Divorce is something I’ve always called “The Big D”, it reminds me of that country song “going to the big D and don’t mean Dallas …” I went into marriage knowing darn well that I wouldn’t back out of marriage with divorce on a whim, it wasn’t something either of us “believed in”, unless absolutely necessary. Still, after two sons and about 3 years of marriage, we were divorced. I often wonder if we made the right decision, if that was indeed what was best for us and our family.
It was the best decision at the time, based on circumstances and our sons are happier now than they ever could have been with us under the same roof.
As I co-parent with my ex husband in such a perfectly normal way, it still creeps into my mind once in awhile that I wish we could have made this work better as a couple. We couldn’t have back then though, and together we are two different people. It’s easier for us to co-parent so positively and be friends because we ended our marriage before we got to the bitter hatred point and because as co-parents we focus on our sons without anything else mattering.
As a divorced couple, all that matters is our children. That’s it. It’s easy really.
I am here to talk about the honest truths about divorce, in hopes that I can get more people to think harder before jumping to that decision, you see, I learned a lot from my divorce and some lessons learned were extremely valuable to me as an individual. I thought I would share my honesty about divorce today.
Thoughts/Circumstances that Come into Play After Divorce:
- Hindsight is always 20/20 – If you are currently divorced and raising your child(ren) amicably, get along with your ex and can even be friends it’s normal to have some questions about whether divorce was the right answer. Remember, we always see things differently looking back, than in the moment. Circumstances that led to divorce were real, don’t ever think they were not, apparently certain things were important at that moment in your life and you need to accept that, not dwell on the “what ifs”.
- Confident in Divorce - No matter how confident you were in getting divorced, it’s usually not easy for anyone, especially if you can’t just divorce and move on, never speaking to that person again due to raising children together. Remind yourself, when those whimsical thoughts come into your mind, that you divorced this person for a reason, even if the reason wasn’t extreme, it was a valid reason during that time period.
- Friendship After Divorce – I have met far too many people who are co-parenting and despise their ex. I say Let it Go. I don’t care if they cheated on you, I don’t care what in the heck they did to you to hurt you deeply, get yourself help through therapy and move on. This is to better yourself as a person and to ensure you don’t allow negative feelings towards your ex affect your parenting responsibilities. I will be honest, many ex’s are a much better person after you get divorced, because they too learned something from this life changing experience!
What you should do before filing for divorce:
- Has Communication Broken Down – Raising kids can take a lot out of you, as an individual, which means communication can be broken during the child bearing days. Even if your partner isn’t taking the initiative to communicate properly with you, do your best to try your hardest to be a better listener for your partner, lead them by being a compassionate example of great communication.
- Therapy - I am an avid supportive of counseling services, these are great people who specialize in getting you two back on track. They don’t work miracles, but you must be certain to try couples therapy before throwing away a marriage, believe me, it may be a lot of you causing some issues and you just need a professional to open your eyes to it.
- How Will This Benefit the Children – Many people will say it’s best to stay married for the children, sure they do play a huge toll in whether divorce is the right answer or not. Remember once you are divorced, you have to give up those wake ups, goodnight kisses and so much of the family unit time together. Make sure that you are fully aware of how the family dynamic will change after divorce and that this will be beneficial to the kids long term.
- Have You Stopped Paying Attention to Each Other – The days of listening to your spouse in awe over their excitement and joy in life can dry up, you may be sick and tired of hearing their voice. You may be tired and exhausted from working hard to support the family. Whatever reasons, drop the excuses, your partner should always be treated like gold. Even if it’s something simple like doing a kind gesture for them, saying a kind word, snuggling up to give them a kiss every night, even if they have already fallen asleep. If things have gotten real bad, they may not take to this right away, but keep trying!
My Last Tidbit of Opinion About Divorce
If there is any part of you, whether large or small, debating if divorce is really the right answer, listen to yourself. Take the time you need to fully absorb all that divorce will entail; the changes the kids will have happen, the changes for you as a person, the changes for your spouse, etc etc. Think long and hard, make sure all of these challenging changes that come about after divorce are worth going through without your spouse. Be certain that you are not making the decision to divorce for your own selfish reasons, this happens without us even realizing it.
Also, remember, even if you did divorce this person that it’s possible to turn back the decision and re-marry them. Just get over your stubborn self and accept that you made a mistake, I have seen many couples who got divorced early on in the marriage, then find out later on that they were ready to be together, forever. They re-married and have been together for many years since! Nothing is final in life, except death and even that is questionable.