It has been almost four years since my divorce and I realize that the word divorce does not accurately or adequately describe what this time has really been like. It was not an end, or a moment of it being “over”, it has been a transition. It has not been the end of a marriage, but rather a redefiningof myself and of family…a beginning.
The word “divorce” means to legally dissolve a marriage and to leave one’s husband/wife.” It makes it all sound so simple, so clean and so clear….NOT! It is anything but simple, clean and clear!
Rather, it is an attitude re-adjustment. We have undergone a change in the status of our relationship. We are no longer married, we are partners in parenting…we are PIPs! And we will be partners in parenting for the rest of our lives. When you get married, you commit to loving and supporting your husband “for the rest of your life…forever”…..well, although you may not love him or support him, if you have children, you will continue to have a relationship with him…divorce or no divorce!
He is not gone, I am not widowed….he is still there. We once knew how to communicate with each other….now we don’t. They said I would be “free to move on”…but although I am free to rediscover who I am and what my purpose is….I am still part of a “relationship” with him. It is just a different relationship. And no one has told me how this relationship works.
No one told me that we would need to find a new way to communicate and that it would take more patience, thought and compassion than it did while we were married. No one told me that there is so much to learn about how to be me and make sure that I act in the best interests of my children.
No one told me that divorce was really not an end…that it is a beginning. The beginning of a transformation and transition to a new me…a newly defined family…a new definition of parenting. A process of learning, a process of understanding, letting go, moving forward, re-discovery…it is a journey.
So, I am telling you, it should not be called divorce….because it is not really over. It is a beginning. An opportunity to re-define the relationship you have with him and find a space for the new partnership that you will need to have for the benefit of your children…all while creating the life you want.
It is not simple, clean, and clear…it is difficult, transformative and life changing. But you are in control of how this new beginning goes…so go slow, be cautious, think before you speak and be kind to yourself. And above all else, remember, you are not alone and you will need support for this journey.