Our divorce may have been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I say “our” because in the end, we mutually agreed to move forward … apart.
I learned three very important truths through the process of divorce:
- Every divorce is different. Your friends will try to relate your divorce to theirs or their parents’, but you have your own unique set of circumstances that led you to divorce and your process through it and after will not be the same.
- You contributed to the divorce. You can try to place blame but in the end it took two people to marry and it takes two people to separate. If you take a reflective look at your marriage, you will see that you contributed to the divorce. There is no need to qualify who is more to blame.
- You are in control of how you will respond. You may have learned by now that you can’t control or change your spouse. The only thing you can control is your response to him or her in the situations you will encounter moving forward.
After 5 years apart, and subsequently divorced, we are able to successfully co-parent and respect each other in a way we never did married. These statements have guided us and should be foundational to divorce:
The Divorce Vows
We vow to respect each other as individual people for who we are, not what we’ve done.
We vow to always look for a compromise and agree to disagree when necessary.
We vow to build a future that is free of judgment, guilt or blame, and not dictated by our past.
We vow to speak cordially to one another and to speak well of each other publicly, never putting the other down.
We vow to put our children first and our own needs and preferences aside.
We vow to acknowledge that we may parent differently, but that it does not mean we love our children any less, better or worse.
We vow to put aside our pride and come together to support our children through events, celebrations, and life’s ups and downs.
We vow to acknowledge and respect the often-difficult position of the other when it comes to time sharing, family gatherings, and significant others.
It has not been an easy journey. It never is. If you are going through a divorce, please read 10 Things Every Divorced Woman Should Do Before Starting To Date Again. It is not just about finding someone new, but more importantly, it is about finding yourself. And this … The Most Important Question of Your Life. Because it’s not about what you want. It’s about what pain you’re willing to endure.
The last truth that took me a long time to discover is this:
The easiest thing to loose in any relationship is yourself.