The gray part of divorce

No one talks about it.

The gray part of divorce.

The legal process is very black and white. Everything is laid out on paper. A timeline of how it will go. Cold and blunt. Spelled out down to each day and time. Form after form filled out and filed. A union disintegrated. Boxes checked. Signatures signed. Done.

The healing part. The after.

Well that is where it becomes murky and dark. Because I don’t have a checklist to reach peace.

No one talks about…

How to stop loving him when the ink is dry. Or how to stop saying we and instead say I. How when the in love stops, turning into care for him but nothing more. How to stop worrying or thinking about him the minute the marriage is over. How our lives were intertwined for a decade and then the next day I am suppose to just stop. How to build boundaries protecting my heart while looking after my sons hearts too. From the one person I never imagined I would have to. How to say no without the immense guilt and bitch label.

No one talks about…

The loneliness that overwhelms me. The anger that engulfs me. The bitterness that chokes me. The longing for time to rewind and it all went differently. Or for the day when I no longer want him and then question what I loved about him. How the one person I could trust the most became the person who I cannot trust with anything. How it feels to see him and her with friends that was ours first. How they are living the family life, one that not long ago was mine. But one that I don’t know if I miss today.

No one talks about…

How others look at me different. Labeled as divorced. As a scorned woman with a new man on her mind. How friends drop like flies. How my name erases from the invite list. I feel left out. No longer fitting into the club I once belonged too. Yet I don’t fit into the single ladies club either. Caught in a weird, gray area.

No one talks about…

How to co-parent with another woman. A woman who was involved from the beginning. How to be kind and cordial when emotions run high and hot. Because although the divorce process is cold, inside of me and my heart is fire, passion, and a whole lot of pain. How do I learn to accept her place in my boys life and in my parenting when I still hold resentment.

No one talks about…

The harsh reality of co-parenting. When the best for the kids is difficult to do when trust is non existent and reliability is unreliable. Communication lines are strained and complicated. Expectations are to have no expectations at all. How for me it feels like two against one. And I have to defend myself every step I take.

No one talks about…

How PTSD can be present. Showing up every time I have to be around them. Making my chest grow tighter. Making my breath faster and shallow. Making my brain and heart accelerate until I am on the verge of panic. Showing up every time a text, email, or phone call comes in. Forcing me back to another day and time. Where the pain exploded and I crumbled.

No one talks about…

How I do want happiness for him yet at the same time karma, bitch. How I am so thankful for my divorce yet mourn it at the same time. How I see him in another marriage and fatherhood role and question why now? Why not with me? How he is trying to be a better dad and spouse and I question why now? Why not with me? And new grief arrives. Years later.

No one talks about…

How grief lingers longer than I want it to. How it penetrates deep within my soul. How divorce touches every aspect of my life. How it will never leave. How it forces me to run and hide while standing still. How it makes me question myself and my intentions. How emotions long gone show up unannounced. How it is a track set on repeat. Over and over again. Making me go slightly insane. How no matter the effort to separate the gray, it can never be put aside. Always present. Always persistence. Always permanent in divorce.

No one talks about…

The gray. The murky. The uncertain. The unknown. The unanswered. The neither right or wrong. The path that is rocky, uneven, curvy, and hidden. No one talks about it because no one knows how to do it correctly. Because there isn’t a practice run to get the final test right. No 12-step program. No black and white paperwork telling me how to cross off all the boxes.

Everyone talks about…

What I should be doing. How I should feel. How I need to be moved on. How I need to get over it. How I need to do what is best for my children. Everyone has an opinion about what would be best for me and my situation. How I should do this and that. How I should just be grateful.

Causing more gray.

Gray confuses me. I like to know and plan accordingly. I like to be prepared so I can be my best. The gray part of divorce doesn’t always allow this. Honestly, it usually brings out the worst in me. I have made so many mistakes and prideful decisions that finding my way through the gray is exhausting. And humbling.

Most days I am lost and perplexed at what to do. Yet I know, there is me. My heart. My gut. My Lord. My hard work. My determination. And my hope that it changes and gets better.


15 thoughts on “The gray part of divorce

  1. A month after our wedding, my husband told me he was actually more attracted to men than women. My whole world evaporated, like waking up from a dream. I asked what he wanted to do about it. He looked surprised and said, “Nothing.”
    But that didn’t sound like how I wanted to live my life. A month later I learned I was pregnant. It took years for the betrayal, anguish and humiliation to fade. I found real love and have been grateful and loved for 35 years now. Please just know you will be loved, for who you really are. The pain will fade and the humiliation and anger and grief. I send you so much love❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m here too. In the grey.
    Still waiting for the divorce to be complete.
    6 months ago we were still a family. Last week was our 20th anniversary. I didn’t expect any of this when we celebrated 19 years.

    Mostly I am finding myself. I have never lived alone (well, I have 2 teenagers). I like being in charge and having things my way.

    But some days I miss him so much. I miss the tim Hortons coffee or plans for a concert of discussions. I miss being married. I miss believing that my one person was going to be with me through it all…jobs, parenthood sobriety.

    And I miss feeling safe with other women as he had an affair with a girl from AA. So no more meetings for me.

    He is moving away. I’d say running away as he is inclined to do. The kids don’t want any5ing to do with him. So aside from his financial contribution I am now a single parent.

    I didn’t expect or want any of this. I am a good person. I didn’t deserve any of this.

    My new mantra is suffering is grace. I know it’s true. But the suffering part sucks.

    Stillness and peace
    Anne

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You voiced what I have thought of almost daily for the last 4 years. I had often thought about writing about it, but could never figure out how to get the message across as clear as you just did. For me, it is getting a bit better. Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This. Just this. So much this. This is my reality everyday. Trying to pick up the pieces after my entire world was nuked into this by my husband and his affair with an acquantance of mine and my children’s. It is a nightmare. Everyone says to be strong. Get mad. But not bitter. Stop mourning, move on – but be ruthless. But the reality of 50/50 custody (with him and the ow to avoid child support) and the divorce process is a nightmare come true. There is no waking up. Just step by step, rollercoast after rollercoaster of emotions. Eing the best mommy that I can, mourning the loss of half of my children’s lives. Thank yoi for writing this. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I once had the great privilege to do a workshop with Brennan Manning. He always says to those trying to tell you how to feel, parent, etc.: “Don’t SHOULD on me.” (Say it aloud and fast–it’s funny. :)) I also recommend a wonderful, short little book (NOT a self-help book, but a beautifully written, grace and wisdom filled affirmation) called “Telling the Truth” by Frederick Buechner. I’ve read it many times. One thing is clear to me, you MUST keep telling the truth about your experience. Much love!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 4 hours ago my life imploded. My partner of 18 years whom I have suffered for and supported left me because the guilt of me supporting her while she gave nothing in return was hurting her too much. She actually used the words “you are too good and deserve better than me”. I dont know if it was on purpose but I have been hurt by those same words before. Badly. And this just re traumatized me. I am still half numb. So please.. conductor.. one ticket into the gray. I hear it’s the place to be.

    Liked by 1 person

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