What Divorce Isn’t

Looking at it differently

Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

What is the definition of divorce? It’s the legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body. But divorce is much more than that. It is an uncoupling of two parties that took vows to be faithful, devoted, and loving until the end in sickness and in health. It is a loss. It’s losing the one you love. It is a death wherein you must do a grieving process. Unless, you grieved so much during it or suffered much throughout that the dissolution made you celebrate, but inevitably there still needs to be a grieving process at some point. If you haven’t done that, do it, so you can actually move on and make your life different and better as a single person.

What it isn’t is a soundless process where you keep everything bottled inside. You must find a trusted friend or an expert to listen to you and who can handle the pain that will pour forth and the anger. Though it is the death of the marriage, it isn’t the death of your life. You may lose some income and help around the house, but you can learn to stand on your own two feet and not end everything you had before. There are ways to make your life better and if at first it doesn’t seem like you will ever get there or ever be the same, don’t believe you won’t arrive. You will burst forth like a butterfly and find ways to bring in more income, even if you may have to move back in with family or a friend. That’s only temporary. You may have to spend less for a while or change your spending habits, but you will also learn to save and how to do more with less.

For those that end up with quite a settlement, then it’s different for you. But will you feel the same way about yourself? Have you grieved as those who have lost more in the way of finances? Do you have someone to support you through the process? You are the same as the rest of us, minus the money worries.

Divorce isn’t the end of everything. Just everything that’s married. For instance, you may have lost couple friends you shared companionship with, or just friends you had while married. Sad, but true. I thought well, I thought they were my friends too, and then that they cared or loved my ex more than me. They may have stopped calling even to just ask how you are doing besides saying that they were sorry about the breakup. And family too may have seemed to have deserted you, keeping friendship with your ex which gave you no chance to have them hear your story and be at your side, like divorce detached you from them also in not such a good feeling way.

My point is that though divorce cancelled out many of the things you did, or people from your life, divorce didn’t end yours. I’ve been scratching people as friends off my list for a very long time, but new ones that supported me and cared came into the picture. New hobbies came into view and old ones were renewed. New and old ways to increase income also were possibilities and came to be which made me sturdier on my feet and lighter in my heart and will also do the same for you.

Divorce isn’t the end. It may feel like the worst thing and good for you to feel it as such or be sad enough to grieve so you can finally let go of everything that divorce is and become what it isn’t.

It is a pathway to freedoms of all sorts. New monies, new hobbies, new friends. You are never alone because the universe knows what it is to lose, to fall or stumble, and yet it is the strongest of all. It builds and rebuilds. We are a part of the universe. We are a child of the universe and belong here. We are here to build and rebuild; to fall and stumble and get up; to love, to lose, to make mistakes and correct them.

As Nicolas Cage pointed out in the movie Moonstruck playing Ronnie Cammareri when he’s telling Loretta played by Cher, that he loves her, “Not like they told you love is, and I didn’t know this either, but love don’t make things nice — it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren’t here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die. The storybooks are bullshit.”

Having a love that lasts is something everyone wants or dreams about. But when the stars in your eyes are over, you replace them with acceptance, which is a happy conclusion to loss. Perhaps you did your best and if you didn’t, then it’s time to forgive yourself and ask to be forgiven. Remember that divorce isn’t the end, but the beginning of the freedom to do better, to love better, and to live better.

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