You’re going to laugh. But, I thought this would be easier. Really.
Have you heard the news?! I’m getting divorced! I left my marriage! To the perfect guy! (Insert some catty remark here about both of us and really, well, fuck that, it’s none of your business.) Yes, yes. I called it off. But, chances are, if you live in SLC, and are a runner, it was on your lesson plan at one of your Sunday meetings and passed around via door-to-door flier the week after I filed. (Right? That’s how you share information about everyone’s business, correct?) Well, no one sends ‘unhappy news’ announcements or puts this shit in the family Christmas letter, so what can I say? It tends to trickle out with all kinds of rumors and scandalous info. We told a few people and the rest is history. What’s been fascinating to me on my little island in ‘single woman who left-land’ is how much harder it’s been than I thought it would be. No kidding. I’m laughing, but it’s sad. I guess I thought, since so many people go through this, it wouldn’t be that hard to completely destroy and unravel my entire life and watch everything I love and care about fall apart. Boy…was I in for a treat!
The “fuck this” myth
Louis CK said something like:
“No good marriage ever ends in divorce.”
Well said, Louis. But, that’s not 100% true. In fact, most marriages all start out good. Ours did. But, when you get to the “fuck this” point—which is an extremely powerful period—you’re really convinced that everything you do after will feel like a huge relief. And, it does. But, it’s the same relief you feel (probably) when you decide to jump out of an airplane the first time. You’re scared shitless, but you’ve done it. But…now, you’re falling hundreds of miles per hour toward the ground. Oh, and you don’t have a chute just yet. You have to figure that out. So, even though you took the leap and you’re real proud of yourself, you’re fucked, really.
Hard part’s over…
Somehow, I’d convinced myself that the hardest part of this whole deal was making the actual decision to do it. Once I’d made the choice—and I mean really, really, really made it—the hardest part was over. Everything after that would be mechanical. Sure there would be paperwork and this and that. But, it was the should I/shouldn’t I bullshit that was hindering my progress. Maybe it is for some people. I’ve always known what I’ve wanted though. I have a direct line to my heart, even though it’s been clear that certain people have spent years convincing me that the messages have been mixed up, or that I’m crazy and I don’t know what I really want. Cough, cough.
Losing friends, but whaddayagonnado…
Wah, wah. I knew this would happen, and it held me back for years. But, I did what I had to do and it really breaks my heart. I completely understand. Divorce is fucking scary. If I called everyone I know right now and said, “I have contagious skin sores. It’s basically flesh eating bacteria but it also makes you fat! Can you come over and keep me company?” I would totally get it. When Ryan and I were together and we had friends who split up, it scared us. Could it happen to us? Why did it keep happening? No one would talk about it: what leads up to it? It’s so common! It’s so sad!!! Amy Poehler’s Yes Please is probably one the best books that deals with this subjects, and it’s hilarious. Everyone should read it. Now. She offers suggestions for future books on divorce with titles and chapters such as:
- “No, I don’t want to sleep with your husband”
- “Divorce: it’s contagious, didn’t you know?”
- “I’m sorry, but when are you going to be happy again already?!”
Most people just don’t know what to do with you. They either want to fix you or avoid you at all costs. Everyone you were friends with before was probably friends with both of you, anyway.
Oh God, she’s crying again
Fun fact: You will likely tell the strangest people all of your business and your most personal, closest friends will have no idea what’s going on. My family had no idea. But, I have broken down sobbing in front of random boys. Sorry, guys.
THIS is what a nervous breakdown looks like. (Apparently…)
It’s losing a shit-ton of weight. It’s getting really fucking sick and then depressed that no one cares (except a few of you, thank you.) It’s being super, hyper-productive at work and then not being able to read or write or open an email one day because you can’t. It’s not getting out of bed. It’s OK, I guess. It’s been interesting.
Just a reminder…No, I do NOT want to sleep with your husband. Thanks, though.
No, really. Divorced women are not dangerous. Calm your tits.
Time travel bugaboo
Oh! This is fun! This is why I can never watch The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Again. So, you’ve gone through Fuck This, and now you’re cleaning everything out, moving on and clearing out the debris caused by the destruction. Great. Wait…what’s this? Oh, robot wedding cake toppers. And, look…the photos from your honeymoon. The ticket from the flight you took together. The handwritten email address when you first met. The rocks you collected. 11 years with someone is a lot of time to go through. You grew up together (or one of you grew up) and you have a lot to dig through, like an archeologist. It. Fucking. Sucks.
No, it doesn’t get easier, it gets sadder.
You don’t get to be angrier at your spouse. You feel sadder about how it ended up. Period. When your marriage ends (and you end it) it’s really strange. It’s a little bit like losing a child – even though it was just an idea. Except everyone around you says things like:
- Yes, but you’re better off now. Or,
- It was a bad child anyway.
No. No, it wasn’t. It wasn’t a dumb idea. It was actually all that I’d ever wanted. It was our future. It was all our hopes and dreams: a life together. That’s not stupid. And, it’s gone now. Even though it was just an idea. And I’m grieving. And, that’s OK.
Apparently, you have to go through this. (Or so my therapist says…)
This has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Good luck to anyone going through it. And fuck off to anyone who has an opinion about how I’m going through it now. Thank you for reading.
PS: reach out if you need help:
National Suicide Hotline