I have been private about the hardest thing that I have ever done because it was simultaneously the most embarrassing that has ever happened to me.
The number one emotion I hated from getting a divorce was shame.
I didn’t make it. My promises were broken. The ones I made in front my family, my friends and God. The person who said they’d love me forever at some point stopped.
So somehow getting divorced felt like walking around with a label on my forehead: “DISCARDED”- shame
I had to do this in the community who “loved us” “looked up to us” and believed in “us.” I had to run into people at coffee shops, weddings and birthday parties and shock them over and over and over again.
I don’t know if it was because of the timing or nature of our relationship but almost everyone was surprised. I can’t tell you how many people I comforted in their strange response to our end. “But you guys were so great together”, “you made me believe in marriage”, “never saw that coming.”
Well, NO SHIT, me either. -shame
Many people have written about divorce and are cleverer and more articulate than I could ever be. But I will say, you know what, good, bad or ugly this shit sucks. Because even if you’re unhappy, getting knocked around or unappreciated…you still failed at marriage. –shame
When I wasn’t combing over every second of my relationship and doubting its validity:
“What did I do?”
“What did I miss?” -shame
I was questioning my choice:
“Did I marry the wrong person?”
“Did they become the wrong person?” -shame
I am judgy of these conscious un-couplers and their esoteric au revoir into evolved friendship. It makes me doubt their buy in. I got married to live, love, make babies and die with someone. So when he wanted to quit I was devastated.
The narrative I had written for my life unraveled with one sentence:
“I don’t think I want to be married anymore” -shame
Which then evolved into “I want to do a trial separation” -shame
Which is code for fuck other people-shame
Which then was finally extended to “I am almost sure I want to get divorced.”-shame
These sentences, these feelings, these traumas last. They linger in the day to day movements of filing papers, separating pots and pans and making phone calls, e-mails and texts to tear your life in half. They can and do take root into your perception of yourself, your life and Tuesday morning coffee. –shame
They are not comforted or appeased by the well-meaning comments of friends:
“You’re so young”
“At least you didn’t have kids”
“You’ll meet someone better”
“Never liked him anyway”
These are natural responses and I know you all meant well but one of the most powerful and penetrating realities for me was that:
I am alone, I don’t have kids, maybe I won’t meet some better and I really did/do love him.
It’s the did/do love him that I want to focus on at the end of this sad letter or post or whatever these things are today….is it still a blog?
I love Devin. I always will. The magic of his passion, the way when he really laughed he slapped his right knee and the peace I felt in the love and friendship we had.
That shame of failure began to fade when I accepted the love I have left to give and did give to my marriage.
I am not ashamed that I love him, did love him and that I gave 12 years to it.
Divorce is the ending to a relationship or covenant that isn’t meant to be broken. It is heart breaking devastating and sad. I don’t have many memories in my 20s that don’t include him or revolve around us. I will not edit him out of stories and I won’t shy from the truth that we really loved each other chose each other and yet still ended. If you know someone who went through this or are walking that now: listen and offer respect to them. Maybe if they’re ready tell them something you liked or admired about their marriage.
They might feel like a giant failure and need someone to remind them life is a day to day operation and all you have to do today is today.