Also, a lotta fucks in this one. Don’t continue reading if fucks upset you.
Life is weird.
Sometimes you’re all great and gung-ho and then sometimes you find yourself engulfed in malaise and using two small coffee straws as chopsticks to eat take out because you already took your pants and bra off and you’re too lazy to go downstairs to the hotel lobby and get a fucking fork. Because you are a savage.
If life wasn’t weird enough, divorce is fucking weirder.
A big ol’ mind fuck within a mind fuck.
Everyone is in a different relationship and if you’re going through a divorce, your divorces will be different, too. So some of the shit I feel and share wont resonate with everyone. And it’s not supposed to.
Also, DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a psychologist or marriage counselor – obviously! I just do what I do and feel what I feel and lived what I lived so, take and leave whatever you want about anything I ever say.
Another disclaimer: I am a woman. Surprise! So, a lot of this will come from a woman’s perspective but also, surprise! I do know some men get the short end of the stick in relationships and marriages, so don’t worry I’m not forgetting about you. So, just change the pronouns yourself because I’m too lazy and this is about me and what I think.
This post has a lot of people’s marital issues intertwined in my thoughts. They are all different and important. Some issues range from having different core values to actual emotional and physical abuse. My marital issues lay somewhere on this spectrum. But, if I smoosh and cloud and hide my own issues in plain sight within everyone else’s issues, then I wont get in trouble for publicly posting mine! High five!
Some of you truly just have irreconcilable differences, some of you are best friends still, some of you cheated, some of you equally contributed to downfall, some of you got drunk and went to Vegas. Some of you are so graceful and wonderful with co-parenting, some of you protect your children by keeping them from the other, some of you are shit heads and use the kids as leverage. Some of you want to set each other on fire, some of you were in pretty healthy marriages, some of you struggled with intense mental health issues. Some of you were physically, verbally, or sexually abused within your marriage, and some of you were in emotionally abusive and manipulative ones.
If you’re going through a divorce and you can still meet your spouse every Wednesday for coffee, I applaud you.
If you’re going through a divorce and you feel like you might set them on fire the next time you see them, well, that’s okay too. I mean, don’t really set them on fire. But, you are allowed to be angry if someone hurt you or fucked you up.
It helps to work on letting the anger and resentment go. Currently, I am okayish with this..some days. Other days my friends have to stop me from impulsively shouting things on social media or slashing tires when I see or hear some things that really piss me off.
BUT, if you really work on it and really want to be free of them having any more control over your brain and life, then that will happen in time. You will learn to let go and move on if you put your mind to it. But honestly, be angry for a while. Some things we are supposed to get mad at. And remember.
I’m in this new phase now where I’m not really sad anymore about ex-husband or even marriage ending, but now I just have all of these question marks ahead of me, and sometimes it is terrifying.
Sometimes it is exciting and adventurous and zen and boozy and outdoorsy and giggly and other times it is overwhelmingly unknown and unpredictable and lonely and it makes me want to vomit.
If you’ve ever grieved anything, there are a bunch of those scientifically proven stages you go through, or get stuck in, and they ain’t lyin’. Even though I’ve seen 72 power points on the Stages of Grief, I’m not going to fact check them or actually talk about them or be accurate about it. Instead, I’m going to just lay out how grieving the death of my marriage and future has gone for me so far and then it’s probably gonna turn into me yelling at you to do certain things if you are in a similar situation so you DON’T DIE.
Ok, so, you have left. And it was almost impossible. And you know deep down you shouldn’t go back. Here we go..
First, get to safe place with good people. You know where they are. Go to them. I don’t mean that someone has necessarily been beating you, I just know when we all get hyped up on our emotions we need to be somewhere safe and around people who can ground us. But also, if someone is physically hurting you, please run to your nearest safe place. One of the greatest things one of my brothers ever did for me was when I was hysterically crying and shooting snot out of my nose and gasping for air and he just slowly and silently reached out and squeezed my arm to remind me I was real and I was okay. Do this for people. If they are hysterical or hyperventilating, just touch them in the non-weirdest, least threatening way possible. It keeps them from floating away.
Cry for a few days straight.
Have false sense of empowerment that you are strong and are doing this thing and don’t need nobody!!!
That feeling lasts anywhere from three days to three weeks.
Cry for a few more days when you realize you don’t feel as strong as you did when you huffed and puffed and packed all your shit up.
Have lots of wavering thoughts about going back.
Actually go back a couple times.
Maybe you just need space?
Your “space” is now a closet sized office at your brothers’ place that is too small for you to even unfold a futon.
This isolation chamber was actually the shit and surprisingly a lot of people can sit on that futon and sulk together and it is beautiful. My brothers would ask me to switch rooms with them. Everyone wanted this tiny panic room. It literally was smaller than a prison cell. But I never gave it up!
Have moments where you think you’re possibly rekindling your marriage but quickly realize it’s actually just burning down faster. You’re starting to notice shit you didn’t notice before and you’re embarrassed you are such a softie and thought there was a chance. You also realize you shouldn’t have spent all that money on that weekend in Raleigh or on that top where your boobs look fucking fantastic.
A few more clumps of hair fall out.
Get really angry at hair falling out.
Get exhausted by anger and resentment.
So exhausted, more hair falls out.
Don’t consume any water or nutritious foods.
Make yourself go to work.
Start super secret society with funny, supportive women in similar situation and an awesome dude who loves you like sisters and checks your pulses bi-weekly.
Vent. A LOT. But only to select few people because you don’t trust anyone to understand and you don’t want to burden people with that shit anyways, and also, you kind of have a conscience and don’t want to talk shit or complain or cry to just anyone.
Make a few passive aggressive posts on social media. JUST A FEW! DO NOT blast anyone or use Facebook as a diary because you will look like a crazy person and then everyone can go, ah, it was her.
Make everyone else believe you are fabulous. Well, because you are. You’re just going through a hard time.
Also, FUCK EVERYONE, who thinks they know you or your spouse and your situation. Your family and true friends know you and they know what happened and you also don’t need anyone to validate you. Validate yourself. You know all the things that were said and done and not done.
Keep being yourself.
Your actions and the way you choose to live your life will outshine whatever slanderous shit someone is spreading about you. Let some people talk shit and write you off and unfriend or even block you. Those are people that were never important to you, have never and will never benefit you, and they are doing you a favor by removing themselves from your life. Thanks, shitty people!
Stay the course.
If you fill your days with enough shit, you have a little less time to cry and waver and second-guess yourself.
DO NOT LOSE YOUR JOB. A good friend beat me over the head with this and he was SO RIGHT. Not only do you need your damn job for normal things like rent and saving money to start a new life but, you need to work and you need to be productive and you need to be around people. It helped A LOT that my work family was insanely wonderful and supportive and let me cry in bathrooms a lot.
Literally go and do WHATEVER YOUR FRIENDS ASK YOU. If they want to get a drink or go get dinner or need a babysitter or need a gym or walking buddy, GO DO IT. They are angels and they are secretly and not so secretly trying to pull you out of your dark hole. Also, they just need their friend back, too, so DO WHAT THEY SAY. They love you and they do know what’s best and you probably turned into a shit friend when you fell into the toxic marriage thing, so YOU OWE THEM.
Pay attention to your feelings. They will change almost everyday, sometimes very subtly. Start compartmentalizing them. Not everything is “Oh my God, I’m so sad and feel like dying”. Ask yourself what you are actually so sad about.
Are you sad about the loss of a partner? Are you sad about the death of what you thought was your future? Are you sad because you’re embarrassed this happened to you? Are you sad because you think you are going to die alone now? Are you embarrassed you got secret married and didn’t tell your parents until months later and then six months after that you tell them you are getting divorced? Are you scared of your Grandma finding out and putting a hex on you? Are you mad because you wasted a lot of time and money and energy? Are you so mad it’s making you sad? Are you terrified about what God thinks? Are you pissed off that he (your husband, not God) pushed you to leave but then wants to throw it in your face that you are “hurting the kids”? Are you angry he gambled away your car payment money or abandoned you and your children? Or asked you to put your dreams on hold so he could pursue his and then he just didn’t do anything he fucking said he would? Etc. All very important questions. Get to the root of what you are feeling and why so you can make rational decisions and keep yourself in check.
A lot of these feelings present themselves in similar ways, we stew and we cry. And sometimes when we can’t separate this clusterfuck of feelings it just makes us want to give up and sometimes it makes us want to go back, because even though going back is a shitstorm, it’s a shitstorm we are familiar with.
DO NOT GIVE IN OR GO BACK.
I mean if you’re in like a normal, kind of healthy marriage and separation and you have very specific issues that you both are actually working on with a plan to reconcile, then yea, I support that shit! I truly do. I am a super, strong believer that marriage is not some joke to be taken lightly. It is sacred and serious and it broke me in pieces to admit mine was ending and I felt like a huge failure – like now there’s some demerit or strike against me. Sometimes I still feel this way.
But I also feel a certain way about idiots who say: You agreed to stay ‘til death do you part, so go back and fix it. These people can go fuck themselves and they really don’t know much about anything except that:
1. They have never experienced anything quite like what you are going through
2. They are in a marriage with two reasonable and mentally healthy, rational adults – please see number 1.
3. They are probably just projecting and secretly want to get out of their own marriages and have to say this out loud to keep convincing themselves to stay
4. They are probably the ones being shitbags in their marriage and don’t realize how miserable they make their spouse
5. They are old and old people yell at us for not doing anything the way they did. But remember, women didn’t work much, men did literally whatever they wanted including galavanting around or beating their wives, women had no where to go. Yes, let’s please keep following this system. Get the fuck out.
6. They mean well but are stuck in some stupid-ass traditions that, in my opinion, are pretty anti-wife.
Let’s be honest, more women get a stigma and shit for leaving their husbands than men get for leaving their wives. I’ve had men and women tell me I should stay and “wait it out” or fix it or try this or that, and I guarantee you no one has said this to my husband. It’s typically the woman’s job to submit and stay and fix by submitting or becoming apathetic and numb and to keep enduring stupid-ass shit. I’ve heard grown ass women actually say:
“Women will always have to put more work in or put up with more than the men”
“They (men) just don’t understand some things”
“Men need to be trained”
“Men need more time”
“Men aren’t good with these kinds of things”
or another good one:
“He wont be able to get on without you if you leave”
Oh, I’m sorry. Yes, let me stay so this motherfucker has food and water everyday. GO FUCK YOURSELVES. Also, stop doing this in your own lives and definitely stop giving young women this advice.
If you ever give the “you should stay” advice to a person who is being walked all over or abused or neglected or manipulated or run around on, especially a woman, I will punch you in your fucking face.
Do you think it’s easy to leave a marriage? You think it was a quick, easy decision to pack up her car and leave something she WANTED to work, leave someone she loved, go into the unknown?
You think this hasn’t been a constant, overwhelming, brain-pulsing, heart-wrenching thought in her mind for months or even years?
Do you think it’s fun when some women have to strategically and slowly start packing one item at a time so he doesn’t notice and leave when he’s at work or drunk at the bar?
Do you think it’s just shits and giggles to have to pack a child up and take him from a two parent home?
Do you think grown women want to move in with their brothers or their parents?
Do you think we jump for joy about divorce papers and custody hearings?
It is awful. Awful. Awful. Awful.
Fuck shitty advice and fuck people for putting others in this position. To have to leave. And then get mad at us for leaving. Again, go fuck yourselves.
‘Lotta fucks today.
People who say these things are insulting the fact that you HAVE been trying. They are insulting the fact that YOU DO TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY. They are minimizing the torment you have gone through in making this decision. They are disregarding you as someone who didn’t care enough. They don’t know shit. And if people say this to you, then they don’t really know you.
Not everyone who gets divorced is just some dumb kid who gave up because they just didn’t feel like it anymore.
Just because you are married does not mean you aren’t allowed to have boundaries. This isn’t an “anything goes” scenario now because we signed a fucking paper. Boundaries are good. Boundaries keep you mentally healthy. Boundaries leave you with some self-respect. Boundaries have kept some people alive.
God forbid you are getting physically or verbally abused or raped within your marriage, which IS A THING – I’M TALKING TO YOU, YOU IGNORANT, CULTY FUCKS. Then no, you definitely don’t need to stay. Not for him. Not for her. Not for your parents. Not for your social status. Not for the kids. Not for Jesus. Go. Take the kids or co-parent. Just go.
When I say, DO NOT GO BACK. I’m talking to women and men who we all know shouldn’t go back.
Insert Britney Spears – Toxic.
Actually, go ahead and listen to a lot of Britney. And Beyonce. And also some sad, dark, angry shit.
Ok, moving on. See, I told you this was just going to turn into me yelling at you.
WHEN YOU LEAVE, YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE UNCOMFORTABLE.
FOR A WHILE.
It sucks sooo bad.
The discomfort is parts of you dying and most of you growing.
You’re going through this tumultuous process of once being somebody’s partner to now being all by yourself. Like someone is just peeling off all of these layers you built up around yourself and you’re kind of just naked and exposed and trying not to get eaten alive.
You miss having a partner, not only to feel loved, but you miss giving love, too.
You were probably good at it. And it’s probably why you stayed too long. Because you loved loving someone and you thought your love was enough to make things better.
Take all that love, and start loving your damn self and those around you.
Your love is worth it and it’s awesome and you don’t have to bottle it up and cross your fingers that you will find a new love one day so you can use it again.
Use it now.
Sprinkle that shit on EVERYONE.
Love your friends and their babies. Love your kids if you got em. Love the people you work with. Love old people. Love puppies, or cats – I mean, if you’re silly and like cats more than dogs. Love your parents. Love your brothers. Love your Grandma. Love a meatball sandwich. Love the family sitting next to you at a restaurant. Love your bartender. Maybe even go home with one. Love the lady cashier who works third shift at Sheetz – maybe don’t go home with her. Not that I have anything against her or Sheetz, but if you’re there at 2 AM then you are trashed and you shouldn’t be hitting on the nice lady ringing up the french fries and mac and cheese you plan to mix together and eat with your hands when you get home.
Anyways, love WHOEVER. As much as possible!
Be kind to yourself. Let yourself breathe. Take a nap. Sleep in. Get a pedicure. Buy a new outfit. Go see your mother. Buy her an outfit. Also, she’s getting a pedicure, too, but she’s adorable and it always feels good to take care of her or anyone else you love. Call your Dad. You are embarrassed and expect him to scold you, but he wont. He will say all the right things and remind you how much he loves you. I mean, unless your Dad is a dick. Then just call mine. But, please avoid politics.
Lay on your friends’ couches and watch trash tv.
It’s okay if they are eating a box of chocolates and watching you cry. They get hungry and this is overwhelming for them, too. To see you like this. They probably didn’t realize how bad it was. And also, eating candy is kind of a must if I’m friends with you anyways.
Thank you to all of my friends who always have food or snacks or booze prepared for me.
Just be with them – your friends. Be around people. There’s literally no way it won’t at least take the edge off.
Say THANK YOU when someone gives you a compliment instead of saying how fat or ugly or tired you feel.
SLEEP! Get some mothafuckin’ sleep.
Let yourself cry, but you literally have to start a timer at some point and only give yourself like 15 minutes and shorter increments as you go on.
You no longer have to spend your physical or mental energy on someone else. We don’t realize how intertwined we are with another person until they aren’t there anymore. And for some of us, you don’t realize how much you were destroying yourself for someone. Yes, there’s no more of the good parts of a relationship like snuggling and sex and holding hands and kisses and binge watching Netflix together, but there’s also no more of the other overwhelmingly negative shit draining you either. And I know you’ve already made a list of pros and cons, which is why you are relating to this, because it became blatantly unbalanced. And you didn’t want to admit it, and you didn’t want to leave, and I know you are tired from the battle.
No more, no more.
So what does that leave you?
A shit ton of alone time to either hate yourself or start liking yourself again.
You will probably do both.
I suggest allowing yourself a short while to hate yourself first and then,
Rein. It. In.
Suck it up and power through.
Force yourself to figure out who you are going to be now.
For your kids.
For the next person who comes along, because they will.
I mean, take your time, but definitely commit to a long-term goal of not letting this kill you or turn you into a monster. It’s too easy to stay mad and angry and blame someone for ruining your life. I’m sure it feels like they have ruined part of it, but it isn’t over.
This is your time now. Your uncomfortable, but much needed and wonderful, scary, but exciting time to change literally anything you want about yourself.
Weed out what doesn’t work for you – habits, behaviors, lifestyle choices, people.
And just go ahead and start doing the shit you always wanted to do.
Do it all and do it while you work on healing and polishing any rough edges you know you have. Figure out why you did some things or why you let some things happen. And yes, what was your part in the demise. I don’t believe that bullshit about things always being 50/50. Do both people contribute? Yes. And sometimes it is very much even. But sometimes there really is an overwhelming amount of destruction from one side. But, the other side enables it or makes it worse, for sure. What was your part? And how do you prevent that from ever happening again?
Breathe and relax and rest, but then strengthen the shit out of yourself and really assess what happened so you don’t make the same mistakes or find yourself in a similar situation.
During this time, there will be waves of every possible emotion.
You will wobble and sometimes you will be rock steady.
You will feel strong one day and then some days you will crouch in a corner. I know a cute lady who does this. She’s amazing, but sometimes, anxiety hits and ya just gotta crouch ya know?
If you’re like me, sometimes you take a walk with your friend and he’s telling you how great you sound and then eight hours later he’s knocking on your door because you’ve been sobbing on the floor and not answering your phone. Find and keep friends like this by the way.
The best descriptions I have read about grief were ones comparing it to ocean waves.
It’s so ridiculously accurate.
Waves of Grief. And all you can do is stop fighting them and just ride em out, or let them pass over you. You can’t escape the feels, so just hold on. Feel them.
They will hit and hit hard, but they will pass. I promise.
All of it is important. Even the shittiest of days you have will benefit you in the long run. Remember, you are supposed to be uncomfortable right now. Don’t avoid dealing with it or pretend you are okay. Don’t resist mourning this “death”. Don’t throw yourself into another person before you get through some of these parts. That will come back to haunt you.
Don’t waste this time. Don’t let the past year or even 20 years of shit define you.
It does not define you.
You do not have to own it.
No more, no more.
You can do this.
You’re already doing it.
And there’s no way your cry face can look worse than mine, so you got that going for you, too.
I love you, little bunnies.
I’ll see you on the bus!