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Thursday, January 14, 2016

My Journey Through Divorce

My Journey Through Divorce

Hey Guys,
This is quite a different type of post compared to my usual beauty/fashion topics. The subject of divorce came up in an email and I decided to write up a reflection on my own experience. I shared my thoughts on the BlogHer platform and decided to share it on here as well. It is kind of personal but I decided to share it anyways since many of you have become my friends. If I could help anyone that may be reading this then it would serve its purpose.

Divorce. Its that cringe worthy word that no one enjoys talking about. Regardless of the situation its never easy and it is most definitely life altering. It was not more than a few hours after receiving my court date for my own divorce that I recieved the SheKnows Experts Among Us email regarding Divorce. I am the kind of person that believes that everything happens for a reason and saw this as a sign that I needed to share my own story and experiences not only to close this chapter in my life, but to also potentially help someone else going through the same thing.

Before I get into my personal story, I guess its important to give you all a little history behind it all. I'm 28 years old and was with my soon to be ex for about 12 years. Many of you may be surprised by that because being with someone that long at such a young age just isn't "normal" anymore. I met him when I was 16 and he was 18. We started dating and the rest is history. We were pretty happy for the most part and never really had any HUGE issues (so I thought). After being together 9 years, we got married, bought a townhouse, and started our life together. We even agreed to start trying to have a baby. Things started going downhill a little more than 2 years into our marriage when he got a new job. He started going out all the time and coming home at all hours of the night. That is when we started fighting constantly and I really started seeing a change in him and in our relationship.

It was almost time to leave work one day when I got a text from him. When I go home he told me he wanted a divorce. I was in complete shock. I couldn't believe the words that were coming out of his mouth. His reasons just didn't make sense to me. I was devastated and couldn't process anything. I felt guilty and thought it was all my fault. He left for two weeks but decided to come back and try to work on our marriage. We went to marriage counseling weekly for four months. It was tough but I thought things were getting better. I felt that I was putting in a TON of effort to fix not only our marriage but myself as an individual. I didn't feel he was putting in as much effort but he was taking some steps in the right direction. It seemed to me that things were going to work out in the end and I was so happy about that. It wasn't until one night after counseling that he dropped a bomb on me. On the way home from our meeting he admitted to me that he cheated on me and that he didn't want to be in the marriage anymore.

My first reaction was anger but it quickly turned to sadness and disbelief. I NEVER thought in a million years that this would happen to me. I begged him over and over again not to do this and tried to convince him that this isn't what he wanted. He told me that he didn't love me like a husband should love his wife and that it was over. Speechless. My life came crashing down right before my eyes and there was nothing that I could do about it.

After he left for the final time I felt hopeless, like a failure, dead inside. I couldn't process what was happening to me. I questioned whether I wanted to be on this earth anymore. Days seemed like years. Getting up and repeating the same motions every day. Waking up feeling like I had a gaping hole in my chest. Going to work and only being able to focus on figuring out how to make him realize that hes making a mistake. Coming home to an empty house. Going to sleep alone in our bed. Sleeping was the highlight of my day but even then I dreamed about him. If it wasn't for our dog Jax, I don't know what I would have done. At that point, I felt like he was my one comfort and purpose in life. For months, I pushed  my family and friends away. I felt that they didn't understand. They didn't want me to stay married to him and didn't think it would work out anyways. When they told me I would get through this and be ok, I didn't believe them. They didn't know what they were talking about. Our love was like no other. I couldn't LIVE without him never mind be ok and even happy one day. The thought of that was CRAZY. Being with someone else was out of the question. I wanted more than anything for him to come back to me. At that point, I would have given anything for him to tell me that he had made a mistake and wanted to stay married. I tried for MONTHS to get him to see things differently. I tried everything that I could possibly think of and every time, it was the same answer. And every time that I heard that answer, I broke down; over and over and over again. I wondered. Why me? What did I do to deserve this? Was it my fault? What could I have done differently? When will this pain go away? Will it ever go away? I loved him more than anything in this world and it just wasn't enough.

Divorce is rough. But for me, being completely blindsided and abandoned, was worse than death. The difference between death and divorce is that your significant other doesn't CHOOSE to leave you. They still love you. But when you are left and asked for a divorce, your significant other CHOOSES to walk away, give up on the relationship, and everything that came with it. To me, that was far worse. I felt like I was thrown out like a piece of trash. 12 years of being loyal in every way, and this is the thanks that I get. I think that is what hurts the most. When you love someone more than life itself, more than you love yourself, it truly seems like your life is over.

It wasn't until I finally tried to accept that things were over that I was able to start living again. I made efforts to go out with friends, and visit family members. But even then, I felt like everyone felt bad for me. Nonetheless, I kept my chin up and forced myself to go out and have a good time. I only REALLY started feeling better when I started realizing my own self worth. I didn't deserve this. I deserved better. I didn't NEED this person in my life. I WAS going to be ok. I WOULD find happiness again. Now don't get me wrong. This didn't come all at once. It happened over time. But, knowing that I WILL be ok and get through this is very liberating.

This reflection of the past year and a half has not only taught me about love, life, loss, and failure; But also about myself as an individual. For one, I am a lot stronger than I have ever imagined that I could be. Through this process, I have strengthened so many bonds and have created new ones as well. New people come into your life when you least expect it. I have some really amazing people in my life and feel very lucky for that. Learning to let go is another thing that this whole experience has taught me. When someone doesn't love you anymore, nothing you say or do is going to change that. Failure isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes you must fail in order for something better to come along. I know its very cliche but like I said before, I believe that everything happens for a reason. I never would have had that outlook on this divorce a year ago. So to me, that is showing that I am taking steps in the right direction; growing, learning, and changing from all of this. 

Preparing for my court date and closing this chapter in my life, I don't know how I will be that day. But one thing that I DO know is that I will be ok in the end. That in itself is one of the biggest breakthroughs I have had through this whole process. Everything will be ok. This isn't the end for me; not by a long shot. To all of you out there that are going through something similar, just know, it will be OK. You will smile again, laugh, and even find love. It may take months maybe even years, but one day, you will wake up and say "I'm going to be OK".

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