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I have no intention of going into details about my first marriage, but it is a part of my personal history.
In hindsight, I can see it wouldn’t last, but at the moment, I was young and didn’t see it.
I want to share some advice I give to friends that are going through major break-ups and divorce.
It’s ok to feel hurt, shame, embarrassment, sad, happy, and/or relieved, as well as anything else you may be feeling as you go through a major break-up.
Those feelings are real.
When you get married or are in a serious long-term partnership, you create a new entity.
That entity has plans, hopes, dreams, and memories.
When you divorce, it can feel as if that entity passed away. All those future plans are no longer to be and there will always be a pain and a sadness related to the memories. It is ok to mourn the loss of what was and what might have been without wanting to be back in that relationship.
Too Good to Leave; Too Bad to Stay*—This book was one of the best I read when I was trying to make a decision about my marriage. For me the line that had me thinking was something along the lines of, “If you could wave a magic wand and the marriage was over without drama or any of the logistics, how would you feel?” I likely got the quote wrong since I don’t own the book anymore and I sent it to a friend who needed it. (She is still married.) That statement goes along with tricks to figure out your true feelings on something, like when making a decision flip a coin and say to yourself, “Heads I leave, Tails I
stay.” Your reaction to the result of that flip is likely pretty close to how you feel.
Please don’t read this thinking I am a fan of divorce—I’m not. I’ve been married 10 years now and while it has its ups and down, if I hadn’t made the hard decision to get divorced the first time, I wouldn’t know the happiness I know today. I would have loved to avoid the pain and shame of my first marriage and divorce, but I don’t have a magic wand to do that, and it’s part of my past and part of what influenced who I am today.
If you’ve been thorough this, please share in the comments what helped you get through it or make the hard decision. Be kind.