5 Hard-Learned Lessons About Divorce I Wish I‘d Known When We Separated
How my ignorance and naivete kept me from taking action and allowed me kids to be taken and kept from me
I’m not one to wax nostalgic.
But fuuuuuuuuck if I don’t wish that the “me” of today could have taken the “me” of 4 or 5 years ago by the hand. I would set her straight about a few beliefs, push her to take some actions she was afraid of, and tell her some stories that would shock her.
My heart has broken over and over and over again in this process. I have not only felt victimized but been victimized, in a way my spiritually-grounded, empowered, and self-responsible self of 5 years ago could have never imagined possible.
To be clear: I have never once regretted making the decision to say “Yes” to being true to myself — even when it meant separation and the end of my marriage. But I feel so f*cking powerless right now and I have regretted SO. MANY. TIMES. that I did not file for divorce earlier.
Okay, more on the nitty-gritty of that in a minute, but first off: I’m not a lawyer. This is not legal advice. This is only my first divorce. I know that many people have much better and easier divorces than I have had (and some, more difficult). I hope that YOU go on to have a much better and easier divorce than I have had. I am not, by any means, an expert. What I am is a shocked and heart-broken mother who is trying to find meaning in her pain and loss by sharing her learnings with others in the hopes that she can help even one person make a better choice than she did…
If you want more deets about my life pre-divorce, I wrote here about my marriage and subsequent break-up when I wanted to see other people. If you’re contemplating separation or divorce right now though, I recommend that you finish this article first before checking that one out. (But then afterwards, definitely do!)
To bring you up to speed, we were separated for 4 years before I finally filed for divorce. It’s now been about 15 gut-wrenching months since I filed.
Here are some of the lessons I have learned: