All kinds of emotions goes through me; you are tossed to and fro between ‘I will’ and ‘I won’t’. And no, no decision is easy to make. But the one about your divorce is perhaps the most difficult.
Are you curious how I went about it and what I heard from most of the clients I counseled?
You feel that things are not going well between the two of you and you ignore it. Hoping that it will go away. (Which does not.)
Then the signals usually become more intense and ignoring is no longer an option. It wasn’t, but you didn’t see that at the time. You discuss it, your partner feels the same. Oh well, you agree for once, which is the first time in a long time, so you regain hope, and you decide to see a couples therapist together.
Your thoughts of divorce fade into the background because nobody wants a divorce. You have many sessions with the therapist and it is very hard work. It is a feeling of one step forward and two steps back. Where is this going, you often ask yourself in despair? Is it going anywhere at all?
Something I often asked myself; and then kept on going, hoping we would find each other again. Somewhere between all the bad words, expectations, unspoken desires, pain and loss. Is there still something there? Something we can use to glue the broken parts together. To a new vase…a new life?
Unfortunately, for many people this is the next step. The eventual step to the mediator or divorce lawyer. And then the road begins to find a way out together, hopefully in a reasonable manner. Sometimes they succeed and often they don’t. And how difficult is it, that once you have taken the step to divorce, you have to sit down together as two reasonable adults and arrange things. Everything has to be discussed, from a parenting plan to finances. Where there is no room for emotions, at least not the emotions you struggle with.
The emotions I struggled with. Divorce is disruptive. I have sometimes said: “if I had known beforehand, I might not have done it”. But that is not true. You face the mountain and you are tossed back and forth between; I don’t want this and I do want this. And “this” is everything that is going to change, your whole life, your family, your work, your home but also friends and family. How are we going to arrange all this and how am I going to pick up my life again afterwords? And this being tossed back and forth between the practical on the one hand and the emotional on the other, the disentanglement of everything, is what makes divorce so incredibly disruptive, exhausting and very painful.
In hindsight, the decision was the right one, but the consequences are huge. You can’t see them when they stare you right in the face. It affects a lot of people. Your partner, yourself, the children, family, friends. And sometimes work, your house, your income. The status quo as you know it is being shaken up. You have an inkling this might happen to a greater or lesser extent. But you cannot predict your emotions. Emotions that overwhelm you, go in all directions, in which you try to hold your ground and move forward.
At first there is the phase where you just have been told or you tell your other half. The message hits you. It’s a raw pain. This seems like a phase in which not much happens. You are in a so called twilight zone. Nothing seems to be happening, you are as it were numb.
Is this real? Have I heard and understood correctly? Everything you’ve been through together comes flooding your mind. 10/20 or maybe even more years flash by in your mind. Oh yes do you remember? When we were on holiday together. But at the same time you also feel anger, upset. The why? The BIG why me question.. why is this happening to me? Or why is she doing this?
In my case it was him. While I was the bogeyman. The boo-woman who delivered the message.
But is it less painful? Do you feel anything less then bad if you are the one delivering the message? No, I can tell you. It’s just as bad. Nobody likes to hurt anybody on purpose.
The intertwining of emotions is a characteristic of grief. Of all the stages of grief that you have to go through.
The stages of shock, recognition, adjustment and growth. And in all my foolishness, I thought it was a linear process. Unfortunately, anyone who has experienced grief knows that it is not. So you don’t just climb that enormous mountain you’re facing.
But…. but.. rest assured; there will also be an end in sight. The proverbial top of the mountain. If you start walking on that mountain, of course there will be an end, a top of the mountain. At first, you see that top very clearly, and you think, “Well, easy peasy I walk that one in a day. Which is maybe possible for a small mountain, or hill so you like. Unfortunately, not for this mountain with emotions…
This mountain of mine was slightly bigger; it had winding paths, streams that I could cross, I met people who helped me, people who didn’t say anything to me, people who let me talk, and new people who wanted something from me. Situations that I did not know yet. In short, it was a very, very interesting mountain. A mountain that made me grow and see things that I had not seen on any other mountain. I see myself differently because of the journey on that mountain. Or rather, I have become different. I have walked, fought, cried, asked, received, shared, desired and suffered. I have gone through all the stages and best of all: I have reached the top and I am enjoying the view.
If you feel like you could do with some help facing and walking your mountain; Let me help you. Book a free discovery call here to see how we can work together: