How do you leave someone you love?
It doesn’t happen overnight there’s turmoil and doubt for a long while
There is even second and third chances hoping for change
I have counseled women in all sorts of situations
Their man was an alcoholic, had a wicked temper, addicted to something, unfaithful, one was gay!
This time I will speak from my own experience.
I was in love at 18 and married by age 20 – I grew up with my man but 27 years later faced with torture of the decision to leave. I read the book “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” which had me make a list of why to stay and why to go. I couldn’t believe how out of balance the list was. It was so clear on paper.
I read “Necessary Endings,” and “When the Vow Breaks,” among countless other books trying to get guidance. I prayed, sought counsel from a Christian Therapist, spoke with my Pastor, and confided in my parents.
I was faced with a decision that I remember describing like this: I saw him drowning so I swam to save him and as in most drowning situations, the one drowning pushes you under the water so they can survive. I had to get away and save myself and still tried to throw a life preserver and stay near the shore calling out to them to save themselves as the preserver was right there next to them. That is how I felt. I had to choose to drown or save myself.
It ain’t easy.
My soul mate, best friend, lover became a stranger.
The time was quickly approaching where my kids would all be out of the house. I waited and endured. Then after attending a seminar that gave me clear direction and 20 seconds of courage, I told him I wanted a divorce. It was May 2012 – I was desperate. I waited another 10 months to actually file praying for change but so broken. When I legally filed in March 2013, I stopped the process April 25th for another 3 months asking him to show me another way.
In one last ditch effort July 25 2013 I left a Christian couple’s home after a final couple session and I knelt before God and threw in the towel – I admitted defeat, the enemy had won. I felt Him release me.
On that day I experienced divorced in my heart and mind. It took the courts one more year to confirm that decision. The destruction during those two years of sharing a home and not knowing what was going to happen was unbearable. I think it was for him too, he was gone a lot. There were stories that I had been diagnosed with 3 mental illnesses and people were “praying” for me. I really cannot stand labels. Throwing around Narcissist and Sociopath, in my opinion, are victim and blaming tactics. I had plenty of labels and accusations I could have used, but my motto became “take the high road” it’s less traveled but the rewards are plenty. I was accused of being unfit and emotionally unstable to run my business that I had built for 15 years. The rumors of my partying and drinking and carousing were so unfair. I had to hold on to the fact that my children know my heart, and true friends know me well enough. My parents have both proven to truly be my best friends, through thick and thin. All of those accusations faded of course, the truth wins – love wins.
It ain’t easy.
My family was devastated – my kids had their foundation shattered – questioning what is real. If mom and dad cannot make it, who can? They don’t know details and I protected them from what I could, even at my expense. They all dealt very differently with it. I pray a day will come that they understand I had to do it for mere survival Some of the rumors I heard afterwards makes me realized how messed up things get I couldn’t even try to combat the stories.
I realized I had started grieving the loss a couple years before it actually happened. I experienced such a deep devastating grief even after the judge put his stamp on the papers and I left my 25 year marriage home – I rented a year and tried to find my new normal.
As I turned 50 and had the absolute best night of my life- I looked around the room at all the new friends I had to make, the few that were left, and my sweet family, I was so grateful. The hole on my heart remains. I imagine it always will. I moved from Minnesota to Texas (1165 miles away) from everything and everyone familiar. I am determined to figure it all out. I’m learning to be alone; I’m learning to be a new version of me.
I have been asked to compare the loss of my love through divorce to that of death. I hesitate because I do not want to belittle anyone’s grief. Divorce isn’t devastating to all – I have talked with people who are happier and glad they are divorced. Although I don’t understand that viewpoint personally – I think death is final in the earthly realm. Where divorce has continued pain especially if there is hostility. Hurt people do crazy things – and it can add to the pain of the children are brought in and used as pawns even if they are grown. It seems when people die, their memory gets elevated and they are remembered for what is good. In divorce, it seems that the good memories are gone and negativity is dwelled on and even magnified or exaggerated. Sad.
My heart will always have a vacancy for what could have and should have been. My dreams have had to change. My compassion for others has grown immensely. I find I am more sensitive than I used to be.
I am still a huge advocate for marriage the way God has designed and I applaud those who have teamed up with mercy, grace, forgiveness, unconditional love and a release of controlling others, to make it work.
It ain’t easy.
I still believe in love
I believe in marriage
I believe in myself
I believe in others
Ultimately, I believe God