Someday, one of your friends is gonna get divorced, it’s gonna happen, and they’re gonna tell you. Don’t go, “ohhh I’m sorry.” That’s a stupid thing to say. First of all, you’re making ‘em feel bad for being really happy, which isn’t fair and second of all:
DIVORCE IS ALWAYS GOOD NEWS.
I know that sounds weird, but it’s true, because no good marriage ever ended in divorce. It’s really that simple.
– Louis C.K
So what do you say? I’ve started to think I should say ‘Congratulations,’ when someone tells me that they are separated or divorced but I have not been able to do this yet. I still say “I’m sorry.” And why is that? Because I’m a recently divorced person and I know how painful it is.
What would have I done if someone had congratulated me? Well, a lot of people tried to do this in their own way. Many friends and family told me I would be better off, I was going to be happier, it would get easier, etc., but I didn’t believe them. What did they know? They hadn’t lived it. They were all still hanging onto their marriages, good and bad. I mentally argued with them and twisted reality to prove to myself that they were wrong, that divorce is horrendous and soul-destroying.
The ones that had been divorced all looked on in commiseration and said “yes, it is hard and it takes at least two years (sometimes three) to get over it. I remember one particular man told me that he was really fortunate because at least he had his job, the one thing that didn’t change in his life, while he spent his two years getting back to some semblance of hope. All I could think was “great, I’m getting divorced and my job is gone.” I was a stay-at-home mom pre-divorce. When my divorce process started I was told I would have to give that up and go get a new ‘paying’ job.
I spent a year in misery and pain. Ok, a year and two months. Then I hit a point where I thought to myself: “I do not want to feel this way anymore.”
To be clear, I was depressed. The thoughts that kept running through my head: “I have been a good person, followed all the rules, been responsible, done everything that I’ve been told I should do….and my life is still a disaster.” This realisation, that everything that had come before had led me to this point, made me decide I had to find a different way. I had nothing to lose anymore. I was in so much pain, that even if something catastrophic were to happen, I believed that I could not feel worse.
Oddly enough, this thought was motivating to me. I got to start from a blank state. Nothing I do going forward can make me feel worse, therefore, I can try all sorts of things that I would never have tried before. There was no where else for me to go but up from this situation.
I am working on finding my new way and it is challenging and at the same time it is hopeful. What has come of this is that I now think of the Divorce as my new beginning, that kick in the pants I needed to live a life that is designed by me and not dictated by others. So now when I tell people that I am newly divorced, I remind them to congratulate me.