I have another friend who is also going through a divorce and I wanted to jot down some of the stuff we talked about today because I feel like people who have been through a similar thing could relate….or might need to hear it.
Your character, not your reputation is what needs to stay in tact. Don’t confuse the two. Your reputation is what other people think of you…what other people have put together about your story, of which they are privy to only part of. Your character is what you have to stay true to. Don’t become a bitter, mean, resentful person. The high road always looks better in court and in the Big Book Upstairs (and in texts you have made screenshots of to show the divorce attorney).
Your circumstances do not define you. Because the money part might be getting hairy…or the label of “divorced” is scary, rise above. Do you know anyone who hasn’t been through some hard times? Didn’t think so.
They aren’t getting away with being mean, terrible people if you back off, stay to the high road and stop engaging them. Validate that what they are going through is their reality, and very real to them….and confirm that it has been in stone now that it is now a legal transaction and that the bed one sleeps in, the fleas one gets, will come out in the wash. Period and paragraph. Shut your phone off, put it away or plug it in in the other room. there is no rationalizing with someone who you feel is crazy.
In order to make someone truly feel terrible about themselves (or at least attempt to), the aggressor has to hate themselves. They have to hate their decisions, hate their station in life and be miserable. Think of anyone you have ever known who is happy and put-together. They make other people feel good and put-together around them. No one treats someone they SAY they love without respect, compassion or patience. Don’t let anyone treat you that way. Don’t sacrifice it all for someone else….give to yourself a little bit (or a lot for a while).
You have spent months, years or decades of energy on trying to help and fix and change this person. We’re all broken and can be better people for sure. But trying to fight illogical arguments or semantically argue against someone who is so caught up in their own bad decisions and self-hatred doesn’t work. It didn’t work for (months/years/decades). Try another strategy. They got your energy, time and patience for all that time. Spend it on yourself…building other relationships, growing in your career or learning more about yourself. They are thinking primarily about how to preserve themselves and come out “right” or looking like their on top or not as in much trouble as they are. They aren’t thinking 1/10 of the time about your feelings or how this is affecting you. Quit giving them 100% of your time.
Last but not least, know in your heart you did all you could. You tried the solutions you thought would help. You cried, you yelled, you ignored and you fought. Maybe you tried therapy and drugs and more. Whatever that last straw is, don’t regret it. You won’t understand for a long time why it couldn’t end differently. You’ll be angry and sad and confused. But it comes down to this: you know EXACTLY what that past would hold, and as scary as the unpredictable future might be, it’s a much better option than your motherf#$%in’ past. Work on the forgiveness, work on the forgetting….but move on and try a new thought process for YOU. Don’t let them live rent-free in your head and consume anymore time or energy that you could be spending on making yourself, and the RIGHT people, in your life happy and satisfied.
You aren’t alone. The fear and confusion and frustration is something we all feel and will go through for longer than we want. But it’s a real grieving process. A person with whom you spent a lot of time with, is gone. Erased. They are no longer on the other end of the couch or on their side of the bed. That’s it. Let go.
Slowly, but surely, let go.
You are BLESSED to have the self-awareness that you were destined for something more meaningful and happy. Now you just have the freedom to go out and FIND IT.