Doesn’t it make you smile when you see videos of people who go all out with elaborate marriage proposals? Nice, isn’t it? For about 30 seconds, you think about the day of your wedding and how special you felt. No? Okay. I'll speak for me. I don't think of my divorce—right away—as I’m being happy for a couple in the early stages of their lifetime of love.
However, when I do think of my divorce, I am amazed at my reaction to the memory. I can replay moments of pain; and not feel pain. I feel relief.
I am not being sarcastic. It is my plain truth. There was a day it hit me; when I felt no anguish... and I smiled.
It might seem as though I am making light of a serious situation. Truly, I am not. This is my story. And this is how it happened. If you are upset, I ask your forgiveness and I ask you to hear my heart. I promise I will not be sappy.
However, I must write this view of divorce because, so often, people who take a righteous stand against divorce have yet to be driven to their breaking point where they can no longer stay in a marriage where they are the only spouse doing the heart work to keep the marriage together.
Divorce Starts in the Heart
You may have heard, by now, a divorce takes place in the heart long before the other spouse has a clue… long before family or friends have a clue... long before there is a clue to get the court involved.
Thoughts of ending my marriage began when it was clear my spouse was only going through the motions of listening; just waiting for me to stop talking because the decision was final someone else had been chosen.
Was there anguish? Of course, there was anguish and gnashing of teeth; but for a while, I was determined to make our marriage work.
After all, every marriage has good times, bad times… joy and pain… but must every marriage have one spouse sacrifice happiness for the sake of bragging rights to a long marriage?
Perfect Conditions for Divorce
As the clouds of divorce hovered over my marriage, I accepted it was a matter of time before divorce took place; but I was not going to:
- Sleep in separate rooms privately and act like all is well publicly
- Be separated but married… indefinitely
- Start a new relationship with unfinished business
- Pay for the divorce
I was given every reason why someone else was chosen. Since I already settled my heart to deal with the inevitable divorce, there was no need for chit-chat. I no longer upset myself with my spouse’s mind games.
While the monologue was in play, I imagined being single. It was not the usual vision of tequila and sunbathing, but just knowing a bad marriage was about to end was joy enough for me.
I looked forward to no disrespect, selfishness, or cheating. I could move on because I knew I did my part as a supportive and loving spouse.
When Your Heart Is Clear
Some people say, "Let go of the past and don’t look back." I say, "It depends on what you’re looking at when you take that walk down memory lane; and it depends on how you respond to what you see."
I look back and see moments when cheating was discovered, but (per the words of my ex) I was not the blame. While the cheating was going on, I thought it was my fault. I asked over and over, "What can I do to make things right, to make this marriage work?"
There was nothing I could do to make things right or to make the marriage work because a final decision had already been made to start a new life with someone else.
I look back at that moment and consider myself better than lucky. I had strength of heart and presence of mind to let go of a marriage knowing I did my part. Once I got over being concerned what other people thought, I moved on without bitterness.
And… I did not pay for the divorce.