The Decision to Divorce: Know When to Fold 'em

 Know when to fold'em pic

I shocked a lot of people when I divorced my ex. He was a charismatic and successful corporate exec—well-known for his wittiness and charm. Due to his fast-tracking career path, we moved around to different states, which allowed us to meet many different people and cultivate a variety of life-long experiences. College friends, neighborhood families, and colleagues perceived us to have a marriage that was enviable. People sought advice from us on how to achieve what seemed to be such a difficult feat. Therefore, it was shocking to so many people who knew us (or thought they did) when we divorced.

On the outside, we seemed like the perfect couple. We were the attractive, engaging couple that attended all the company events and neighborhood parties with enthusiasm and warmth. Hand-holding and light smooching was the norm wherever we went.  It wasn’t contrived…it was natural for us—more so than any other married couple we’d ever encountered.  Behind closed doors there wasn’t any drama, either.  We rarely argued-only had some disagreements—and I can count those on one hand.  However, about 5 years into our marriage, a storm began to brew…a thick, dark and devastating one…the kind of twister that makes the news…the kind that did, eventually, make the news.

I weathered these storms in a world of my own. The support groups that I dabbled in were uncomfortable for me.  I was in denial---“I’m not like them—I’m not going through what they’re going through---I’m stronger than they are…I’m going to fix this problem on my own…get my wonderful life back”  Not only did my pride get the best of me, but also my obsession to rewind time—to bring the sunshine back to my world--consumed me. I remembered thinking, this can’t be the fate of our marriage, and our seemingly perfect family and my life. How can this happen?  The world I suddenly found myself in was very surreal.  Had I been living in a mirage for the past 5 years? I was not prepared for battle. The years to come were emotionally devastating. A vicious cycle of destruction. However, I fought for our family--an additional 5 years of struggle. I held on so tightly that it lead me to the brink of a breakdown. Ironically, I seemed to be the only one in the marriage suffering. I lived in my own private hell.

I’m a fortunate woman, though.  I lost.  The storm took its own course.  I had no idea what I was up against, so God guided me.  Surprisingly, the strength that I needed to overcome the storm came with the death of my mother.  For the life of me, I couldn’t understand how a loss would be a gain.  My beloved mother was my best friend and the strongest person I’d ever known. While holding her hand, she transferred her strength to me in her last breath. Almost immediately, I was able to finally see my world and get the clarity that I needed.

I changed my strategy. My perception of victory changed. There was no stopping me then. I knew exactly what I had to do. You have to know when to keep trying and when to quit fighting. I Folded My Cards. I LET GO. Once I did that, my path was then brand new…and so refreshing.  Who knew I’d be here today--happy and living my best life-ever.

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