Everything I know about marriage, I learned in divorce...Part 1
As I write this, I am dealing with the fall of my marriage that would’ve been 10 years next February. This post has no recipes, no tips on how to be a better cook, and no videos of me interviewing a celebrity chef. It is me using this platform to share my experience to heal, share my testimony even in the middle of the storm and hopefully find some people who have been in my shoes before. One thing that’s so wonderful about social media is it’s ability to connect us with people we would never have before and share experiences to empower, inspire, teach, and give hope.
I am not here to bash my soon-to-be-ex, get pity from anyone or exploit my personal life to gain followers or likes. I am here to tell my story, use this as a way to gain closure, hopefully help some women in my situation and maybe even get help from some of you.
How does someone who you used to love so dearly, give your life to, make babies with, create an entire life with, end up becoming a total stranger who you are in war with? Resentment is a bad mother…it makes us focus on all the negative and even worse, seeks revenge. I used to hear that saying that goes something like, “Marriage isn’t about what your spouse can do for you, but what you can do for your spouse”. It sounded like it made sense. But I understand it now more than ever. For so many years in my own marriage, I felt disappointed, upset, lonely, angry and resentful that my husband wasn’t loving me and caring for me the way I felt he should. It made me so angry with him and the pain it caused is something I still, right now as I type, that pain of worthlessness to the man you loved for so long is a pain that I hope goes away sooner rather than later.
A funny thing happens (if you let it) when you are going through a divorce. As much as you point your finger at your spouse for all the pain he/she has caused you, divorce forces you to look at yourself and your failures in the marriage. It absolutely takes two people to make marriage beautiful. And it takes two to run in to the ground. We had many good times. Our marriage wasn’t always turbulent. We were married young(er), in our early/mid twenties. We were so ignorant to what marriage really meant. We were excited to grow our family and live life in marital bliss with all our babies. Sex was beyond amazing and we were so connected. Then over time, as the story goes, life got in the way. We stopped taking care of our marriage. It was all about the kids and bills and careers and life. Everything came before our connection. And soon, we would sleep in the same bed but we might as well have been sleeping next to a stranger.
We are now at a point that divorce is absolutely necessary. I believe God is very sad when a couple chooses divorce over fighting for their marriage. But sometimes, it must be. And now, I look at all the pain we both experience. It is hard for us to even have a conversation without the blaming, the hurt, the tears, the yelling — it is absolutely awful. And with children involved, that guilt of failure in providing a home for your kids with both parents in it is unbearable for me. There is so much miscommunication between us and tonight, I just had to think, “How in the hell did we get here in such an ugly place?”
When I look at his eyes, many times I see anger, resentment and revenge. I had to look at the things that I have done to make him feel this way. The truth is, I am not saint. I am high-maintenance in that I am high-strung, always on the go, always on to the next thing and it can be seen as me being a bitch. I am an entrepreneur and I focus a lot on my business and it’s been a rough few years as I was starting up. He has found me a selfish person because of it. He hasn’t felt me prioritizing him and the kids because I was so focused in my work. Reflecting back, I see all that I could have done to make him more secure in me as I was building my business. I should have set more boundaries when I started working from home to focus on my business full time. The hardest part was I was learning along the way and by the time that I started to get in a better groove, we fell apart. I kept wanting him to understand my business and the life that came with it. But I never made an effort to go to him for the things he wanted. I was pressing my wants and needs on him and for him to conform to it because, well, I was his wife!! And it was wrong. I should’ve communicated with him more by asking him about what he thought. Even though he doesn’t understand my business, just as I don’t know much about his chosen career, it is always a good idea to reach out to your spouse about your career choices.
So, here are the first lessons I have learned about marriage in my divorce:
- It’s not about you. You married your spouse because you want to make a difference in their life! And because you are making an impact in their life, they will want to give it back to you and do the same for you. If you both do this for each other, it is a beautiful cycle!
- Your career is your choice, but remember that your spouse has to live that life with you. It’s always a good idea to talk to your spouse about your career goals, choices, and dreams. You need your spouse to support you, but your spouse cannot support you if they do not understand where you want to go.
- Communication is the simplest, hardest thing to do! You cannot expect your spouse to meet your needs if you do not communicate it with them in a way that they understand. Never expect that your spouse “gets it”. 95% of your arguments is because you aren’t understanding each other. Don’t wait until communication lines between you and your spouse are so blurry that you have no other options. WORK to learn each other’s communication styles. This is something you should be doing WAY BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO MARRY!
18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.