I’ve been thinking about all that I’ve learned, the ways I’ve grown in the past couple of years. To be honest, I’m pretty sure it’s been going on for longer than a couple of years, but going through a divorce as an older woman certainly gave it focus.
When I got married, back in 1989, I had an idea, at the time, a very clear idea, of how life would be. We’d enjoy a couple of years, just the two of us, then we’d have children. We’d bring our children up together, we’d do all kinds of fun things together, and we’d grow old together. And we’d enjoy time with our grandchildren together. Nothing fancy, basically the same as most married couples, I’m sure. Most of all, we’d be happy. And we’d be together.
Divorce did not feature at all in that dream. It’s one hell of a hard thing to decide to do, a hard thing to go through. I suppose reading about people getting divorced all the time, seemingly with ease, gives the impression that it’s not that big a deal… especially if you’re the one who started the ball rolling. But it doesn’t matter who decides it, who starts it. It is still so emotionally crushing.
I said in one of my blog posts that going through a divorce is like going through a bereavement. According to Felix Economakis, a psychologist and relationship expert, the end of a relationship has a number of stages similar to grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Having been through bereavement twice with the loss of my parents, I can agree with him.
There’s another thing that you mourn the loss of as well – the dream you had of your married life. When you get divorced, you have to let go of that dream.
One of the things I wasn’t prepared for was the conflicting emotions. Anger, sadness, relief, frustration… Fighting to hold on to your sanity, not wanting to turn into a miserable cow, holding on to fragments of happiness, watching what you say in front of the children, regardless of how old they are…
People have said to me, over the past couple of years, that I shouldn’t have married him, that it was a mistake. There was a time I believed that too, and I’d tell myself off for having married him, mainly because I felt I’d let the boys down.
But I slowly came to realise that our marriage was meant to be; it was something I had to go through, and him as well. Besides, if I hadn’t married him, I wouldn’t have had Gordon and Liam. I’d have had children, yes, but it wouldn’t have been my lovely boys.
I believe that he and I had karmic debts that we had to pay off in relation to each other; there were lessons to be learned. My crossroads was at the point of deciding whether to get divorced or carry on as we were. If I’d decided to carry on then no lessons would have been learned. I’d have kept on repeating past patterns until I learned that lesson.
And that’s another reason I’m so grateful for Gordon and Liam – they played a big part in getting me to step up and do what, in hindsight, was most definitely the right thing to do. Even though I was terrified; even though I wanted nothing more than to hide. Taking that step meant stepping into my truth, facing my fears and going forward.
This is when I started learning more of spiritually based beliefs. And what spoke to me loudest from the beginning was connecting to angels. Raised a Hindu, religion has always played a big part in my life. So, shifting my religious practice to include angels wasn’t a big deal; in fact, it felt natural.
When I’d read of people who’d been through trauma or who’d experienced immense tragedy saying that their faith helped them through, I used to wonder what that felt like. Now I know. I know that we’re not alone; I know that God / Source / the Universe has our back, and that we’re the co-creators of our lives. All that I’ve learned, that I’m still learning has helped me find my confidence, my self-worth, it’s helped me realise that I do have courage. It’s also shown me that, no matter what, it is possible to be happy, to live happy.
In this series of blog posts, I’ll be talking about my marriage and how it came to an end. I’ll be talking about living with an alcoholic and why I stayed. I’ll also be talking about my beliefs and embracing being an introvert.
I hope you’ll join me as I share my story and what I’ve learned. More importantly, I hope that you’ll find it helpful, especially if you’re going through a separation or a divorce. And I’d like to make it clear that men are definitely included here. Feeling grief and loss at the breakup of a relationship, having to deal with an alcoholic – women aren’t the only ones affected. Men feel pain too, and sometimes I think it’s more difficult for them because society still doesn’t make it easy for men to open up and talk about their pain. Which is why I am so happy that Prince Harry has spoken up about the effects of bottling up his grief over his dear mother’s death, and that Prince William has talked about doing away with the ‘stiff upper lip’ mentality.
If there’s anything you’d like to share, please comment below. Or, if you’d rather not share publicly, please feel free to email me directly. I treat all correspondence in the strictest confidence and will reply to each one.