A divorce is like an amputation: you survive it, but there’s less of you.
I am convinced Margaret Atwood knew what she was talking about. It’s amazing how hard it really is to take the last step of telling other people you are getting divorced. Just the thought of trying to say the word somehow makes your heart beat a little faster and your palms sweat. What will people think? How will your parents react? It’s not as if you planned to get divorced.No one goes into a marriage thinking about getting divorced. It’s something that somehow sneaks up on you. One minute life is rolling along. Maybe it’s not perfect but it’s still moving and the next you are hiring attorneys and you can’t remember why on earth you ever got married to such a loser.
The fact is there is no easy way to tell the ones you love that you don’t want to be married to their son, father, son-in-law, or friend. Just spitting the word divorce out may feel like peanut butter stuck in the roof of your mouth. It’s not an easy conversation to have with other people. You may feel as if you have failed. You haven’t failed. This isn’t something that you have done intentionally. Some people will take sides. It’s hard not too.
I remember recently, when my sister told us she was getting divorced thinking that I would never speak to her husband again. A man I’ve know since I was in college. Really it was like losing a good friend. Maybe someday the tension won’t be there when I pick the kids up from his house for a visit but for now the lines have been drawn and sides have been chosen.
Be ready for the fallout. People may try to convince you that you can fix things or that you should try harder. Listen to them and consider whether you have tried everything. If your conscience is clear or if the decision to divorce wasn’t yours then move on. Others may tell you that they knew all along it wasn’t going to work out. Ignore them. Find an ally in your family or in your friends. Someone that will give you a shoulder to lean on when times get tough. Talk to a counselor or a pastor. Reach out to people who care about you. Make knew friends. Remember that while it may be a cliché, it really is true that time heals all wounds.