Friday, 22 August 2014

Saying goodbye and moving on


At just after 10.30am today I had a text from my mum telling me she thought I had court papers in the mail. I immediately called her and asked her to open the letter, I didn't want to sit at my desk and spend the day wondering what was in the envelope.

She opened it and read the letter to me. It announced that my marriage was now legally over, it was my decree absolute.

I'm divorced.

I'm not sure whether to say I got divorced today or from the 20th, as that's when it was approved. It doesn't matter in the long run though. I'll probably always remember both dates, the date it was approved and the date I found out. Much like I remember the 23rd of any month as being x-many months since we split up, making tomorrow 11 months. That's how my brain works, unfortunately. I remember things, even things I don't want to remember.

My reaction to finding out I was divorced surprised me. I'll openly admit (mainly because if anyone reading this is going through a divorce I want them to see what people feel at different stages of the process so they know they're not alone – it can feel very lonely) that I was dreading the paperwork arriving. I wanted it to arrive and I didn't.

I wanted it to arrive so I knew I was no longer legally bound to my ex, it was done and I wouldn't have to sweep my eyes over the table in the hall every afternoon when I got home from work to see if it had arrived, steeling myself for whatever emotion may come if the letter was sat there.

I didn't want it to arrive because, well that's more complicated. I haven't ever wanted my ex back, not after the initial shock anyway. It's not that I wanted to stay married to him, but divorce is (in my case) just so sad. It's so final. It's similar to death, which I know can offend bereaved people and believe me I felt truly awful that I felt worse when my ex-husband left me than when my grandfather died. I still feel guilty about that to an extent but I now know that when you split with your spouse you are bereaved, you grieve as if that other person has died.

The last 11 months have been relatively happy for me, I feel happier and more myself now than I when I was married. I hate that. I hate that my marriage ending is what it took to show me that I wasn't happy, I was bored and unsatisfied with life. That's not how married life should be. Is that my ex's fault? Partly. Is it my fault? Partly, yes. We're both to blame. We had really happy times during our relationship, I can smile fondly at the memories of silly things we did or said but then the memories of the last few months of our marriage override the happy memories, it doesn't matter how good things were when the bad times were very bad.

A recently met up with a group of women I worked with seven years ago, some of them married, some divorced and some have never married. One of the divorced women is the type of divorced women I don't want to be: bitter. She asked me if my ex had been “nasty” to me, “He was nasty to you, right? Really nasty?” I explained that no, he wasn't nasty and actually somewhat annoyingly my ex is a nice guy. She didn't have a response to that. But it's true, my ex wasn't nasty to me. Perhaps he was a little cruel towards the end, giving me hope by “choosing love” and then changing his mind within days but he could easily accuse me of cruelty for not wanting to move to America with him. We're both to blame for the downfall of our marriage.

I don't wish him ill. I hope that wherever he is and whatever he's doing he's happier than he was with me. That doesn't mean I want to be friends with him, or to have any contact with him but I'm not bitter about how my life has turned out.

I wish him well.

I'm hopeful for the future.

I'm happy.

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6 comments

  1. I'm still waiting... Due to lots of small issues I haven't even got my decree nisi yet. I want it done, but when I think about it the whole think seems so sad. I definitely don't want to be back with my ex but part of me just wishes the whole thing had never happened. Your post really resonated with me...for a long time I was angry, but recently I've been coming to terms with the fact that we were both to 'blame' and it was a hard situation for both of us. I'd like to talk to you more about this because you're the only person I know who's in the same situation of being married and divorced quite young! Xxx

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    Replies
    1. Hey Liz, sorry you're still having to wait for even the nisi to come through. It is sad, no matter how a marriage ends it's sad, you stood up in front of your friends and family and made your vows to each other but they didn't stick. I still feel embarrassed about it to be honest, I feel like people must be judging me to be divorced so young but then I think about how I'd react if a friend of mine got divorced now - I wouldn't judge!

      You have my email address, feel free to email me about this or I'm happy to meet up and have a chat over a cuppa if you're in Cardiff sometime.

      I hope you get your nisi soon so you know the process is underway.

      xxx

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  2. I remember reading your posts when all of this was happening to you and I really felt for you but over the past few months I really have felt a change and you seem in a better place. I understand what you mean with grieving, my boyfriend and I broke up and it felt like somebody I loved just disappeared and died. It's hard. I'm glad you can now close this chapter and start living your life your way.
    xxx

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Nina.

      I hope you're starting to heal from your breakup, it's tough going.
      xxx

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  3. You're amazing Cher. Your strength these last 11 months has been inspiring. I know your future is going to be superb! You deserve so much happiness. Love you lil buddy xxx

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