Just as Emily in Crazy Stupid Love did on a dinner date after being together with Cal for 25 years. And I told my husband about my decision on a night before our wedding anniversary. Our first wedding anniversary.
I vividly remember months of emotional struggle and internal battle agonizing over whether I should do it or not, until I said it, “I want a divorce”. And the moments I said those words, I knew I was not going to back down, not like the last time. And I knew coping with separation and divorce, especially for the first few days was going to be hard.
I felt relieved. Making a decision after a months’ of uncertainty and indecision felt damn good. I felt relieved and free to have let those words out. So, I decided to soak it up while I can. I knew uncertainty was around the corner. In the next few months, I was going to bombard with many emotions all at once, of feeling sad and lonely, and excited and content. But most of all, the next few months will be a time of coping with separation, from a relationship, my Ex, and my old life. Next few months will be the time of transition.
I was afraid. Today we both talked to our families over the phone and informed them of our decision. I was scared about how they would react, especially my father. Will he be angry or just sad? Will he understand my reasoning or won’t even bother to ask? Did I really want this or do I just need time to think things through and maybe give our relationship another chance?
Despite my hours of questioning and rationalization, I couldn’t guess what lies ahead. I knew I can’t guess the implications of my decision until I do it, and then feel it.
No matter what stories we tell or how much pep talk we give ourselves, we are all just naive when it comes to making decisions and choosing what we think is right for us. On day 2, Monday morning when I got in the cab and left my husband’s house, looking at his somber face and my pathetic efforts to hide my tears, then I saw what future we both have chosen for ourselves and each other.
As the cab drove out of the driveway, I left a year of misery, insults, doubts, hurtful words, and hateful fights behind me with the sense of freedom and contentment filling my body.
People see the divorce and separation and its aftermath of coping with feelings with different lookouts. Personally, I feel the divorce is a tug of war. Sometimes, you do the pulling, the other times, you are dragged by the other side through the mud.
Though I had left months of misery and anguish behind me, the aftermath of my decision followed me everywhere like a shadow. And then I started to confront my deepest fears:
- I beat myself up for breaking the commitment of marriage.
- After a year of being called someone’s wife, I was afraid of the tag ‘Divorced’ that was about to stick to my forehead.
- Then came the biggest aftermath of separation and need to coping up with it, I was scared the most of having to live life on my own. What if I could never find true love?
- Dating again after all these years that too in my late twenties felt like a giant roller coaster. The one that comes with exciting highs and disappointing lows. I was already seeing my future self being torn and hopeless during the lows.
- Almost every divorce has a villain, a bad person that triggered the storm. In my case, I had to accept that I was that bad person to my family as well as to his.
- People say it costs way more money to get divorced than it costs to get married. I felt lucky being the decision consensual to both the parties I was gonna have a relatively cheap divorce.
The day started with a cloudy sky and foggy memories – memories of the time we’d spent together, more good than bad. I kept thinking about my husband. I knew that he would like to keep in touch, be friends even. But I don’t think I would still want to meet or even talk to him. I didn’t feel comfortable doing so. But I was definitely missing the cheery moments we shared together. Those late-night dinners and movies, quarreling over film stories, joking around with his friends, I was missing it all. The whole day even in the office I couldn’t help but wonder about him and our relationship.
- Will being with someone new in the future shed a different light on what we had?
- What if he thinks badly about me and (though I act like I don’t care, it’s hard not to) sort of blames me for all this?
- I felt sorry for hurting him, his somber face the day I left his home kept flashing in front of my eyes making me question my decision. Was it right whatever I was doing?
- Though I wished him well before leaving, I’m scared of him moving on from me quickly. I knew the more he moves on the more alone I’ll feel.
Today marked six days of me leaving my husband, six days since I had finally said those words. Thoughts that had been haunting me for the past three months every day and night. While my heart was screaming at me, begging to take us both far from here, my mind was playing games.
Though, now I have finally made a decision and come out of conflicting situations, the recurring thoughts and fears are still there in my mind. I’m well aware of what my life will become for the next few months — filled with recurring feelings, and new experiences, and above all, a raw and honest reality. I mean, at this point if I can’t be real with myself about this divorce advice, then I’m screwed. But I choose not to.
Day 7 (Valentine’s Day)
I had been dreading this day since before I decided to leave my husband as I absolutely hated the idea of celebrating it with someone I didn’t have feelings for. Even the thought of acting like I was happy and in love just for the sake of it made me want to pull my hair out. Interestingly; however, as I stepped out in the morning when the sun was extra bright and happy today, watching people in red and pink, and listening to the love songs on my favorite radio station didn’t affect me as much as I had thought. I was happy (and surprised) that I was coping up from my separation easily.
The day went by fine. But as the sun traveled to west and the night made its way through with divine stars, watching couples riding together or waiting at the restaurants, and stopping to buy roses from a florist at the corner only made me want to go home and sleep the night away. That night, I cried for the first time. I cried over my heartbreak, but I cried more over the past one year of my life that was engulfed in deepest darkness where my dreams and hopes were broken and emotions wasted over the wrong person.
I woke with a sunshine blinding my eyes. It was Saturday and after last night’s crying ordeal I actually felt calm. My mom had advised me once, “let it go,” she had said, “it helps.” I sometimes wonder how things would have been different if mom was around. I know she would have supported me, hugged me the day I returned home heartbroken and lost. I miss her hugs and her smile. But I always imagine that she still has my back from wherever she is now. And that’s what keeps me going most of the time.
I was feeling more positive right from the morning, maybe because it was Sunday, maybe because my family was actually being supportive of my decision (which still is a bit surprising to me, but I don’t wanna jinx it!). But it helped me with coping with separation and divorce advise.
I could also see the whole situation in a new light. Being single has its perks you know, especially after spending years delving into a failing relationship. It literally feels like basking in the morning golden sunshine after a months of being swamped in giant dark clouds. I love this feeling!
In hindsight, it made me realize that recently my biggest fear was getting divorced. But after doing the exact thing that I really wanted to avoid, now I realize that there’s not much else that scares me. That’s how it works, you try something big, you fail, you get back up. I can feel that boldness and self-confidence surging through me already started to positively affect my life.
Letting go of the failed relationship and being single again has other perks as well:
- Dating and flirting can be more fun and you can expect it to be a wild and exciting ride. It’s time to get that little black dress out of the corner of the wardrobe!
- It happens to the best of us. Married couples mostly tend to socialize with couples. But now, you will realize how easy it is to meet and socialize with like-minded people.
- This I’m already starting to experience, meeting people who will fill your life with enriching experiences. Trust me, you will be more aware of yourself and your life and all the beautiful things you have never appreciated before.
- It’s time to revive your aspirations and dreams that you had to let go of for a relationship.
- After having to go through a mental and emotional trial, you will have become stronger.
They say divorce and coping with separation is tougher, you don’t only lose your partner and a relationship but a piece of yourself as well. I can’t agree more. Over a year of emotional trauma of failing marriage and being torn between staying or leaving, I felt myself losing in that tug of war. But I also found the person I’m today, more confident and in love with myself.
I know it’s only the start and I still have to work my way through forgiving myself and others, and learning new things as they come. Next few months will be a baggage of mixed emotions and experiences, both known and unknown.
But I do know one thing that I will keep moving forward, like I’ve always wanted. That’s what we all want, to keep moving forward – with love, respect, and confidence!
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