Tonight’s post about choices in divorce was written by our newest Attorney addition to Lawrenceville, Brandy Alexander.
As children, we could not wait to become adults. As adults, we often wish for the simpler times of childhood again. We grow up, we know better, so we do better, our vocabulary changes, we learn to censor ourselves and we learn not to let our emotions govern our actions.
Then… divorce. In divorce, there is anger, there are hurt feelings and the bitterest of words are spoken….not just by your soon to be former spouse, but by you too. In the midst of the divorce you say to yourself, ‘how did I ever get lost in the game of “who can hurt whom the most.”‘
The thing is, divorce is a process inherently driven by emotion; and with your emotions high, it is easy to forget the vast vocabulary that you have accumulated; censoring oneself goes out of the window (because before you know it, you have hurled insults back, often unintentionally) and you find that once again, your emotions govern your actions.
It is hard to reconcile someone intentionally breaking your heart over and over again with the someone you once loved (and perhaps still do). It is harder still to watch yourself return that poisonous dagger back at the person who was once your one true thing. You can make very little sense of why you do it (besides the age old, “he did it to me first”) but you do it anyway, right? Because…well… isn’t that what divorce is all about- hurting the other person more than they have hurt you?
No. That is not what divorce is. All of the wisdom and patience you have found in adulthood does not have to go out of the window when the papers get filed.
Divorce is about coming to grips with what once was a love you could not imagine living your life without is not anymore. Divorce is accepting that people change and grow and change again and sometimes, for reasons that none of us understand, those people grow apart. Sometimes we have reasons like infidelity or cruelty, but having a tangible reason does not make the process any less emotionally taxing.
It is easy to be consumed by all of the bad. I think perhaps it is human nature to want to hurt those who hurt you. But you are not getting divorced to hear your spouse utter the words “fine, you win,” you are getting divorced because you are unhappy in your marriage and you may have been for quite some tme.
Divorce is about finding your happy because, before you know it, you will no longer be divorcing, you will be divorced. And besides, if in the end, you want the children and the house and that new car that was bought a month before the divorce papers were filed, remember, the old adage is true: “you get more flies with honey than with vinegar.” So be nice.
The next time you ready to hurl that poisonous dagger by responding to the mean spirited and hurtful text your spouse just sent, don’t forget that adage, because as Robert Frost once said, “I can sum up everything that I have learned about life in three words: It goes on.” Shall it go on for the better or the worse? Your choice.
When this chapter is closed, you want to be able to smile and say, I have found my happy.