Saturday, May 7, 2016

Divorce Series Part 1: How I Got the Courage to Leave

Dear Reader,

This post is dedicated to those of you who may want to leave an unhappy marriage but don't know how. You may be dealing with many conflicting and challenging thoughts about leaving and the implications that it may cause you in the short term and long term. I write this post to share my experience with you in hopes that it will help you find that inner strength that has brought you to these crossroads. I realize that there is no one size fits all way to handle separation or divorce but my hope is that by sharing parts of my story and things I have learned in the process, that it will help you on your journey.
I had contemplated leaving for quite some time but always got hung up on the what if's. I was miserable but would mask my sadness in activities outside of the home; running, blogging, social media, selling Thirty-One and Jamberry, working long hours, doing whatever I could to keep busy and focus on things in my life in which I felt I had positive control over. Full disclosure here, I did NOT know this at the time. I learned this all in retrospect and in months of self reflection and therapy.

I can recall so many times that I struggled with even the idea that maybe I should consider leaving. I struggled with the thought of being ashamed, feeling like I had failed, and the suffocating thought of how on earth would I be able to afford to live on my own with all of the bills that I had.

You may not know what you are doing or why. You just may feel that leaving is the right thing to do. That is okay. I found that although I knew I could no longer be in a relationship or married to D, it was still an internal struggle because I felt like I was

1) giving up on my marriage. Being from a divorced family, I had always told myself and others that I did not believe in divorce for myself. I was confident that who I chose to marry would be the only person I would be married to forever. I laugh at this now as this was just a way of trying to convince myself that I was marrying the right person even when my gut was feeling otherwise.

2) going back on my word (aka my vowes). I knew the vowes I had taken at our wedding. I knew that I had agreed to the good, bad, and the ugly. I KNEW what I was getting in to when I got married. So why did I do it? Over and over I told myself that I had made this bed, I need to suck it up and lay in it.

3) Failure. I felt like I had failed my family, myself, my fur kids, the list goes on. My biggest fear in life is failure. The idea of saying I give up and I fail was worse than anything.

Over time my unhappiness began to take over and all I could think about was how to get out and move on with my life. I began to talk to friends and family about my thoughts and I began to realize several things. Over time I finally came to the conclusion that I was strong enough to do this. I realized that leaving required more strength on my part than staying. With support from friends and family, I began to feel empowered and proud of who I was becoming. I was no longer in the shadows of someone else. I was strong enough to take the steps necessary to begin creating a life that I knew that I deserved. A happy life. Even if that meant pain, turmoil, confusion, and lots of healing in the process. 

Life is too short. I did not have to stay in an unhappy marriage when I knew I could be happier by myself. The idea of having my own place was so exciting, yet terrifying. No longer was I spending my mental energy thinking of HOW to get out but rather on all the possibilities of the new life that lie ahead.  The idea of starting a new life where I had a say was the focus of my thoughts and was exhilarating.

I realized that it was my life to live. Not someone else's life to control.
words of wisdom from instagram was a way I found validation for how I was feeling

I realized that there was no point in staying in an unhappy marriage even though I knew that I had ignored the red flags that led me to where I was in the first place. I realized that everyone makes mistakes and I was not a failure for doing so. In fact, I was the opposite. I was strong and resilient for facing these dark feelings and owning up to the truth.
I also found validation through pinterest Check out my board to see more empowering sayings and works of art. 
Are you experiencing the idea of separation? Have you gone through this? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comment box below or send me an email. 

Stay tuned for the next post in my Divorce Series. Part 2: Independent and Empowered. Yet Alone. Feelings of independence through bouts of loneliness. 

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