It had been weeks – months even, since I had known - since I had made the final decision in my heart, and my head I guess – but I just couldn’t seem to pull the trigger.
I am highly intuitive – and even though she wasn’t supposed to have an official opinion, I could tell my therapist’s patience was growing thin. This was the 3rd – 4th – 5th? time we’d had the same discussion in as many weeks.
My kids, what about my kids?
I didn’t want them to be a product of divorce – this was my top priority – or maybe it was an excuse. An excuse to avoid making the hard decision – the difficult circumstance – it would take me out of my sacred avoidance cycle. The avoidance cycle that was as comfortable as my favorite pair of sweatpants.
You know, we have discussed this. Children only need one healthy parent to grow up strong in self and relationship. You will be that one healthy influence in your kids’ lives.
Maybe once we separated, their father would have a chance to be that person as well.
I also knew, living in our kind of dysfunction was sending all sorts of mixed messages, especially about wives and the roles men and women have in relationship. The truth was - I was nowhere in the relationship. My needs and desires deemed unimportant. Or rather, less important than his. I had put myself on the altar for the sake of the ‘family’ - for the sake of keeping up appearances. But I was beginning to wake up. I was beginning to recognize that my feelings, needs, and desires were important. They were worthy of acknowledgement, worthy of time and energy.
The problem was, my partner wasn’t able to see what I was seeing. He couldn't see how severely his behavior impacted me.
I didn’t want my kids to grow up and not have the guts to get out of something that was abusive, neglectful. I didn’t want them to be too scared to do the hard thing. I didn’t want them to learn the bad habits we were inadvertently teaching them about intimate relationship.
But the thought of leaving was very painful.
Painful doesn’t always mean wrong. Sometimes ending something that is not good for you, and will never be good for you, is the right thing to do. Sometimes it’s better to just let go.
But when you’re letting go of a marriage, it’s not the man you release, it’s the dream.
The dream of being married – the dream of happily ever after. The love had died long ago along with the trust and respect, with no Lazarus moment in sight - only now I had the guts to do something about it and accept the reality of my situation.
It’s been four years since the papers were signed, and I’ve never been happier. Not because of the divorce necessarily, but because I began to value my worth and happiness. And put steps in place to care for myself in a way that put me first, which creates a much better Sara who can then give to others.
Last month, I started a group on Facebook called, Divorcing Well. If you’re in the situation I was in 4 years ago, or if you’ve made it to the other side and want to help others do the same, I invite you join us. It’s a great group of women who are focused on finding our solutions and helping others do the same. If you join, I promise, you won’t regret it.
Sign up here.
Here’s to making it great.