telling me to go to
(insert any activity)? No.
Would I expect that we openly communicate our schedules for the kids sake? Yes.
Would I allow him to yell at me? No.
Would I engage him in heated discussions about anything? No.
Would I spend time guilt free with friends? Of Course.
Would I give in to his demands to know every move I make throughout the day? No.

If the decisions are involving the kids the answers are easy. They have two parents who love them. Two people who will be a support system for them their entire lives.

Will I be my husband’s best friend once we are divorced? No.
If he decided after he divorces me that I am indeed the love of his life and he has made the biggest mistake he could ever made, would I return to him? No.

So my new mantra will be “What would I do if I were divorced today.”


Jamie Squires—originally from Mobile, Alabama, now living in Boulder, Colorado—is a Mom, photographer, dreamer, aspiring yogi, cloud watcher, living with Lupus and dealing with chemo. She shoots stuff. She gets the giggles. She wins big at blackjack and will give you everything in Texas Hold ‘Em. She is generous with her spirit and her laughter. She cries when she is angry and tends to make excessively long lists. She eats meat and drinks beer. She hates wearing shoes. She’s passionate and pretty magical. She’s happy and loves anyone who makes her laugh. She is covered in ink. She likes cheese. It doesn’t interest her what you do for a living, she wants to know what your dreams are.


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41 Responses to “By the Way, I Filed for Divorce Yesterday. ~ Jamie Squires”

  1. melissa says:

    As the one who filed… I cannot even imagine communicating the news in the manner he did. no judgement. just – my heart hurts for you.
    Today I went to pick up a prescription. I no have no health insurance…. and I had to leave it there… I couldn't afford the $257 eye drops for my eyes… my eyes, for gosh sakes.
    Life is different now… but I know and believe all will be well. Even finances… even love… all of it. One day, I have hope. And, you will, too.
    Warmly, Melissa
    Fellow Elephant Writer.

  2. james says:

    call me dad

  3. Claudia says:

    As I read your article I shed a few tears and saw myself in your shoes for a moment. Just remember that you are a young beautiful, smart, and most of all loved person who deserves the best. You have Three amazing children, an amazing family I am sure, and tons of friends who I know will be there for you. I honestly admire you. You are a strong minded woman and I am sure you will get through this well. Love ya and Thanks for sharing your article, It really made me realize that being angry because that person decided not to be a part of your life is only going to kill my soul. Thanks XOXO!!!

  4. Dad. I will call…

  5. Claudia,
    Once we let go of anger, we win. They can't take anything else away. The control and the choice is back in our hands. I choose to forgive. I choose to accept. I choose me.

  6. Melissa,
    I understand the worry about medical coverage. I have Lupus and was diagnosed with Renal (kidney) Cancer. It is in Stage 2 and they feel easily fixed but in the midst of everything, I don't want to throw up from chemo. Welcome to my world. 🙂 I have no doubt all will be well. After all, what else are we here for? To find happiness, joy, enlightenment, love. If the purpose was misery no one would come back.

  7. I will. Love Jamie

    To clarify, my dad knew about the divorce. I neglected to tell him about the chemo/cancer. Sometimes, I don't like to focus on the bad.

  8. Thanks for reading and taking the time to share and know that you are not alone in this journey. xoxo Jamie

  9. …..I think I love you….

  10. Just posted to "Featured Today" on the brand new Elephant Spirituality Homepage.

    Braja Sorensen
    Lost & Found in India
    Editor, Elephant Spirituality
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  11. boulderwind says:

    Get an attorney. You will need for him to provide you with medical coverage, especially if you have been staying home with the kids and he has been the provider. I do not know the details of the marriage, but it is very bad form for a guy to leave a sick spouse and take her off his medical coverage. Most judges would side with you. I am not an attorney but I hope you get a good one. I know the name of a few good ones in Boulder If you can work it all out with a mediator, great, but definitely see that you and the kids are taken care of.

  12. catnipkiss says:

    Jamie, that totally sucks. And I respect your decision to not be angry and to be adult, but I think, as a woman who went through a divorce (different way, but still….) you do have every right to be mad and to hate him (just try not to vent in front of the kids) – talk to your girlfriends, rant about what a creep he is…. I really think this is all normal and part of the process. Look up the steps to grieving and see how they apply. I'm sorry that it hit you by surprise and that you still would like to be married to him; that must make it worse. I don't know if he is with someone else or not, but there is another layer of hurt if that is the case. Try to be strong. It isn't fair. but you will get through it, and see that you are better off in the long run. If I knew you I would offer Girls Night Out, or at least to babysit. >>hugs<< – Alexa M

  13. EarthAnnie says:

    Bright light & blessings to you. There's a lot of love & good healing energy swirling around you. Breathe it in. Think good thoughts. LOVE!

  14. Kim says:

    Jamie –
    I was truly spiritually inspired by your revelation. You are walking your talk without pretense, something most of us cannot achieve when punched in the gut. I applaud you, and send a prayer out to you.

  15. beccil says:

    breakups are painful, no doubt. I'm sorry you are hurting. He probably broke up a long time ago and has already emotionally moved on, leaving you in the lurch to pkay catch up.

  16. guest says:

    seriously? How is that even a choice? you have children, go get the freaking chemo! "I don't want to throw up" is the worst excuse I've ever heard.
    As for your husband: he was probably thinking about it for a long time. And he is a jerk for not telling you. He is weak for not telling you first but mentioning it on the way out. I bet you can do better than that.

  17. meganromo says:

    One fish blue fish I was a shocked too fish. It looks like you had the presence of mind to deal so well with your shock. Through your pain I hope you're able to maintain whatever inner peace drove you to behave so competently and with such clarity.

  18. You are fabulous and I will take the love. xo Jamie

  19. I should not reply to lovely and amazing comments after I had taking a pain killer. I had treatment, chemo treatment, yesterday and I was not feeling well at all. I think being physically ill coupled with the pain and exhaustion added to a narcotic and voila a reply that was not exactly well worded. But thanks for the thoughts.

  20. This is a start of a long journalling that chronicles a two year process of separation, reconciliation and then now finally divorce. I am hoping to share my past two years roller coaster ride into being now single. It is a hard process and even harder to share with an audience. I feel that I should because my situation is so unbelievable and yet it all happened to me. I lived and am living it. I hope to help one person to accept and understand and let go of anger.

  21. Thanks for the kind words. Jamie

  22. Thanks Kim, today I feel a little more tune with the universe and I think I have so many good thoughts being directed my way I have no option but to feel empowered today. Thank you

  23. M – Thanks I am hoping to find a constant inner peace. There are moments when clarity seems lacking and I struggle but most of the time I am certain about the situation. Thank you for reading Jamie

  24. Chris Squires says:

    While I believe that Jamie accurately described her perspective of a microscopic picture of our relationship, the reality was quite different. I could go to great efforts to try to provide context into our relationship, but to do so would be irrelevant and promote a "he said/she said" forum. By doing so would place our friends, acquaintances, and family members in an awkward position. I choose not to.

    I'm not upset that Jamie wrote these words. I think that writing down feelings can be an extraordinary way of helping to deal with difficult times.

  25. Chris Squires says:

    I am hurt that Jamie would choose to publish this as an article. It paints me in a negative light, that without context the readers have no way to accurately come to any valuable conclusions. Additionally, comments made on your site (and elsewhere) have inferred that such a person (me) must have been in another relationship to do so (or other awful things).

    But what really hurt, was when Jamie choose to send this link out to mutual friends and acquaintances, as well as family members (including our oldest daughter). By doing this she has irrevocably damaged Jamie's & my relationship, and thus hurt our children.

  26. This made me feel so sad and yet very impressed by your fortitude and strength of character. What a difficult and challenging situation to be thrust into unsuspecting.

  27. I think this article is more focused on how the author is feeling, and how this affected her personally, not her opinion of what went on. Furthermore it is not as if she badmouthed anyone. She stated facts and her feelings.

  28. jamie Squires says:

    Lucky, when i’m through this most recent hurdle i’m throwing on some skates. 🙂 Jamie

  29. […] The day my ex left me in a state of shock he went straight to visit my mother. He walked to her door, knocked and told her in her doorway that he filed for divorce. My mother was dumbfounded and has said she’s grateful for meditation or her second degree black belt training may have taken over. Remaining calm she asked why. He said in a matter of fact way they he needed his own time and happiness. He said goodbye and left for the airport. The entire conversation was minutes long. […]

  30. catnipkiss says:

    Chris, interesting and brave that you chose to interject your feelings. dude, when you are married to a writer (songwriter, poet, etc – anyone who uses their personal experience and feelings as a catalyst for their form of art..) well, what do you expect? Notice that she really said nothing BAD about you. My guess is that you are a more private person and that you would prefer to conduct your business in private. That's cool. a lot of men are like this; women, on the other hand, reach out for compassion and empathy when they are wounded. And divorce is wounding. for both parties, I'm sure. there is sometimes a sense of self-importance that overshadows the purpose of this kind of essay/blog, and let me assure you that most readers here don't really judge you, per se. We are responding to the pain in your wife's (or ex-wfe's) writing. Girls. We do that……reach out to each other. You probably wouldn't understand. Alexa M.

  31. catnipkiss says:

    and that whole boxing ring thing was just, well….. WEIRD….. (?)

  32. karlsaliter says:

    Thanks for the honest and moving article. I think it is good you are a cloud watcher, because their message of "Its ALL good" might be of service to you in the coming weeks.

  33. Wow, wow, wow!!!! WOW! You are a brave, beautiful, strong soul for sharing this story. And you are a much bigger person than I would be for your ability to not be angry at his choice. Though I have not been divorced, I was at the wrong end of a similar choice that left me abandoned and devastated. What struck me about your piece was the "lack of emotion" with which he broke this news to you. That was exactly my experience as well, and to be treated like that by someone who was your "best friend," the person with whom I shared my deepest feelings and emotions, that for me was the most heart-shattering aspect of the whole ordeal. And it's something I live with everyday and something I will never understand, how one can shut off all emotion like that and act like you never shared what you did.

    I give you so much credit for writing this piece and for so honestly sharing your raw emotions. Kudos to you.

    So much light and love to you.

  34. I agree with every word you said.

  35. I respect you for all that you have written here, Chris. It is true that there are always 2 sides to every story and nobody, except for the 2 people involved, really know what went on. That said, regardless of what went on, Jamie's pain and shock is still no less real and for that I send her empathy.

  36. Schmelon says:

    Jamie – YOU are an awesome woman. To go through what you are going through takes much strength. YOU will make it through this and YOU will be a better person because of it. YOU are amazing and graceful. YOU are who you choose to be. Thinking good thoughts for you and your children.

    You do need to lawyer up though. I didn't and I regretted it.

    Happiness and peace to you.

  37. trapsas1 says:

    Wow, I read this post yesterday and it hit me like a punch to the gut. Now that I've got my wind back, I want to wish you all the best in the future. I could see in your writing a thread of humor and hope, and I do believe you will come out the other side of this a wiser and happier person. You're in my prayers. ~Tom Rapsas

  38. Anne-Li says:

    What incredibly fabulous personal, honest and naked written. I breathe endless love in your words. Love for your husband, but above all love for you, and life. So much respect for you, your husband and Life.

    This should all read that goes through a separaration. A lot of good advice on how to think and act, and your mantra is great! You turn disappointment into a strength for you to create a new life, even if it was not your choice. I'm sure your new path will be so much better for you when everything falls into place.

    I wish you a lot of light and love…

  39. heartbroken says:

    i just read this and it is so personal because this exact thing happened to me today. He filed without telling me 2 days ago, yesterday went to the post office and while he was out got some boxes to pack up stuff after he told me. He told me this morning and packed a bunch of stuff and is now at his mother's house. We have a 4 month old son and he says he's been miserable for 3 years… i had no idea

  40. Lauren H. says:

    Your story is a lot like mine. Except my soon-to-be ex-husband told me while I was in Vietnam on a business trip. And I did get angry. I've been told on several occasions that this grief is similar to that of a death (which I've also experienced, and definitely agree). I'm finding it all to be easier when I allow myself to fully feel my emotions. Not hide them or bottle them up, I'm sure I look nuts. But I've been leaning on my friends for support. I'm finding the transition period to be very hard. But in the end, I'm sure it will all get better. Stay strong. You're inspiring many. <3