*Warning, this blog is longer than my usual one’s but hopefully you read it and are able to get something from it.*
Ever since I was 8yrs old, I dreamed like most little girls do of being happily married, having a beautiful home and a couple of kids. As I got older I began to watch romance movies and read romance novels. I always dreamed of having a prince charming to come and sweep me off my feet and we ride into the sunset to our little house on the hill with the white picket fence around it. I never envisioned us getting into an argument or having a disagreement about anything – I just knew and believed in my heart of hearts that we would be happily married for the rest of our lives. He happy with me and I happy with him, sounds so lovely right?
It wasn’t until I got a little older and started dating that I realized I had no idea what the so called “perfect” guy was. I mean, I didn’t have a constant male role model in my life that I could look up too to show me what a real man was and how that man was supposed to take care of a house, wife and kids. My mom was married but he was abusive and the guys she dated after that were no model citizens as they inflicted more hurt than love. So it wasn’t a surprise for me to get married to someone that had been married two times before and had two kids already (might I say one was already practically grown). When he asked me to marry him, one part of me said Yes while the other part said H**L NO!
But because we had dated for almost 2yrs, I felt that it was the right thing to do. Did I love him?, sometimes I did but most times I didn’t. I knew that he wasn’t the one for me, all the new things that I wanted to experience for the first time in a marriage…such as having children, purchasing a home, new car and just experiencing the first years of marital bliss together was outweighed by his world of “I’ve already done that.” I married him because I thought I loved him and although I knew things weren’t on point in dating, I felt that since this was my first time being married that he would change. But that didn’t happen…..that didn’t happen at all. I will give anyone one main point that they should always remember before the walk down the aisle:
“Whoever a person is in Dating, Is exactly who they will remain in Marriage.”
If you decide to close this blog down and not read anything else beyond what was said above, I would totally understand. The thing about my marriage is that I expected him to change when the ring was placed on my finger. What I was naive to was the fact that he was and had already showed me who he was and what type of husband he was going to be but I ignored the signs and flashing lights and walked onto the tracks and got hit hard by the train. Although I knew there were going to be no changes in him; I still strived to be the best wife I could be at 23. I read many books on marriage and even read a couple of erotica ones, I tried to lose weight and exercise whatever it took to keep him at home at night and away from the gambling halls. But those efforts were ignored and after he decided not to change even after going to counseling. The dreaded “D” word came into play.
No one gets married to get divorced; that is not in the plan when you take vows. As you stand there smiling and looking into your future husband or wife’s eyes, anticipating on being the best partner ever. You wonder if their thoughts are in sync with yours. When I realized that after much trying that me and my husband were headed for divorce, I was devastated. I honestly felt as if I had failed in my marriage and let my daughter (whom was 3 months old at the time) down. She needs a father in her life, what would I tell her when she gets older and asks for her dad or ask questions why we weren’t together anymore. I honestly thought that I had did something wrong, “Was I not good enough?” “Was I not pretty enough?” “Was I Not Small Enough?”
What had I done? Why did I get into this? The marriage definitely wasn’t anything like the movies or the novels that I read. I quickly realized that actors and actresses are paid to act a certain way and the novelist is a person that depicts an imaginary, magical world of expectation that doesn’t quite fit the puzzle of the real world.
I had many questions while going through and after my divorce. I felt lonely, betrayed and my self-esteem that I had worked so hard to build up to his expectations came crashing down like a snowstorm on a mountain. Overtime I realized that I wasn’t the only one that would face the “D” word and definitely wouldn’t be the last. I finally came up with this thought in which snapped me back into reality and it is:
“When you Know that You’ve done EVERYTHING in your power to make things work and I mean EVERYTHING, then feel free to move on.
That includes counseling, trying new things and coming up with ways to improve the marriage). You shouldn’t give up on one try just because something went south or wrong) When you’ve honestly tried 100 things and all 100 failed or for some marriages it may be 20 or 50 things. What I’m saying is, make sure that you’ve given it everything you’ve got before you completely throw in the towel. And when I felt like I had given it my all? I left and the feelings that I felt afterward are my tips to anyone going through it, these are a couple of things that helped me to move forward and not backward.
Prayer Is the Key ~
I have to say, I felt crazy going to God when I went through my divorce because I didn’t consult him prior to getting married. So I have to be honest, I didn’t talk to God because I was embarrassed too. I mean after all he had given me plenty of signs prior to the marriage that, that guy wasn’t the one for me. But I took the bait and got caught up in the net. After stalling in prayer, I came to realize that God is a forgiving God and that no matter what we have done wrong, if you have the heart to reach out to him to ask for forgiveness. He will forgive you, not only that – he’ll be there waiting for you with open arms. Just as the king did to see his prodical son.
Know the Law ~
Every state is different so if you are headed down divorce highway, make sure you read the laws of separation guidelines within your state. In Arkansas, you can file for divorce the moment you decide that’s what you want to do. In NC, you have to be separated for a full year before you can file for divorce. The lawyer will ask what date you all separated and/or when they moved out the house. Whatever date that is, that will be the date (a year from now) that you can file for divorce. You have to remain separated for the full year, if they come back to stay for two months and leave then you will have to record the day that they left in which will prolong you filing.
Give Yourself Time ~
I started to put, “Don’t Date” after the dash but I know that, that varies by person. I would suggest from experience to give yourself some space and time after the split. The last thing you want to do is get mingled up with someone else and drag them into the hurt, pain and ups and downs of what you’re already going through. You really won’t know what you’re ready for until you give yourself some time. This time is for you to take a look at your situation and improve on who you are as a person. This means you’re going to have to do an inside/out job on yourself. Take time to clean out the hurt and replace it with peace, love and serenity. WARNING: This will not happen overnight.
Highs and Lows ~ Face It Head-on
When I was going through my divorce I had many high points and many low points as well. There were days where I was fine with what was going on and then there were days where I wanted to disappear from the face of the earth. You’re going to have your high points and low ones too. On most days I woke up resentful, swearing that I would never, ever get married again and denounced relationships altogether. Bitterness and resentment will set in, so you’ll experience it all. Go through it, have your pity party – don’t sweep it under the rug to deal with it later. All those feelings need to come out now, it wouldn’t even hurt to talk with a counselor. I did and it helped me relieve a lot of stress and anger. Face It Now, rather than later.
If you can’t afford to see a counselor then journaling was another outlet for me that really helped alleviate stress, resentment, pain and anxiety. Its good to look back on it and see where you were and where you are currently now. It also gives you an opportunity to tweak areas in which you may still have issues with dealing with.
Healing Music ~
Music has a way of healing even the most messed up and broken situations. When I was going through my divorce I found a liberating song that I listened to everyday that helped me get out of bed and start my day. I would suggest finding a theme song for yourself. I wouldn’t suggest a song that reminds you of the person in which you are separating from. But a song that will give you strength to move forward. My song during that time was a classic by Wilson Phillips entitled “Hold On”. You’ll find your song and when you do, play it everyday until the hurt and pain you feel goes away.
Remember, Divorce is just a Detour – Not a Destination.
Here are a couple of Uplifting Quotes that will help you cope…
For the Engaged or Newly Married – A few tips for you..
- Keep God First – Need I say more?, This should be a no-brainer. You have to have a good foundation and having God aboard your marriage is where it all starts. Pray with each other everyday. 5min or 10min a day will keep the devil at bay in your marriage. Not to say that he won’t try to bring things against it but if you all can build a strong prayer life…he’ll have trouble trying to break the barrier.
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate and Communicate some more – you’ll be surprised. Most marriages end due to a lack of communication, talk with your partner about everything of importance. Yes, there will be times where you need to be alone. But if it’s something that’s going to affect the marriage in a bad way, communicating with each other will keep everything on track.
- Financial Discussion – This is the number one reason why most marriages fail. If you know your soon to be hubby or wife is not great with money, then you take it over. If you are not great with it either, then I would suggest you all get a financial counselor. Talk about what’s coming in and what’s going out, make decisions together when it comes to purchasing large items. It doesn’t matter who makes the most money and it’s not “my money” or “your money” it’s “OUR MONEY” remember you all became a unit of one, so whatever you money you make is made for the both of you.
- Best Friends – You married or are going to marry your husband or wife for richer or poorer, sickness and health until death do you part. You are each others best friend as well as life partners. Create a bond with each other that no one will be able to break. This person will be down with you when everyone else leaves, outside of God, they should be the first person you go to, to discuss matters of importance. If you can’t count on anyone else – then you should be able to count on them.
Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager
Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud & Love Hard!
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