Through the Eyes of a Divorcee

Although the divorce rate in the US (supposedly) has declined ever so slightly, it’s still right at the 50% mark. WHICH MEANS—most of us either know someone or are the someone that has been divorced.

 

So lets talk about this:

 

Divorce “SOUNDS” Easy - I firmly believe that divorce is entirely too easy to come by. And with an attorney on every corner—they’re practically jumping at the chance to help you end your marriage.

Divorce is actually HARD friends  - Even if it’s EXACTLY what you want—it is STILL hard. You’re not just losing a spouse. You are losing an entire side of your family. The hardest part for me was the “aunts” and “uncles” and “mom” that I had gained through marriage—suddenly weren’t there. And it wasn’t their fault. You can’t blame them for wanting to be there for their own relative instead of you. That’s what family is for! In the beginning when I was having trouble coping with this concept, more times than not -  my dad (with his tough love) had made the statement “welcome to divorce Jenny”.

Even when you GET ALONG—it’s traumatic – Chris and I made the conscious decision (prior to even FILING for divorce) that we were going to do our very best to remain friends. Both of us had parents who had divorced and the battles that we witnessed as kids had STUCK WITH US well in to adulthood. 9 years later—we have MADE GOOD on our promise. Even still—those first few years were difficult. Holidays, birthdays, week day routines—EVERYTHING changes, and it’s traumatic.

“Single Mom” sounds catchy—but stinks – I’ve always been very independent. I was never with someone because I needed to be or expected to be taken care of. I had my own career, my own money, and was self-sufficient. So I really didn’t think being a “single mom” would be all that difficult. Until I attempted to take Kenzer on our first vacation by ourselves.

She had just turned 4. And I decided to take her to the beach for a long weekend. I found a hotel that was fairly inexpensive and close (or so I thought) to the beach. One beach block felt like 15 regular blocks. Especially when carrying a beach bag, beach toys, umbrella, cooler, chair—OH—and then your little one decides she doesn’t want to walk. By the time we made it to the beach, got ourselves all set up, etc. it was time for lunch. We walked to the boardwalk for some pizza. We sat down, ordered our food, and just about the time it came out……. Kenzer had to go potty. So I grabbed her, grabbed my purse, and off to the potty we went. When we came back out—our food was gone. I guess because they hadn’t seen any of my personal belongings there (which I couldn’t exactly just leave behind) they figured we left and cleaned our table. Kenzer was tired, hungry, crying…………… and I started crying too. It was the loneliest I had ever felt.

 

Speaking of Kenzer/Kids………….

 

Divorce makes you feel like you’ve failed your family – the guilt that comes along with divorce when it comes to your kids is awful. I felt like I had ruined Kenzer’s life. To this day, I still worry sick that some how, in some way, she will end up traumatized because of my divorce. Questions like “Is she adjusting okay to being in split homes?”, “will her relationships suffer due to our inability to remain together?”, “will she end up resenting one or both of us because of it?”, “will she turn out to be a normal kid?”. This is what goes through your head. Not to mention, attempting to keep in check the urge to over-compensate for it by spoiling your child or being their friend instead of parent.

Sharing your baby with the other parent is painful – Recently Alfie’s sister in law insulted me by saying I’m a “part time parent” because Kenzer spends time with her dad. (NEWSFLASH—that’s the WRONG thing to say to anyone you actually care about that’s divorced). The fact of the matter is, it’s probably to worst pain you experience out of anything. I NEVER stop being Kenzer’s mama. When she isn’t home, there is a void in our house that is irreplaceable (even 9 years later!) As much as you try to keep yourself busy, you always have your mind on your babies -  Are they having fun? Do they like being there better then here? And don’t get me started on holidays without your child. I remember the first (and only) time Kenzer wasn’t home with me for Mother’s Day. Carrying your child for 10 months, nursing that child for the first year of their life, them being your everything—and on the ONE DAY, that is to honor YOU and all you do as a mom—you’re sitting in a house, alone, without your little one. Worst. Mother’s Day. Ever.

 

Moral of the story? It’s threefold really -

 

  • If you are divorced, I hope you’ve read the items above and felt better realizing you ARE NOT ALONE.
  • If you’re *thinking* of divorce, I hope you’ve read the items above and are better prepared for the feelings and scenarios that are to come.
  • If you have a friend or relative who has gone through a divorce, I hope this gives you some insight in to the struggles they have that perhaps don’t get discussed. (and hopefully you’ll never say anything as insensitive as my future sister-in-law did. )

 

I honestly could go on and on with different scenarios, and feelings. But I feel like I’ve been long winded enough already. If you’ve read up to this point—I just want to say thanks. Thanks for letting me stand on my soap box for a tad bit. :)

 

Of Possible Interest/Further Reading:

7 Ways to Divorce Proof Your Marriage

Marriage Problems That Lead to Divorce After Decades

How Your Friends' Divorce Can Save Your Marriage

21 Ridiculous Things People Believe About Divorce

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