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Aftermath

30 Sep

Yesterday I signed the official papers to end my marriage. Then I went and had copious amounts of margaritas with some friends.

Were we celebrating? Commiserating? I’m not sure.

What I do know is that I have some great friends and an amazing support system. I had a moment during dinner where I was just so humbled to have such wonderful people in my life. Over the past 13 months, they’ve allowed me to just be me with no worries about how I appeared to them. It was okay to be a crazy person. They got it. They allowed me to be fine one minute and go through an entire box of Kleenex the next. They allowed me to express love for my husband and then rip him to shreds, all in one breath. They have truly been invaluable. Good girlfriends are a necessity for any woman, but the woman going through a divorce will truly find a new level of appreciation for these gals.

As I reflect on yesterday, my ex is signing his part of the papers today. I don’t believe he is happy or at peace with what is happening, but he’s doing it anyway. Perhaps, this is his final way of trying to show his love for me. It’s been an emotional day for the both of us. My heart aches for him. Despite it all, I don’t enjoy seeing him in pain. I know this is extremely painful for him. I pray that he will eventually be able to find peace and move on. The compassion I have towards him often surprises those around me. Why would I want to see him suffer? I once pledged my love to him til death do us part. I meant it. It may not be in the traditional sense, but I still mean it.

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” -Dalai Lama

Love and compassion,
Amy

 

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The Official John Hancock

29 Sep

Today is the day that I will officially sign my divorce papers. Once this is done, it will go to the courts and a judge will sign off on the official divorce in about 30 days. Naturally, I’m not feeling great about it.

I wrote before about being ready and how I was feeling on the day the lawyer called and said the papers were ready to sign. Everything in both of those posts still applies. I’m ready, but I’m not happy. It’s time, but it’s difficult to believe it’s here. It’s the right thing for the two of us, but it doesn’t make me happy.

Divorce sucks. It’s sad. It’s devastating. It’s challenging. It’s life changing.  It’s forever.

The best way to describe it to people who haven’t felt everything I’ve felt is to say that I feel at peace, but incredibly sad. It seems contradictory. It took me a long time to feel at peace with this decision and some days it seems I’m more resigned to the fact that at peace with it. Sometimes in life, doing the right thing – the best thing – is the hardest thing. I would say this qualifies.

Ironically, September 29th also marks the day I signed the papers to buy our house just a short two years ago. So much can change in two years.

So today, I will sign the papers that will forever change my life. Today I will end my relationship with a man I love and care about deeply. Today I will do what needs to be done. And today I will be at peace yet incredibly sad. That’s where the margaritas come in.

Peace and sadness,
Amy

John Hancock

23 Sep

I got a call from the lawyer’s office today that the divorce papers are ready for my John Hancock. Remember the other day when I said I was ready? Well, I still feel ready but certainly not great. At peace with my decision, but not completely at peace with the fact that this has happened to me.

It’s a really weird feeling. It’s a hard one to describe. So far I’ve found that my friends who have been divorced get it without any explanation. My friends who haven’t been through this question what my hesitation means. Does it mean I’m not ready? Does it mean I have doubts about going through with it? Does it mean I’ve changed my mind. No, no, and absolutely not.

It does mean that it’s a huge step. It’s a turning point. It’s final. Official. Real.

When I got the call, I immediately felt sick to my stomach. Anxious. Nervous. I wanted to cry. Signing these papers means forever leaving him and the relationship behind. It means forever being “divorced”. Ouch.

I still have a hard time with the failure aspect of this whole thing. People say I didn’t fail. I tell others who are divorced they didn’t fail. Believing this myself, about myself, is a whole other ballgame. Signing these papers means I’m admitting I made a mistake. I shouldn’t have married him in the first place. It means I’m breaking promises. I meant it when I said “til death do us part.” Now I don’t. It means forever having an ex-husband. A first husband. Not the end of the world, but certainly not something I’m proud of. It’s obvious I still have some work to do. Focus on the things I am proud of. Not be ashamed to say “I’m divorced.”

I know these things will come. I also know I’ll sign the papers next week. At some point. Margaritas will be involved.

Love and moving on,
Amy

Words for my Friend, Part 3

22 Sep

This series began as a result of trying to help a very good friend who found out her husband wants a divorce. To catch up, check out Part 1 and Part 2.

After my first email to my friend, I told her a second installment would be coming at some point. This is my latest email to her. Unedited, unchanged, honest.

Picking up where I left off; some additional thoughts…

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Ready

21 Sep

I called the lawyer’s office today to draw up divorce papers. I’m ready. Well…. “Ready as I’ll ever be” definitely applies here. I also had a session with my therapist today and we were talking about a new man in my life. She asked if I’m ready. I am.

It would be easy to prolong our separation and wait to file the official divorce papers. We already have our separation agreement in place. We’ve already come to an agreement on things financially and legally. We don’t have any pending problems. We aren’t in a constant state of distress or arguments. Now I understand why people can stay separated for extended periods of time without filing for an official divorce. The marriage is already done. It’s just the state that has to proclaim it at this point. The only difference a divorce makes at this point is we will file separate taxes and we could get remarried if we want. That’s not in the cards for me any time soon. So what’s the point?

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Words for my Friend, Part 2

18 Sep

This post is part of a series in response to my very good friend whose husband just told her he wants a divorce. In part 1 I kept it simple. Sometimes simple is all that’s needed; sometimes we need more. This post was originally part of an email I sent to my friend. The only editing I did for the blog was to take his name out of it. Everything else remains just as I originally intended it and felt it.

Here are some thoughts from my experience (yours could be totally different)…

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Words for my Friend

13 Sep

I recently told you guys about my friend who got a phone call from her husband saying he wants a divorce. You can imagine the heartbreak I felt knowing that her heart is in shambles.

I don’t know what will happen with my friend and her husband. Perhaps they will be able to repair the damage he has done. Perhaps they will come back from this stronger than ever. Perhaps in time she’ll realize that divorce is the only path in her future. In the

Looking back on my year it’s pretty easy to now pinpoint the things I needed and wanted to hear the most. The things that would help with the pain.

This is what I would tell my friend….

You are loved.
You are needed.
You are wanted.
You can do this.

Simple. To the point. True.

Love and friendship,
Amy

Everything Happens for a Reason

12 Sep

I’m one of those annoying people who truly believes everything happens for a reason. I’m selective about when to pull out this little gem though because sometimes it’s just not what we want to hear, even if we know it’s true. At the beginning of my separation I knew that everything happens for a reason. I believed it. But it didn’t make the pain go away. It didn’t make the depression easier to deal with. It didn’t make me happy to face the tough road ahead.

What it did do was give me a little glimmer of hope. I knew deep down that the path I was on was for a reason. I knew I would be okay with that in time. I knew I would one day look back and understand. Finally that time has come.

After a year I can see it. Those “ah-ha” moments.

My ex cheating on me was the catalyst I needed to end our struggling relationship. We were both miserable and fighting for something that wasn’t really worth saving in the first place. I remember saying to my mom at one point that “if he would just cheat on me or hit me” it would be easier to leave. Then there would be something that crossed the line. That would be it. Well be careful what you wish for kids. I wouldn’t say him cheating made it easier, but it did make it possible for me to take the steps to separate.

When I think about the woman I was married and the woman I am almost divorced it’s night and day. Somehow I became someone I didn’t recognize. I’m much happier now with who I am than I ever was when I was married (look for more about this in a future post). However, I didn’t recognize this while I was married. It took divorce to become the real me.

The biggest “ah-ha” moment lately is breaking my heart. I have a close friend who just found out her husband wants a divorce. This came out of the blue. No warning signs. No fights. No red flags. Just a phone call. “I want a divorce.” Boom. When I got her phone call not only did it break my heart to know she was going to have to go through the process I’ve been through over the last year, but it also made me realize there was a reason I went through my separation when I did. This news comes exactly a year after my initial separation. I truly believe I had to go through my year prior to hers so I could help her through it. Having a friend who’s been through divorce was invaluable to me and already I can tell I can pay that forward for her. I’m the person who most relates to her struggles. I’m the person that knows exactly what she’s feeling. I’m the person who’s been there and done that.

The there and that wasn’t fun, but I’m grateful it’s given me an opportunity to help my friend. Everything happens for a reason. And that sneaky bastard father time must actually know what he’s doing.

Love and faith,
Amy

A Date?

10 Sep

It’s been six years since I’ve had a real date. I actually try not to think about that too much because it just scares me more. It’s been so long in fact that I don’t know how to recognize a date anymore. It’s amazing how all the confidence I’ve built back up over the last year flies out the window when a new man enters the picture.

I realized that I have this need to know a man’s intentions. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been so burnt that I’m skeptical towards any man simply being nice to me. Sad, huh? I was told for so long that men are only nice to me to “get in my pants.” I actually don’t believe that’s true, but this idea always seems to resurface in my interactions with men. Well, single men that is.

In reality, it doesn’t matter what their intentions are, assuming they aren’t totally creepy or bad. Despite my past experiences with the opposite sex, I still believe there are single men out there who are decent, good, and kind. Whether they want to be just friends or may be interested in more shouldn’t have such an effect on my opinion or our interactions.

Today I went and played tennis with a guy I’ve known for a while, but has recently been a bit more present in my life. He’s extremely nice, patient, and I know for a fact he’s just a really good guy. I can’t tell if he’s flirting or if he’s that way with everyone. Is he interested in being friends? Or interested in something more?

I’m having to remind myself that this is all part of the getting to know someone process. Quite frankly, I’ve totally forgotten what this is like with the opposite sex. The last man that was interested in me was so over the top about pursuing me that I ran in the opposite direction. There was no guessing what he was interested in and in some ways it was actually nice. No guessing. No games. No question. Ultimately, though, it was too much. Too over the top. I ran.

Maybe this way is really the best way. Slowly get to know someone. Slowly see if you’re compatable. Slowly enjoy a new person’s company. The only game is tennis. Lots of guessing. Lots of questions.

Date or no date, it was fun. For now that will do.

Love and (kinda) dating,
Amy