4.4
July 10, 2017

Divorce: The 5 Things we don’t Talk About.

 

I thought I was going to get something at least close to “happily ever after” when I got married.

Life, as it turns out, had other plans.

What I have learned from my own divorce experience as I move through it, and the experiences of others, (so far) is:

Divorce happens in stages.

These stages are a lot like those of the grief cycle. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance.
The stages may happen in any order. Sometimes, just when I thought I was past one stage of grieving…Bam! The feels would hit me all over again.

Divorce comes with a lot of tears.

And I mean a lot. Having a safe place to voice myself has saved me. Not because I want to gripe about my ex, but because I need to talk about my feelings and sort through them in a healthy, safe manner. This support has come from friends who have gone through similar things as well as my amazing psych.

The experience of divorce is multi-faceted.

This is still one of the more painful parts of divorce. Layers of divorce include (some of which I never thought of until I was in the experience):

>> Social divorce 
>> Family divorce (losing relationships with the ex’s family)
>> Financial/economic divorce
>> Emotional distancing
>> Loss of intimate relationships
>> Loss of identity

Some of these I expected, but I underestimated the depth to which I would be impacted by them.

Divorce gives you the chance to reclaim yourself.

This has been both exciting and scary as hell. I find myself moving from we to me.

Divorce comes with the responsibility.

I have the responsibility of helping my children get through the divorce as healthy beings. My parents divorced when I was 13. More than anything, I wanted to express myself and have my parents listen without judgement. I try to give that sort of love and compassion to my children. The messages I give my children are:

>> I’ll take care of you. I love you. Always. 
>> The divorce was mom’s and dad’s choice, and it wasn’t one entered lightly.
>> I’m sorry that the divorce sometimes hurts you.

The thing people tell me over and over again—and I think they’re right, is: “You can do this. You will make it.”

So will you.

 

 

Author: Lindsay Lock
Image: UkgPhotographer/Flickr
Editor: Lieselle Davidson

Copy Editor: Callie Rushton

 

You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

Carrie Smart Jul 15, 2017 3:26am

9 months into my separation I can relate to all of this. So many heartbreaking emotions. Though always striving to focus on the positive ones. It can be tiring at times. Thank you for showing me that what I'm feeling is normal. Reading this makes it feel more manageable xx

Tracey Maule Jul 13, 2017 7:31am

Hit the nail on the head. Specially the just when you think you've done grief to death and are kind of at peace something comes along and totally turns that upside down and the floods begin again.

Morton Carol Jul 13, 2017 1:26am

Lindsay Lock Butler Thank you!! Done with men!!

Tim Dibble Jul 13, 2017 1:04am

Lindsay Lock Butler I believe that it is exactly what children need. They need to see adults work through the unhealthy and to achieve healthy. It is the only way they will have the role model of how to do it themselves. I feel all relationships get some kind of unhealthy challenge-addiction-cheating-workaholism-devotion to exercise- and only by working through the pain can the children learn how it is done and see that it is possible. No relationship is blissful and without challenge. Running from challenge just makes it easier to run.

Lindsay Lock Jul 13, 2017 12:16am

Lots of love to you as you figure out your next steps (and they count no matter the size <3 ).

Lindsay Lock Jul 13, 2017 12:13am

While the model sounds great in theory, it's also not healthy for children to be in the middle of an unhealthy relationship. The link is rather interesting though. Thanks for your thoughts.

Read Elephant’s Best Articles of the Week here.
Readers voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares:
Click here to see which Writers & Issues Won.

Lindsay Lock

Lindsay Lock is a creative writer and poet. She is currently freelancing, parenting four kids, and planning her next adventures in life. Yoga and nature are her refuges. You can follow her writing on Facebook.